I am a woman falconer, enjoying the Great Outdoors with a hawk on my fist.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Today the weather was more of what we expect for this time of year, rather than the "warmish" fall we have enjoyed thus far. It got maybe all of a high temp of 28, or maybe 30, with a bit of wind. There is some snow, a little, in a few places. I had agreed to go out hawking with Justin, and that is exactly what we did. Being a cold day, and having Justin along, I decided to try out my "B Team", that is, Sassy flying with Wyvern (I'm referring to Sassy and Flint as "A Team" mostly because they flew together first). I have not flown Wyvern with another hawk yet. Today would be the day.
But first we flew Justin's red tail at a field neither of us have hit this year. There were a few bunnies flushed for her, but she was rather distracted by all the mice or voles in the field. Also, the resident pair of wild red tails were soaring and calling and generally making her perhaps a little more wary and less focused on hunting.
After switching fields, I flew my two girls together. Almost immediately out into the field, Sassy nailed our only bunny we would bring to the bag. The good thing was that she let Wyvern join her, and didn't fuss or crab with the young hawk. Also, we would go on to continue to work the field and flush several more bunnies. Wyvern began to follow better up in the trees, and she made several stoops and attempts at the bunnies we did kick up. I think with more practice, she will catch her first bunny of her own. However, today I think she got a very good lesson from Sassy, who played the role of "Make Hawk" very nicely.
After deciding the Harris Hawk team had flown enough, we put them away and got out Justin's goshawk. She chased a couple bunnies in the field we were in, furred one, and then we relocated to another place, where she chased a few more, but didn't seal the deal today.
Overall, a very good day hawking!
I'm planning next Tuesday to fly all three Harris Hawks in my most favorite squirrel location. Let's see if Sassy can teach those two to chase tree rats. If Sassy and Wyvern begin to do really well together, I might have to rename them "A Team". Both of the females are catching things. Sure, so far Wyvern is catching mice (she caught one today), but soon I hope she'll get a bunny. Flint hasn't caught anything yet! It's time for him to step up his game. Maybe some girl competition in the field will be the ticket.
Falconry! Or more appropriately for me, Hawking! It is a passion, and a way of life. I happily pursue this sport, with the loving assistance of my husband. Come along with me for our adventures with the birds. Primarily we actively pursue it in the colder months . . . the rest of the time I try to make this blog as interesting as possible. Come let me share my stories, and feel free to contact me. I always enjoy talking about my obsession with this sport.