Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I've never seen this goshawk fly and I've never met the falconer that flies her but I get to read her adventures on a couple of email lists I'm a member of and all I can say is WOW!! In this particular instance all that game was taken by that hawk in about 5 hours. What makes it even more amazing is that last year she had West Nile and lost vision in one eye. I don't know about anyone else but I'd take this one-eyed gos over a whole lot of two eyed birds! Earlier this year this bird took its 1000th head of game for her falconer in her 5th season with him. This is the level of falconry I hope to achieve one day! Thanks for the inspiration!


Sunday, January 20, 2008

One of those days. よくない狩り

I can't say it was a horrible day, but it certainly wasn't a good day. The birds just seemed off a bit. The red-tail went first and for the first few slips just didn't put forth much effort.


Fortunately we finally did connect. The bird had flown up to a light post overlooking a parking lot and her falconer was poking around in some low brush around the entrance to a building. I didn't think there would be anything in such sparse cover so I didn't have the camera ready for video but suddenly a bunny popped out of nowhere and ran almost straight toward the light pole the bird was on. Sheila (the bird) took a short hop off the pole, pumped once, and power stooped into the fleeing bunny hitting it right on the edge of a snow bank covered in ice. The angle was just such that the snow bank acted like a skateboard ramp and both bird and bunny shot a few feet up in the air! When they landed Sheila had firm control.


We tried one or two more slips but the bird just wasn't up to it so she got put up while we got the Sisters (two female Harris Hawks) out. It was really cold, and that might have had something to do with it, but we weren't finding many rabbits either. The ones we did catch were nothing to write home (or blog) about. The missed flights were better then the catches but even then they weren't all that exciting.


Once the girls were done we got out one more red-tail that flew in a way I've never seen a red-tail fly before. We walked out into a field, the hood came off and she went up just like a falcon! Not nearly as high as a falcon mind you, but she wasn't going to be flown off the fist. She was only about 50 feet up when this bunny got up. Interesting flight but not stellar.


And that pretty much summed up the day. Like I said, not a horrible day but I've seen better. But what's that saying? The worst day hawking (which this wasn't) is better than the best day at work? Looking forward to the next time out.