Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I suppose I got a little excited after last weekend. I'll even quote myself as saying (in my last post two days ago nonetheless!!):
...the importance of weight control with kestrels. At 97.7 she was still buzzing the glove and took 20-30 minutes to get down. At 97.1 she's all business.
This morning the storm broke. It wasn't raining and since I'd been kept up most of the night by my poor, sick two year old, when the alarm went off at 5:15 I was ready to get up anyway. I got the bird's food out, gathered my hawking bag, and weighed the bird. Full disclosure: When I put her to bed last night I suspected I'd given her too much. I was right. At 99.7 she was a full 2 grams higher than the weight I posted about above. Again:
At 97.7 she was still buzzing the glove and took 20-30 minutes to get down.
So what do I do? Yup, go hunting. *Sigh* Now for those of you fearful to read on, expecting some tragedy, rest at ease. The bird is safe in her mews at home. And honestly, what happened wasn't even that nerve wracking. It was just what you'd expect from an overweight bird.

I found some sparrows in between some shops at a local shopping center. The bird bobs her head at them but it was more of a cursory glance than any real interest. Nevertheless, I decide to try the dart method with the silly thought, "Well, maybe if she's already inbound she'll decide to chase." A starling lands next to the sparrow and I approach with the bird tucked in my hand...Perfect! I look down at the kestrel to gauge her interest. She's looking up at me with a quizzical look like, "What are we doing now?" I toss and...she shoots over the top of both sparrow and starling and flies up to the top of the building.

What did I expect?!? For the next 15-20 minutes she made lazy passes at my glove but eventually came down. This time I was smart enough to clip her in and head home. I'll be more accurate with her weight tomorrow...OR I WON'T GO OUT!!

And then, as I opened the car door to get in and leave, as if the universe was mocking me, an adult starling with three juveniles in tow landed not more than 15 feet from me and began fighting over a piece of bread.

1 comment:

Mom N said...

Sorry Eli's sick, darn it--but equally glad you reassured us in the second paragraph that the bird was well at home. This is actually a pretty amusing story. Thanks for sharing. Get that bird's weight down!