Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More youtube...Me in February? 近い将来の私?

I've resigned myself to the fact that I'll be doing at least an abbreviated apprenticeship. Since my current living situation is rather confined, a red-tail is out of the question. Therefore my choice of birds is limited to the kestrel. Even though Matt Mullenix's book has made many people reconsider the kestrel, and I've heard of them doing some amazing things in the hands of the right falconers, I'll be honest and say that I was a little disappointed to know that I'd be flying a kestrel instead of the merlin or sharpshin that I'd hoped for. My biggest concern was that carhawking (releasing the bird from the window of a moving car), a common practice with kestrels, just isn't appealing to me. I'd much rather be out in a field where the uncertainty of when the slip is going to happen is part of the fun (at least for me). And then I found this clip:


A kestrel from a T-perch? How cool is that! And since it's the same thing I was doing with my Harris hawk in Japan and what I'd hoped to do (minus the T-perch) with a merlin or sharpshin my enthusiasm for flying a kestrel is renewed! And just in case there's doubters out there who think that would work for sparrows, check out this next one!


Okay, so at the end of the clip she's eating a grasshopper...I swear that was a sparrow she caught in the slow motion section! Did you see how quick she was? WOW! I'm really looking forward to February now!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Industrial Hawking ウサギゲット!!

Saturday was a blast! What else can I say? Things started slow as we checked out some property on speculation. We had a good flight with the Harris hawks at the one jack that we got up but that's all we saw so we headed to another spot to give the Red-tails a try at some cottontails. Had a couple decent flights there but no success. By this point our leader was getting frustrated so he decided to take us to his honey hole...and as honey holes are apt to do, it produced!


Bunny #1

(Mario's female Red on her 2nd of the season)

Bunny #2

(Lucky's first bunny of the day)

Bunny #2 for Lucky

(Congrats to Lara on her first double!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The little things that can make your day... 小さいな出来事

Yesterday my wife and I headed out to CostCo to do some shopping. As we pulled onto one of the main roads something in the field to our right caught my eye. I caught the tail end of a merlin stooping and missing a sparrow, throwing up again and rolling into a second pass. Since the car was moving and it was a busy road I couldn't stop to watch how the chase proceeded but that sparrow looked to be in deep trouble the way that merlin was flying. Non-falconers (my wife included) don't understand how something like that can get a person so excited but I had a smile on my face the rest of the day! If I had been able to get my license this season I wanted to fly a merlin but the way things are shaping up it looks like I'll have to settle for rare moments like those, hawking with others, and of course...youtube videos!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Billy Bob ウサギゲット!

I had the opportunity to go hawking again last Saturday with Richard and Becky Brunoette (see my first post from Colorado...). We took their little male gos "Billy Bob" out to an industrial park to scare some bunnies and after a shaky start (Billy decided he liked the top of buildings better than Richard's fist) we got down to business. Billy caught this bunny as it ran out from under a hole in the sidewalk. I meant to take video but my camera was still on picture mode when I snapped the grab:


And then of course, the victory shot:
そして勝利の写真: :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pawnee Grasslands ウサギを追いかける

This past weekend the Colorado Hawking Club held a small meet at the Pawnee Grasslands in the Northeast corner of Colorado. There were about a dozen falconers there, lots of red-tails, a few Harris hawks, and a Praire falcon (that wasn't flown this time around). I had to choose between going out with a cast of Harris hawks to chase jacks or a couple of red-tails to chase cottontails...Tough choice!!! I ended up going with the Harris hawks just because I like to watch the jacks run. We ended up taking about 10 boyscouts who were up there help build nest platforms for Ferruginous Hawks but the service project ran into some trouble so we all went hawking instead. As you can see below, we had quite the line going to scare up jacks!

先週の金,土, コロラド鷹狩倶楽部が狩の大会を開きました。鷹匠12人が集まりました。レードテールが3,4羽,ハリス3羽,プレリー隼とスウィンソンが一羽ずつ。ハリスを観るかレードテールを観るか迷っていて,結局朝からハリス昼からレードテールという形で出かけました。朝から人数が見えるように多かった!

There were PLENTY of jacks, both black and white tailed and we had a few decent flights (one where fur was pulled) but being early in the season and having that sort of crowd out threw the birds off and about 45 minutes into it we could tell that the birds were done. We headed back to camp for lunch.


After driving for hours around the grasslands looking for a spot that wasn't being used by shooters, we ended up at a spot back near camp. We got up a cottontail almost instantly...so fast even that the bird wasn't looking! A light rain began falling but we pushed ahead hoping to scare up another bunny. The bird was following along well and in perfect position, even came crashing out of the tree onto something at one point, but just as we were getting to the spot where our "guide" said the bunnies would be thick the falconer whose red-tail we were flying slipped on a wet log twisting the knee that he'd had reconstructive surgery on only two weeks before! Yikes. That ended the day pretty quickly as we collected his bird for him and worked to get him back to camp in one piece. So no bunny in the bag for us but the meet wasn't a total bust, another falconers red-tail took a cottontail in what was described as a nice flight. I headed home shortly after as the heavens opened and the rain really began to pour. There's another meet at the beginning of November. Hopefully we'll get to see some more action then!


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Rocky Mtn. National Park ロッキー山脈国立公園

It's not falconry but my wife and I headed up to Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday and WOW! It was so beautiful I just had to share some of the highlights. God bless America!