When Nancy Cowan greets her famous falcon named Banner, she offers a bow and utters a little “chup” as a hello, the Concord Monitor in New Hampshire reports.
Banner went through a landmark cataract surgery in 2014, but afterwards one of the implanted lenses in her eye curled up, so she still had poor eyesight.
If Banner had been a human going through cataract surgery, she would have had a follow-up procedure using lasers to clear up any scar tissue. Cowan found a doctor who was willing to do the procedure, but then had to plead with the New Hampshire Board of Medicine to allow a human procedure to be performed on an animal. The board finally agreed.
Now Banner sees her owner as her mate.
“She sees me as her boyfriend, husband, whatever,” says Cowan, who runs the New Hampshire School of Falconry with her husband, Jim, in Deering, N.H.