Saturday, December 21, 2019

Sumi . . . ??

What in the world is going on with Sumi?

Well, she molted out to be a Western morph red tail.  In other words, Buteo jamaicensis Calurus.

However, she did take her sweet time finishing up the molt, and in fact failed to drop her first three to four primaries on each wing.  She would also, very recently, decide to yank out one of her deck feathers that I had attached a transmitter connector to.

I have also been a bit slow myself getting her on the wing.  We have a lot of weight to drop.  I am making progress now, and hopefully will find out whether or not she will be a falconry bird.  Last year we ran out of time to discover the answer.

She's a beautiful girl!  Here is a close-up that I played with a little in photo edit for fun.

Nova - Almost There!

Nova is making good progress.  Very soon we will be able to call her a Falconry Bird.  The picture above was on her first free flight hunt.  She got to see a few bunnies kicked out for her, and did catch a meadow vole, which was quickly put into her crop.

When she was flown at my "Honey Hole" ee must have kicked out 10 or 12 bunnies for her.  She got many good chases, but still has not sealed the deal.

On another day, no picture taken, we took her flying in a park that is well known for squirrels.  She showed that she will chase those tree rats, but we did not have many volunteers that day willing to come out to play.  Anna flew her with her dad over the last weekend at a golf course where she did get the chance to see a pheasant.

On the Winter Solstice she did finally put her foot on a bunny, but had grabbed it in some thick brush, and before Anna made it to her the bunny ripped free from her grasp around some branches and escaped.

Very very soon this team will pull it all together!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Some Action with Wyvern, and soon Nova too!

First tiny bunny for Wyvern this winter.  Oh, and on this day she would go on to lose her transmitter in that thick brush, and Rich and I would go back later in the dark and find it.

Bunny #2 for Wyvern when out with Anna.

Bunny #3 with Rich at one of our favorite farm yards.

Nova is doing long creance flights and will be flying free soon.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

New Apprentice - New Bird

Some time in September, I think it was, I was contacted by our Falconry Coordinator for the State of Minnesota inquiring if I might be interested in taking over the apprenticeship of a young lady in Rochester.  Her name is Anna (last name withheld by design).  She has already passed all the initial hurdles to get into falconry, having been a Junior Apprentice with her father, and having previously had a bird.  Through circumstances which I will not document here, she was needing a new sponsor. I met up with her and was impressed with her drive and commitment to the sport.  I agreed to take her on.  We then spent a good number of days in September and October looking for a bird for her.  It was a long hunt, and few birds were spotted in the Rochester area, but finally, on October 10 we found this girl outside of Austin, Minnesota.  She came to the trap very quickly and was taken home triumphantly.  She weighed in at 1325 grams, a solid female.

Anna has named her Nova

Progress has been a little slow, but finally this girl is starting to understand what is being asked of her.  Last night I had Anna calling her across the garage.  Soon, she will be tested outside for longer creance flight.

Falconry Education Talk (in 5 parts)

In October I was asked to give an education talk about Falconry to one of the local small schools during their camping week.  I was joined by Foxfeather and my new apprentice Anna.  The kids asked great questions . . . and my hawking posse friends did great too sharing their own birds with the group.