So I've decided the girls are put up now for the season . . . . let the moulting begin!
So we go into the season where there is not a whole lot to blog about . . . falconry wise. It was a good season, and I had a good time. I hope both girls moult cleanly . . . as any falconer would wish. Hit Girl showed some signs of damage to her feathers which I'm guessing may have stemmed from her time in the nest. If anyone noticed any of the pictures here, and thought poorly of me, she does have some tipped tail feathers, and is missing two primary wing feathers on her left wing. The tipped tail feathers have all tipped at EXACTLY the same spot on the tail, leading me to think that when they grew in, which they do all at the same time for juvenile hawks, there was a short period where she may either have been exposed to something stressful, or a lack in food, causing a weak point in the feathers. Being low on the tail, and late in the season, I didn't do anything about it. The wings were something else altogether. The two primaries shattered . . . and I do mean shattered, right up almost at the wing bone. There was nothing to imp to if I had even wanted to attempt to do so. Again, it happened late in the season, so I let it be as she seemed to still fly without any difficulty. Many times first-year birds don't moult those last two to three primaries. I hope she does! Sassy lost a deck feather shortly after she came to live with me. I never even found the missing feather. The replacement grew in while I was keeping her at hunting weight, so it has trace marks on it. I hope she will re-grow that one with all the others. So due to all the feather issues . . . the girls are being kept at a very healthy food level, combined with lots of sunshine. Hopefully a good recipe for quality feather replacement.
To finish up this post, I'll include a couple of short clips of the girls. Just because! Here is Sassy being her sassy self. It's a good thing the hawk shack isn't right next to the house!
Hit Girl enjoying the sunshine, with all the spring birds singing in the surrounding trees.