Hoosier History Live banner

Hoosier History Live is an independently produced new media project about Indiana history, integrating podcasts, website www.HoosierHistoryLive.org, weekly enewsletter, and social media. Its original content comes initially from a live with call in weekly talk radio show hosted by author and historian Nelson Price. You can hear the show live Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm or stream the show live at the WICR HD1 app on your phone, or at our website.

June 01, 2024

Birds of prey in Indiana: encore

Birds of Prey Banner

Probably the best way to swoop in and do a show that explores birds of prey in Indiana is to invite, as a guest, a wildlife expert who travels across the state accompanied by an assortment of live birds for educational purposes. Mark Booth, the director of Indianapolis-based Take Flight! Wildlife Education, is Nelson's guest on this encore of a show originally broadcast in 2022 to share insights about various species of birds of prey. And to dispel misconceptions about them.

Hawks, falcons, owls and vultures will be among the birds that we spotlight during our show with Mark, who does outreach programs at schools, museums, clubs and nature centers. He frequently makes appearances, along with some of his birds of prey, at the Indiana State Fair.

"Are they in a bad mood?" Mark asked his audience during a recent presentation, referring to the glaring stare that's often associated with hawks. As Mark spoke, he was accompanied by a red-tailed hawk, which did seem to be, well, glaring. "No, it's not a bad mood. Hawks find food by their eyesight. They look like that (glare) to keep the sun out of their eyes."

A master falconer, Mark was a senior zookeeper and the head bird trainer for more than 10 years at the Indianapolis Zoo. For several additional years, he was contracted to handle the zoo's bird of prey shows.

During our show, he will share tips about how to ID backyard raptors and, as he puts it, their "importance to suburban ecosystems". Mark also will share insights about the reintroductions of the bald eagle and the Peregrine falcon to Indiana, including how and why that has been done.

He also will discuss the differences between hawks and falcons. During a recent presentation, Mark explained that the differences primarily involve their coloring and the shape of their wings, not their size. He also noted that hawks primarily eat ground animals including squirrels, mice, rabbits and snakes. In contrast, falcons typically dine on other birds.

Mark also will share insights about owls, including the Barred owl, a species found across Indiana. Known for their spectacular hearing and wide, flat face, Barred owls are primarily nocturnal and fond of mice. Many popular Indiana ghost stories involve a barn owl, Mark notes.

An avid outdoorsman with a distinctive, white beard, Mark says he has been teaching Hoosiers about nature and wildlife since his first job as a teenage instructor at a Cub Scout camp in Marion County.

This won't be Hoosier History Live's first foray into the state's natural heritage regarding birds. Three years ago, we explored a range of topics, including an illness that was affecting songbirds like robins, cardinals and blue jays, in a show with Don Gorney, former director of bird conservation and education for Amos Butler Audubon.

Don also was among the guests on a show in 2014 that explored the extinct passenger pigeon, which was abundant in Indiana during the 19th century. The last passenger pigeon in the wild anywhere was killed in Indiana in 1902.


Donate button.

Your contributions help keep Hoosier History Live on the air, on the web, in your inbox, and in our ARCHIVES!


Roadtrip: Johnny Appleseed's Grave in Fort Wayne (encore)

Guest Roadtripper Hank Finken calls himself "a national theater company of one" and portrays a number of historical figures. One of his most sought-after roles is that of folk hero Johnny Appleseed, aka John Chapman, who lived from 1774 to 1845. Johnny Appleseed was an American pioneer nurseryman born in the East who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Ontario where there had been none before. Nelson will ask Johnny about the end of his life in Indiana.

Nelson will then ask performer Hank Fincken to talk about Johnny's final resting place in Johnny Appleseed Park in Fort Wayne, and any persistent myths of Appleseed lore. Did Johnny really wear a cooking pan as a hat? Did you know it took years to settle Johnny’s estate?

The annual Johnny Appleseed Festival in Fort Wayne takes place the third full weekend of September. Enjoy! 


Trivia prizes sought

Our "History Mystery" on air contest continues to be very popular!  If you are an organization or business that would like to contribute tickets or admissions, please contact our host Nelson at nelson@hoosierhistorylive.org.

Prizes must fit in a standard business envelope. Hoosier History Live prefers to "snail mail" prizes to our trivia winners. And If prizes are time sensitive, they need to be offered well in advance of the event so that we can get them out in time.

We'd like to thank the following recent individual contributors who make the Hoosier History Live media project possible. For a full list of contributors over the years, visit Support the Show on our website.

  • Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
  • Anonymous
  • Marion Wolen, honoring Richard Sullivan
  • Margaret Smith
  • Charlotte Ottinger
  • Bruce and Julie Buchanan  
  • Sandra Hurt
  • Chuck and Karen Bragg
  • Ken and Luan Marshall
  • Tom Swenson
  • Mike Freeland and Sharon Butsch Freeland
  • Dr. William McNiece

Molly Head, executive producer (317) 506-7164 
Nelson Price, host and historian
Corene Nickel, web designer and tech manager

Richard Sullivan and Ryan DeRome, tech consultants
Pam Fraizer, graphic designer

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support!

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page. Acknowledgements to WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Monomedia, Henri Pensis, Caden Colford, Jace Hodge, Jake Helton, Austin Cook, and many other individuals and organizations. We are independently produced and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorship and through individual contribution, either online at our yellow button on our newsletter or website, or by U.S. mail. For organizational sponsorship, which includes logos, links, and voiced credits in our podcasts and in our show, please contact Molly Head at (317) 506-7164 or email her at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org.

Donate button.

Your contributions help keep Hoosier History Live on the air, on the web, in your inbox, and in our ARCHIVES!

© 2024 Hoosier History Live. All rights reserved.

Share this email
Manage your preferences | Opt out using TrueRemove®
Got this as a forward? Sign up to receive our future emails.
View this email online.
This email was sent to [% member:email %].
Continue receiving our emails, add us to your address book.