Sunday, October 05, 2008


October 4th:
First set of the day was on a bird of unidentifiable sex, just saw it was a kestrel and tossed the trap. I pull into a dirt turn around to watch and after a couple minutes the bird makes a pass at the trap. It doesn't hit the trap though and the flare up showed me clearly that it was a male. "Meh," I think, "It's early, the bird is interested anyway, I'll let it sit for a few more minutes." I keep the binocs trained on the male as it does a few more passes and then suddenly a truck driving by slams on it's breaks and backs up right next to my trap. The male is out of there and the lady in the truck gets out of her truck. I rush over there and to my surprise, there's a female kestrel stuck on the trap! What the...?! I have no idea when it got there, I'd been there about ten minutes but I guess while I was watching the male the female snuck in! Hey, I'll take what I can get!

Hijimete mita amechyo wa osu ka mesu ka mirenakutte toriaezu wana wo dashimashita. Mamonaku amechyo wa wana ni kogeki suru kedo ataranakatta. Tonde kara sugu osu to wakatta kedo kyoumi ga atta kara wana wo sono manna ni shyo to omotte machimashita. Sore kara nankai ka wana ni mukatta kedo naze ka ataranakutte komarimashita. Kyu ni kuruma ga wana no tonari ni tomatte jyosei ga demashita. Osu ga nigette, "Ma, shyo ga nai ka?" to omotte wana made hashirimashita. Nan to iu odoroki ni mesu ga kakatte imashita! Doko kara kita ka, itsu tsukamatta ka wakaranai kedo YOKATTA!

Now kestrel age is difficult to determine but from everything I've read for females the story is in the tail. If the last bar on the tail is more than twice the width of the other bands on the tail it's more than likely older than one year. Judging by this birds tail I determined pretty quickly that the bird is a hag (2nd year or older bird).

Shikashi, ichinenme no amechyo ga hoshikutte shippo wo mittara kono amechyo wa chotto toshi wo totte iru no ga wakatta. Ichinenme no mesu nara shippo no saigo no shima wa hoka no shima to onaji gurai no okisa. Kono amechyo no shippo no saigo on shima wa futoi:

Anyway, since it's the only female I've caught all season I figured she could at least keep me company while I look for a passage (first year) bird. I pop the hood on and she goes absolutely comatose. She wasn't moving a muscle so I laid her on the seat next to me and kept trapping.

Toriaezu mesu dakara hoka no amechyo wo minakereba kore ni suru to omotte hood wo tsukemashita. Mo shinda furi ni natta! Tonari ni oitte trapping wo tsuzukemashita.

Not more than 20 minutes later I see a bird sitting on top of a pole. Out goes the trap and before I can even turn around the bird is on the trap. As I get out the bird's tail is highlighted by the early morning sun and by golly if it doesn't fit the description of a passage bird exactly; Last band on the tail being the same width as the rest of the bands.

20pun mo tatte nai uchi ni hoka no amechyo wo mite wana wo dashimashita. Sugu wana ni mukatte tsukamarimashita. Shippo wo mitara yatto ichinenme no mesu da! Oyorokobi!!!

Having the first bird right there to compare helped a bunch too. Wahoo! I popped the hood off the first bird, thanked her for her time and off she went.

Saisho no amechyo to kurabetara zettai ichinenme dakara sugu ni saisho no tori kara hood wo totte hanashimashita.

I expected the same comatose state when I popped the hood on the passage bird but boy was I wrong!! She fought the whole way home, wriggled out of the sock I put her in, despite the tape job, and threw the hood. I had to drive with one hand wrapped around her and the other on the steering wheel! She's got attitude, that's for sure!

Hood wo tsukettara onaji youni shinda youni narunjyanai ka to omotta kedo CHIGATTA! Zutto abaretta! Kaeri wa taihen deshita! Koitsu wa yanchan kamo!

But we made it home safe, and she weighed in at a petite 114.5g with the jesses on. She got a good deal of manning over the weekend with my 20 month old running around and she ate about 8 grams of sparrow from my finger tips the first evening. There were times where it seemed like she was actually taking the tidbits from my fingers and others where it seemed like the tidbit just happened to fall in to her open mouth...but it's a start anyway.

Buji ni kaette kara jess wo tsukette hajimete no taijyu wo hakarimashita. 114.5 gram deshita. Mesu ni shite mo chiisai! Sugu ni kunren wo hajimemashita. Saisho no yoru ni suzume no 8 gram gurai wo yubi kara tabemashita. Naka naka ii kanji desu!

I'm over the top excited about getting a passage bird and finally getting my season started. Ladies and gentleman I present to you my starling killer for the season, Dulcinea:

Yatto kotoshi no takagari ga dekiru youni narimashita. Namae wa Dulcinea desu: "Yoroshiku!"


Nichols Family said...

Where did you get Dulcinea from???

Mom N said...

WAHOOOOOOOO!! She's beautiful! That picture is so great--a flirt as well as a fighter! What more can you ask for?

Once again: WAHOO!!!


Jess, Dust, and Wyatt said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a pretty bird!

Does the name Dulcinea have a meaning or story behind it??

Matt Mullenix said...

Sorry for the delay. I made the hook up the night I mentioned it and it has been sitting on my desk since then. Will mail tomorrow.


Isaac Nichols アイザック ニコルス said...

No problem Matt, thanks for taking the time!

Matt Mullenix said...

It's in the mail... I hope it works out for you. Feel free to experiment, but a system like this is what I found to be best after several years of tethering kestrels.


Isaac Nichols アイザック ニコルス said...

Thanks again!