Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Meet Goldie

Meet "Goldie" (or maybe that is "Goldy").  This is Justin's new bird, and I guess could be called my "step-bird" or "god-child bird" or something silly like that.  She was trapped under my license, then immediately transferred as a gift to Justin, due to the loss of Annabelle.  She retains, or better shows off the golden breast feathers which some of the Eastern red tailed hawk juveniles show, but which I have not noticed that prominently in all the birds I have worked with.  Justin was going to adopt the practice of naming his birds alphabetically, starting with A on the first bird, then B for this one, but he got out-voted by his wife and kids, so his new bird is being called "Goldie".  I guess I need to check with his wife to find out how she is spelling it.
I went over today to visit, and see how she is doing, and also to help Justin install a backpack.  This is a relatively newer form of attaching a transmitter to a bird, one of the more difficult installations, but placing the transmitter on the best possible location.  The bird wears a close fitting harness which gets tucked under their feathers and lays comfortably across their breast.  The transmitter is attached to a smooth plate on their back.  It is out of the way of their feet, is not at any risk of breaking any major feathers (another attachment location is a deck feather on the tail, which can result in the tail feather being yanked out) and puts the transmitter on the highest location on the bird for best signal pickup when tracking.  I've watched the installation video by Marshall, and then saw two installed on my Harris Hawk and one of Dave's birds last week.  It went fairly smoothly, and his bird took the whole process well with minimal fuss.  She is ready, transmitter wise, now for her first flight . . . though she is not ready to fly free.  She is coming to the fist outside, but needs further weight reduction for better response.
You can see the transmitter in this photo above.  There is an antenna which comes out below.  She's not too happy about it right now, and 'jazzing' with it, but should settle down after worrying it a bit, and accept its presence.
Here is Justin working with his new bird.  I'm glad I was able to help get him back into his first season.  He is eager to get his bird trained and get out hunting.

No comments:

Post a Comment