Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The New Girl

I had high hopes that setting up a bow netting blind this year would allow me to trap multiple birds to choose from as they passed through on migration, but the migration has been slow this year.  Sometimes, the flow gets going late due to warm weather, and also sometimes the birds just don't pass through our area in high numbers.  After limited success at my bow netting site, and some road trapping, I found her!

Appropriately, she was hanging out on a T-post nearby this company.  I was able to lay out my trap on a grassy patch out beside the building, and with minimal observation from those passing by, I convinced her to try for my rats.

She is a VERY BIG GIRL, as far as red tailed hawks go.  I have seen bigger, but not often.  That weight is 49.7 ounces, or 3 lbs, 1 and almost 2 ounces.  That is firmly in the female red tailed hawk range.  She is very well fleshed, so I will be doing some work to shave some of that off as I train her.  My former sponsor, Dave, believes that some of the largest red tails can be had in our area, as we are right on the edge of their winter range.  Many territorial red tails stay on their territory in our southern Minnesota and Central Wisconsin.  As long as there is enough food, they will stay.  However, a large number of birds up in Canada have to leave due to there not being enough food to sustain them through the winter.  This allows us the opportunity to trap pretty big birds.

I actually think I might have trapped her in her natal territory, as there were two other adult hawks very near the area, visible to me, and to her, and they were not concerned about her at all, which leads me to think she might by their offspring.

She has some pretty respectable meat hooks on her.  She has pinched me a few times through the glove.  She should be quite capable of taking on squirrels.

I have not named her yet.  As I spend more time with her I'm sure I'll come up with some ideas.

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