"Be sure to see the season finale of Raptor free flight this Sunday. After April 14, the birds will be retired for the summer as they molt and grow new feathers in anticipation of another great flying season."
Craig S. Ivanyi
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
As a member of your Raptor Free Flight troupe, I thought it was only right I should bring my recent concerns about the program to your attention. Birds of a feather stick together, right?
I am troubled by the behavior of one of our cast members and in particular an accusation regarding a "visitor incident" directed at me by one of the Harris' hawks.
I never strafed that Dutch tourist. Ask Owl. It was Raven. I soar, I dive, and that's it. That's what peregrines do.
By the way, I love my handler. More than a glove, she's like a perch to me.
When you have the time, there are some other issues I'd like to discuss over carrion with you.
Perry Grin Falcon
Apparently the Carrier Pigeon didn't deliver my last note to you, or you're too engrossed watching hummingbirds to give me the time of day.
I have had it with your chicken outfit. Day in, day out, I'm flying my tail feathers off, pulling in the tourists like Celine Dion.
You don't think they come to see the Harris' hawks, do you? Really? Who are we kidding? They come to see me, the fastest animal on Earth, that's who. And what thanks do I get from you? Chicken feed.
I'd love to stay on with this flock, but, talking hen to man, I have to think about building a nest egg. I can't work the rest of my life for raw meat draped on mesquite branches.
Let me remind you I am not some dime-store parakeet. I am a falcon.
I'll be watching for your response.
P.S. I can see prey from 10 kilometers away.
Can I call you "Iv"? You have binocular vision. Clearly you can see who is the star of the show, and it sure as hell isn't any of the other Tiki Room rejects listed on your marquee. Let's look at your lineup.
Barn Owl? Ever since his cousin Hedwig landed a gig with the Harry Potter franchise, Mr. "Nobody gives a hoot about me" has been hitting the fermented jerky and flying worse than Denzel Washington.
Gray Hawk? Stop him before he ad-libs again! If "Tweety" flies over the cat enclosure one more time and says "I tawt I taw a putty tat," I'm hiring Elmer Fudd to take him out.
Just between you and me, Iv, you ought to change the name of "Cat Canyon" to "What is that God Awful Smell Canyon."
Let's talk about the "amazing" Harris' hawk family. They trash their aviary like they're the Rolling Stones and you treat them like they're royalty! It's no surprise those ferruginous morons were thrown out of Busch Gardens for their tag-team hazing of the flamingos. They are the worst sky hogs to ever appear on the aerial stage! They don't just chew the scenery - they regurgitate it like a bolus in everyone's faces.
How can you expect a professional like me to work with your pathetic lineup of pompous peacocks? I've worked in show business since I was a chick, my beak to the grindstone, living talon to mouth, sharing aviaries with cuttlebone-heads like these hacks all of my life.
My manager has been in talks with a sheik in Abu Dhabi who knows how to treat his falcons with respect.
I wasn't hatched yesterday. Your silence gives me no choice. My attorney, Osborne Eagle, of Goldberg and Osborne, will be contacting you to discuss our demands:
One show a day and that's it. I want afternoons off so I can watch YouTube videos of kittens and Roadrunner cartoons.
Daily pedicures. I want claws so beautiful they'll need a talon scout. Talon scout! See that? That was humor. I want to write my own lines. No more "educational" scripts.
I want kangaroo rat appetizers with mourning dove sushi every morning, a private aviary stocked with tiercels and for my hummingbird assistant, champagne nectar. I want the act renamed "Peregrine Falcon: The Fastest Animal on Earth, and assorted Raptors."
I want fair compensation. Don't tell me money is the problem. A little bird told me prairie-dog town is staffed entirely by meerkats in fat suits. That can't be cheap.
It's simple. Talk to the pterodactyl with a law degree or I'm out of here faster than an angry bird on a slingshot.
Until this is resolved, tell the public anything you want. Tell them the show is "retiring for the summer." Tell them we're "molting."
Kiss my tail feathers.
Email Star cartoonist and columnist David Fitzsimmons at email@example.com