Friday, September 23, 2016

Hawk "Haus"

Over the past year Richard has been building me a new hawk mews, specifically designed to house the Harris Hawks.  I wanted a mew that had divided chambers, but which are right next to each other, which would safely allow the birds to get acquainted with each other.  The goal is to try and get Wyvern and Flint flying in a cast together.  The divider between the two chambers can be removed to form a super chamber for either Harris Hawk co-habitation, or for a red tail, which I plan to trap for this year.  For now, the Harris Hawks will share this mew, but will have to go back to their old chambers when it gets cold, as I do not yet have electricity to this building for heat.  That will be next year's project.  There is also no lights, so we are on daylight time now.

Over this last week he has mostly finished it, and I did my part to get the chambers ready for use. There is still some work to be done to the entry area, some shelves to be added where I can put my hawk scale, and store a few items.  Most of my equipment will continue to stay in the other mews, which we call the "Hawk Shack".  That was made by Richard some time ago, converted from a job shack trailer.  It has a lot more storage space, and I'm also keeping the feeder rats in there right now.  I am calling the new mew the Hawk "Haus", as it is a bit more upscale from the facilities I've been using.

Today, after getting the new rug cut, cleaning up the water bowls and getting the plastic hung up that catches most of the mutes, I let the hawks into their new chambers.  Last night, in preparation for their release, I caught them both up and put new leather on them.

I am trying out this year some rolled anklets.  In years past, I've used a removable anklet that I could zip tie a bell to.  However, sometimes the bird will get their halux caught in this design of anklet. Because there is no place to attach a bell to this design of anklet, I had to make bewits for the bells.

You can see Wyvern's healed up foot.  She lost the tip of her right foot to a squirrel bite / frost bite this last year.  Both birds have very sharp talons, and are ready for the new hunting season.  Although, I'm not quite ready to pull them from their chamber, as they still have some major feathers that need to finish growing out.  However, they are getting about another two weeks, and then ready or not, we need to get out of the chamber and start some re-manning (they have not been handled all summer so are quite wild) and training.

Flint perched on his high perch, apparently comfortable, as he has his foot tucked up.

Wyvern getting comfortable in her new chamber, with a bulging crop from the meal I just gave each of them.
Here is a quick video I took after release and their having ate.  I hope they like their new mew.

Since finishing this post, Rich has completed the ante-chamber, or "air lock". Here is a picture.  It's a really nice mews, and I'm so fortunate to have such a great husband who is willing to build things for me.

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