Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trapping Season

It's been a rather unusual trapping season this year.  I don't know about other areas of the Upper Midwest, or the rest of the US for that matter, but here in Southeastern Minnesota, passage birds have been few and far between.  I've gone out trapping several times with Greg, with no luck, and he's been out several times by himself (well, his kids usually come along), with the same fate.  We've put some serious mileage on our vehicles stalking non-existent hawks.  A small hand-ful of hawks have been caught, but all were small males, so released.  Checking in with my friend Dave, who has a trapping station over the Mississippi River on the Wisconsin side, the flow of passage Red Tails have been slow as well, especially compared to the numbers observed moving through last year.  Finally, this last weekend, west of Rochester on a back road an average sized red tail hawk, despite her full crop, came to the trap double-time.  She weighed in at 41 ounces, an average female.
I went over to Greg's house to show him how to put her Federal ID band onto her leg.  Now the fun starts . . . training.
 She has already settled down and sits calmly on the fist, and regains the fist after a bate.

Smile Greg!
But first . . . take the pencil outta your hat!
There ya go!  A couple of his kids join him in the picture.  They both helped in the search as they have good eyes to spot the birds.  Unlike us 'Old Fogies'.
He has decided to call her 'Desperation'.  I look forward to seeing their progress!

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