Mostly a falconry journal, occasionally thoughts on other things...
Monday, September 21, 2009
We're doing well. At 78g he still doesn't have "instant" response but we're getting close. (But we haven't gotten outside yet either...) He did come to the glove without a tidbit yesterday so that's a good sign.
I gave him a couple of baggie sparrows over the weekend and it's clear that sparrows are a new thing for him. I think he was a bug bird before I got him (his first casting was grasshopper parts...). I almost had to set him on top of the first baggie. He killed it quickly though and then spent the next hour plucking it! If I hadn't broken into it for him he may still be there today! The second baggie he was a little more enthusiastic about but the sparrow managed to evade him twice before he finally got a foot on it. Again, he killed it quickly and then plucked, and plucked, and plucked. He got the entire sparrow both times though so hopefully he'll have connected a good meal to killing his own food. There were a couple of really positive things though: he didn't try and go anywhere with the sparrow despite my two year old running around and even jumping on my back while I was laying next to the bird. (Dulcinea tried to hide everytime she caught a sparrow.) and when he finished the sparrow he jumped to my fist for a final tidbit both times. So that's encouraging. I think it will take some work to get him on starlings.
His one vice is screaming. He yells at me almost constantly when I get close and sometimes food won't even muffle the noise. *KYAK KYAK KYAK kyhmp kyhmp hymp (as the food goes down) and then back to KYAK KYAK KYAK* It's quite annoying. I wonder if he's just a really young bird? I know imprint kestrels scream all the time, and luckily Hayduke is quiet if I keep my distance, but he can really get loud. I almost have to go outside if I want to work with him when the kids are going to sleep. Hopefully once he's in the groove and hunting his own food he'll lay off on the siren. Loud, repeatative noises are one of my worst pet peeves!
"The reward that comes from practicing falconry is, and has to be, a feeling of your own personal satisfaction; that, and that alone. Chances are no one else will be around when your hawk is at her best. Falconry is a tedious, time consuming effort with long periods of stress and anxiety punctuated by heartbeats of gut-wrenching visceral satisfaction so intense that is impossible to put into words."
--The California Hawking Club Apprenticeship Manual