My Latest Endeavor...

wellington

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Had to look up the Kestrel, never heard of them. Very pretty and small. Will be quite a difference from your bigger ones.
Do you think it's safe to assume that all birds, song birds, the ones many see at their bird feeders are as unhealthy and short lived as the Raptors or is it due more to what the Raptors diet is that makes them filled with parasite and disease? If diet of the Raptors seems to be the bigger cause, then is it likely their food sources also perishing at very young age or that the birds are just more susceptible?
When I was a kind in Michigan, we never seen hawks, falcons, eagles, egrets, etc. even many song birds. The DDT they sprayed for mosquitoes killed them. It's been many years since they stopped using the DDT but its taken years for the wildlife to return and flourish. It's been about 20 or so years now that we have been able to see more and more of them. It's a norm now to see them every day but still so exciting.
It is very sad they are so short lived.
 

maggie3fan

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The other birds were all wild caught passage red tail hawks. They were raised by their parents in the wild and learned to fend for themselves for months before I trapped them for falconry. This being the case, they already know their area, and have all the necessary survival skills to make it out there. They wouldn't have survived to the fall trapping season if they were unfit or unlucky in any way. "Passage" meaning they hatch in the same spring of the year we trap them. Meaning Minerva hatched spring of 2016, and I trapped her in Fall of 2016. After their first year, they molt into the adult plumage with the red tail and tan breast, and these are called "haggard" birds in falconry terms. We only trap passage birds, never hags. The only time someone would be doing falconry with a haggard redtail would be if they had trapped it as a passage and kept it for more than one hunting season, like I did with Minerva.

This experience of doing an apprenticeship and being licensed to catch and train wild juvenile raptors is pretty unique to America, and we are so much the better for it. Its not allowed in most other countries. It benefits both the individual bird AND the species over the long term in more ways than can be counted. We are allowed to keep them if we want to, but most people prefer the experience of rescuing and working with new birds on a regular basis. Most of the wild redtails that are trapped for falconry would have died if left alone out in the wild, so it truly is a rescue situation. According to my avian vet, Minerva would have died from the coccidia that she was carrying had I not trapped her and brought into captivity. She also had three types of ecto parasites and two types of endo parasites. My first bird, Toothless, DID die from the Aspergillosis that he had contracted from living wild. There was nothing we could do to save him. The little male, "Chicken", that I trapped before Tacoma died from eating a poisoned rodent. If I had just trapped him a day or two earlier, he'd still be alive, living wild again, and free of parasites and disease.

By contrast, Rick and Morty are captive bred birds. Their parents were raised and trained by a master falconer that lives two hours to the south of me. He hunted with mom and dad every year and then put them up for the molt and breeding. Rick and Morty and their two brothers hatched in spring of 2019, and were "chamber raised" by their parents in a large flight cage for the first four months before I drove down to pick them up. They had never hunted or learned the ways of the wild, and so they can never be released to the wild. I taught them everything that their parents and the elements of the wild would have taught them. I will keep them forever, or if something changes, I must transfer them to another licensed falconer. I don't plan on them dying and I don't plan on transferring them. Hopefully, we will have many happy years of hunting together.
Tom...I am really enjoying reading about your road with the birds...It is damned interesting to me and others. I actually am learning from you about raptors and I seriously hope you will keep updating this thread for us...
 

Sue Ann

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Its taken a long time to jump through all the government hoops and other obstacles, but I am finally realizing my dream of becoming a licensed Falconer. I'm only just beginning my journey, after 20 years of dabbling, but here I go...

I will post lots of pics and keep this thread ongoing, and I invite all discussion about keeping wild animals, hunting, and of course the awesomeness of raptors in general. I find that many people (myself included) are ignorant of what is really going on, and how beneficial to the species falconry is. For example, the Peregrine Falcon was saved from extinction by falconers and falconry, in spite of the dismal failure on the part of government programs to save it. Falconry is VERY different than pet keeping, and it has great benefit for the birds involved who hatch wild and are eventually returned to the wild healthier and better skilled at hunting.

I am now a licensed Apprentice Falconer. I will spend a minimum of two full years as an apprentice working closely under the direct supervision of my sponsor who is a Master Falconer and has been for 10 years. After 2 years, if all goes well, and my sponsor is willing to sign off on my abilities, I will become a General Falconer and be allowed to "fly solo" so to speak.

Enough with the boring words: Here is "Toothless" at our first formal meeting.
View attachment 163624
I almost named him "Phoenix" after I saw this picture. Its kind of a big deal to not stare them in the face at close range at first, so I did not know he was looking at me like that. I'm sure if he could have shot fire from his mouth at me, he would have. My sponsor is not 100% sure if this one is male or female. You can usually tell by the weight. This is either a big boy or a small girl as the weight is right in the middle. We will get some behavioral clues as time passes, but we are leaning male at this point. Toothless is a "passage" (meaning this years baby, or worded another way, he hatched this last spring) red-tailed hawk. Buteo jamaicensis.


Here he is on the drive home:
View attachment 163626
The hood blocks all the visual stimulation and keeps them a lot calmer and safer during this stressful time. Understand that this 9 month old bird was flying wild minutes before this picture and has never had any previous human contact.

Here he is on his weathering perch on day one, while I prepared the scale for his first weighing and got his mew (hawk house) all ready for him.
View attachment 163628


Here we are on day 2 when the old finally came off. This is what I was greeted with.
View attachment 163629


We are now on day 5. He began taking food from me on day 2 and I "man" him (handle him on my glove) for several hours a day as part of the desensitization process. I weigh him at least once a day and I am even more fascinated that I imagined I would be. My sponsor assures me he will be free flying and hunting with me in a month or so.

Lots more pics to come. Please ask any questions you might have about falconry or raptors in general. I'm no expert yet, but I know a few things, and I know lots of guys that can answer any questions I don't know the answers to.
Are they always head covered and kept in dark? When they are in their falcon environment?
 

Tom

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Are they always head covered and kept in dark? When they are in their falcon environment?
This is an excellent question Sue Ann. The answer is kind of long and convoluted...

Each species is different. Each individual within a species is different. Each falconer is different. Each situation is different. With all of these variables, and more, in play, I'm sure can can imagine that the answer will vary a lot. Then throw in the usual differences of opinions of traditionalist vs. newcomers, behaviorists vs. pragmatists, innovators vs. rule followers, etc... I'll spell out some of the different scenarios.

Rick and Morty have never seen or worn a hood. No need for it in this case. I think most people flying Harris hawks don't hood them. This species is really unique in the falconry world due to their tameness, intelligence and social nature. I have heard of people hooding them some of the time, and that is fine, but I think most don't.

Some birds get a little overly jumpy once you reach the field, but before its time to hunt. Falcons for example: Usually the falconer walks around with the hooded bird while the dog hunts for hidden game. When the dog goes on point, the falconer unhoods the falcon and lets him ring up into the sky. When the falcon is in the right position and height, depending on the wind, conditions, prey, etc..., the falconer gives the dog the command to flush the game. At this point the falcon goes into that sky ripping stoop and tries to connect with the fleeing game bird. If successful, the falcon then flies down, binds to the dead or dying bird, kills it, and then begins to pluck and eat it. When the falconer is ready, the falcon is traded off for some more food, and re-hooded for the walk back to the car.

Hoods are typically used when transporting the bird to and from the hunting areas. Hoods are not typically used when the birds are at home and not hunting. Exceptions abound. Whenever a new wild bird is trapped for falconry, like my redtails, we use the hoods a lot at first to keep the bird from freaking out and hurting itself. Once they acclimatize a bit and get used to their new routines, hoods are used less, or not at all as in my case. I made do without hooding my redtails, but there were a few times in the field that I wish I had continued the hood training and had one to use. I've seen other falconers that do sometimes hood their birds some of the time, and it makes sense and seems to improve things for the birds. Other birds and situations, just don't need a hood.

The shorter answer to your two questions is: No. None of them are "always" hooded, and with rare exception, they are not hooded in their "falcon environments" (Called mews) at home.
 

Tom

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Are they always head covered and kept in dark? When they are in their falcon environment?
I ran out of time earlier, but there is a little more to add. In addition the the usual specially made leather hoods that birds wear on their heads, there is another method of "hooding" that I and many other falconers use for our hawks and eagles. Its called "the giant hood". The concept of hooding is to calm the bird and take away all the visual cues that excite or scare the bird. Rather than use a traditional hood to reduce these visual cues, I use a large darkened box to accomplish the same thing. These "giant hood" boxes are specially sized and custom built for the birds that will ride in them. They do the same thing as a leather hood, but also contain the bird and keep it safe during transport to and from the field. Here is my double box made by my good friend @wccmog10 who is also a member here on the forum. He designs and builds these boxes, and they are more perfect in every way than I could even imagine.
IMG_9702.JPG
IMG_9676.JPEG

Literally from day one, these boxes have been an integral part of my training and bird management routine. Every day I load the birds into them, bring the boxes indoors to weigh the birds, and then put the boxes in the car to drive to the hunting fields. When we are done hunting, the birds follow me back to the car and happily allow me to put them in their boxes for the ride home. It became routine to them within a few days of bringing them home. After a couple of months of this daily routine, Morty actually started jumping into the box on his own. I would walk over to the mew, set the box on the ground and use both hands to operate the door latch and open the door of the mew. Morty would eagerly hop down to the ground and beg me to open the door to his giant hood. When I complied with his wishes, he would run into the box, duck under the perch, run to the back of the box, turn around and hop up on the perch. I said "good boy" and shut the door. I never feed them in their giant hoods, because I don't want any weird food associations with the box, or their mews. They eat out in the world, hopefully on a freshly caught rabbit carcass, so this behavior was amazing and also very endearing to me. He's continued with this behavior without a direct reward ever since that first time he did it. Now I just set the box down, open the box door, open his mew door, and he runs into the box. His reward is that when the giant hood door opens again, we are at the field and he gets to fly around in the wind and hunt. Rick was quite a ways behind his brother, but after a while, he started willingly jumping into the box on his own too. After my experience with Morty, I started holding the box up to Rick with the door open. He now jumps in all on his own, by his own choice. Rick, however, jumps to his perch in the box, and then turns around, unlike Morty's style of running under the perch and turning around on the floor of the box.

These last two posts should illustrate that there are many ways to do falconry, and every falconer has to figure out what works best for their own birds and hunting situation. It is a constant puzzle with many pieces always on the move. Minor adjustments and alterations are made constantly to the daily routine, training methods, food delivery styles, equipment used, and every other aspect of our lives and the birds lives. We are always striving for improvement and perfection. Improvement is easy to attain and happens on a regular basis. Perfection is an unattainable goal that we reach for, but never quite grasp. I think my giant hoods are perfect, but my training methods are still getting there.
 

Sue Ann

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This is an excellent question Sue Ann. The answer is kind of long and convoluted...

Each species is different. Each individual within a species is different. Each falconer is different. Each situation is different. With all of these variables, and more, in play, I'm sure can can imagine that the answer will vary a lot. Then throw in the usual differences of opinions of traditionalist vs. newcomers, behaviorists vs. pragmatists, innovators vs. rule followers, etc... I'll spell out some of the different scenarios.

Rick and Morty have never seen or worn a hood. No need for it in this case. I think most people flying Harris hawks don't hood them. This species is really unique in the falconry world due to their tameness, intelligence and social nature. I have heard of people hooding them some of the time, and that is fine, but I think most don't.

Some birds get a little overly jumpy once you reach the field, but before its time to hunt. Falcons for example: Usually the falconer walks around with the hooded bird while the dog hunts for hidden game. When the dog goes on point, the falconer unhoods the falcon and lets him ring up into the sky. When the falcon is in the right position and height, depending on the wind, conditions, prey, etc..., the falconer gives the dog the command to flush the game. At this point the falcon goes into that sky ripping stoop and tries to connect with the fleeing game bird. If successful, the falcon then flies down, binds to the dead or dying bird, kills it, and then begins to pluck and eat it. When the falconer is ready, the falcon is traded off for some more food, and re-hooded for the walk back to the car.

Hoods are typically used when transporting the bird to and from the hunting areas. Hoods are not typically used when the birds are at home and not hunting. Exceptions abound. Whenever a new wild bird is trapped for falconry, like my redtails, we use the hoods a lot at first to keep the bird from freaking out and hurting itself. Once they acclimatize a bit and get used to their new routines, hoods are used less, or not at all as in my case. I made do without hooding my redtails, but there were a few times in the field that I wish I had continued the hood training and had one to use. I've seen other falconers that do sometimes hood their birds some of the time, and it makes sense and seems to improve things for the birds. Other birds and situations, just don't need a hood.

The shorter answer to your two questions is: No. None of them are "always" hooded, and with rare exception, they are not hooded in their "falcon environments" (Called mews) at home.
Thanks I was having a disagreement with friends that falconry was cruel and birds were kept hooded at all times.
 

Tom

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Thanks I was having a disagreement with friends that falconry was cruel and birds were kept hooded at all times.
I can tell you first hand that there are a lot of misconceptions about falconry and what is or isn't done. I had a lot of those misconceptions until I learned more about it. In addition to sharing this experience, the point of this thread is also to explain the facts and dispel some of these misconceptions. I'm glad you asked your question, and welcome any others.
 

Moozillion

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@Tom, Since Morty has added spelunking to his hunting portfolio, you may end up with moles or voles or snakes or...(GASP!) A desert tortoise!!! :eek: ;)
 

Tom

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@Tom, Since Morty has added spelunking to his hunting portfolio, you may end up with moles or voles or snakes or...(GASP!) A desert tortoise!!! :eek: ;)
No DTs where I hunt, but yeah, I hope this doesn't become a bigger problem with other stuff. I'll have to be careful where I take them next year. They don't show any interest in tortoises, or lots of other animals too. They seem to know what their food is. I fly them around my tortoises at the ranch all the time, and they don't even look at the tortoises of any size.
 

Moozillion

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It's funny- I don't think of hawks as "long legged birds" but that picture of Morty in his giant hood certainly makes his long legs obvious! And for good reason, once you think about how they hunt. This is such a cool thread! :)
 

Tom

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It's funny- I don't think of hawks as "long legged birds" but that picture of Morty in his giant hood certainly makes his long legs obvious! And for good reason, once you think about how they hunt. This is such a cool thread! :)
Their reach is amazing. Many people learn this the hard way when they get too close to the mews with food in their hand.
 

Tom

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The boys are enjoying their molting season so far. I'm still able to handle them and let them fly around. These birds are just so different than anything else. With a redtail, and all other falconry birds that I know of, we use their hunger to control them. They are hungry, we have an easy meal, so they fly back to us. "Normal" falconry birds do enjoy the hunt, and they know cooperating with us brings them more of that joy, but still, their hunger serves as an invisible leash of sorts.

When Minerva or Tacoma began their molt and regular large meals drove their weights way up, they quickly reverted back to an almost wild state. They didn't want me around, certainly didn't want to come to me, and other than passing them free food, they would rather I leave them alone. Not Rick and Morty. They just want to hang out. If Tacoma or Minerva were to get outside their mew untethered during the molt, I would never see them again. No hunger = no reason to fly back to the noisy hairless ape. I let Rick and Morty out to fly around and "catch" their meals, and they walk or fly back over to me when they are done.

To put this in perspective: Rick and Morty weighed 661and 698 grams respectively when I picked them up. This would be their "free fed" weight. The breeder fed them and their parents as much as they wanted daily. I didn't have to drop their weight much to get them trained and hunting. I had them down around 620-630. This is not much of a drop in weight for hunting season compared to most birds that are trained to fly free. I was curious to see how much weight they'd put on since I began feeding them up. 785 is what they each weighed on an empty stomach yesterday just before feeding time. I don't know how they fly anymore with all that weight.

I feed them a wide variety of whole food items, and yesterday was quail day. Quail is a very nutritious food for them. I use human grade frozen quail bought by the case. I remove the head and legs and save those in the freezer for later use, and throw the wings in the trash since there really isn't any meat there. This leaves them about 110-150 grams of food depending on the size of the quail. I feed them around 40 grams of quail a day to maintain their weight during the hunting season on the rare occasion they don't catch something. If they were too heavy, I might only feed them 25-30 grams. Too light and I might give them 50-55 grams to add a little weight. So yesterday I take my 785 gram birds out on the ranch, walk down toward the bottom, and toss their thawed quail for them to catch and eat. 785+150= 935 grams of fat heavy bird. I would NEVER have done this with a redtail. I sit with Rick and Morty while they eat. I'm 20-25 feet away and they don't seem to care. They don't even mantle. When they finish eating, they pop out of feeding mode and look around to see what's happening in the world around them. Then they both do that little chicken walk over to me and look up as if to ask if I've got any more for them. Of course I do, and they hop right up to the fist for a ride back to their mews. I set them down and walked aways away from them to call them for a little flight. They both jumped up to get airborne, and man, they had to work to carry all that weight back over to me.

The social aspect of these birds is just unbelievable. Its truly unique and almost magical when seen first hand. I love these birds and tell them so. Sometimes I just go over and sit with them.

I was browsing around YouTube today, and this video popped in to my feed. I'm always looking for falconry videos so it wasn't a surprise. These are not my birds, but they behave similarly, and me and this falconer (The guy in red that you don't see until halfway through the video...) seem to hunt with a similar style and in similar terrain. I thought this might show you guys what a typical hunting day is like. I've had three or four people in the field with me, and just like these birds, mine didn't care about the crowd either. I haven't ever used a mink, and they don't either, but this kind of demonstrates first hand why you really don't need a dog or any other help when hunting with a team of Harris' hawks.
 

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Had to look up the Kestrel, never heard of them. Very pretty and small. Will be quite a difference from your bigger ones.
Yes. Very different, but the same in many ways too. I'll be hunting different game with a much smaller bird, but the hunting style, location, and training techniques are all pretty similar and familiar to me. I can even hunt them in the same fields that we hunt rabbits in. While Rick and Morty ignore all the little English house sparrows fluttering about, the kestrel would go for them.

Do you think it's safe to assume that all birds, song birds, the ones many see at their bird feeders are as unhealthy and short lived as the Raptors or is it due more to what the Raptors diet is that makes them filled with parasite and disease? If diet of the Raptors seems to be the bigger cause, then is it likely their food sources also perishing at very young age or that the birds are just more susceptible?
I don't think I would make that assumption. I'm sure studies on mortality rates have been done on smaller species, but I've never seen any. In the case of raptors that prey on mammals, many of the diseases and parasites don't transfer over to non-mammal species. Tapeworms for example. A canine leaves droppings with tapeworm segments, and the rabbits ingest them one way or another. The tapeworms go wild in the rabbit's body and make little cysts all over. I've seen these when I butcher them. Then when another canine eats that rabbit, the cycle is completed. When a bird eats that rabbit, they cannot get infected with tapeworms. The tapeworms are too host specific. Other diseases are transferable, like coccidia. Raptors that primarily prey on other birds would seem to have more of an issue with this, but there is clearly some mechanism at work that saves them, or they'd all be extinct. It is in this way that wild raptors keep disease down among the population of their prey species. If a wild rabbit shows ANY sign of sickness or weakness, it will be picked off immediately and consumed. The digestive tract of the hawks and vultures literally digests the mammalian pathogens, thus removing the disease from that population.

That DDT thing back in the day should serve as a constant reminder that humans need to pay attention to what we are doing to the world. This is one reason why it pains me to hear bogus stories and fake science when it comes to "global warming" and other politically motivated crap. Because of lies and politically motivated deceit, REAL problems are too easily overlooked or dismissed. We ARE damaging the world in uncountable ways, and together we can slow or stop it, but not when half the world is crying "wolf" over fake made up stuff. On a local scale, I try to explain to everyone I know why not to use toxic pesticides and poisons, in favor of more effective means that carry fewer side effects. For example, I use the "black box" from Victor to eliminate my gopher problem instead of poisons that would eliminate the predators of those gophers and go all the way up the food chain. These trapped, poison free, gophers also make a great meal for a hawk or a snake after a month or two of freezing. I know of people that spray toxic chemicals all around their homes to keep the ants down. Problem is that those insecticides kill EVERY insect, not just the ones they don't like and this causes horrendous ripples in the food chain and wildlife all around them. Its also not effective because the ants travel underground, away from the poison at the surface, and get into their house anyway. What works best, speaking from personal experience, is to use those little trays of borax based ant baits. They carry it back to the queen and babies and it kills the entire colony down in the ground where you can reach them any other way, and the environmental impact and risk to other species is minimal. I know you know this stuff, but maybe somebody somewhere will read this and decide to not use that pesticide or rodenticide anymore. You see how many new tortoise keepers come here and say they can't put their tortoise in their own yard, or feed their tortoise anything from their yard because they spray it with toxic chemicals all the time. Its sad. Those chemicals are toxic to them too!
 

Moozillion

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Hey, Tom- I noticed that once they killed that rabbit, the bird was leaning over it with spread wings. Is it trying to keep the kill from the falconer? Basically saying, "Bug off! I killed this one- It's MINE!"
 

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Hey, Tom- I noticed that once they killed that rabbit, the bird was leaning over it with spread wings. Is it trying to keep the kill from the falconer? Basically saying, "Bug off! I killed this one- It's MINE!"
Yes. That is called mantling. Raptors are very visually oriented and they are also trying to hide it from other birds of prey and other predators. There is definitely and element of possessiveness. They don't really want to share with each other or with me. They did this even when they were each one one end of a large jack rabbit. I don't mind it. Its all manageable.

There is definitely and etiquette amongst them when on prey. If the freshly grabbed prey is struggling, the second bird will pile in ASAP to help subdue it. This is good. I want them to war together as a team. This is especially important on the big jacks for these little birds. If one bird makes a catch while the other one is off somewhere else, the second bird will eventually fly back over to me and the one that made the catch, but politely stand off to the side and wait, since it was not part of the action. This happened several times this season. On our very last day of the season, they both took off after a jack, but Morty saw a cottontail in the distance and changed course for that, while Rick flew down the jack. Rick caught the jack all by himself and Morty's cottontail made it safely to cover a hundred yards away. Since it was the last day of the season I really wanted to end on a jack and let them both crop up nice and full. A big reward for the end of a great season. After assisting Rick with his fantastic catch and opening up the shoulder for him to get at the good stuff, it took a couple of minutes before Morty finally flew back over to see what we were all doing. I had open up the hind end for Morty to jump in and feast, and the whole back half of the jack was sitting there exposed while Rick was eating on the front half, but Morty stood off to the side and didn't come in to eat. I was very surprised. I had to go in and call him over to come on in and eat. Once he was invited he hopped right in and joined the feast, but what good manners he showed. The social interactions of these birds is a constant source of fascination and amazement to me.
 

Moozillion

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Yes. That is called mantling. Raptors are very visually oriented and they are also trying to hide it from other birds of prey and other predators. There is definitely and element of possessiveness. They don't really want to share with each other or with me. They did this even when they were each one one end of a large jack rabbit. I don't mind it. Its all manageable.

There is definitely and etiquette amongst them when on prey. If the freshly grabbed prey is struggling, the second bird will pile in ASAP to help subdue it. This is good. I want them to war together as a team. This is especially important on the big jacks for these little birds. If one bird makes a catch while the other one is off somewhere else, the second bird will eventually fly back over to me and the one that made the catch, but politely stand off to the side and wait, since it was not part of the action. This happened several times this season. On our very last day of the season, they both took off after a jack, but Morty saw a cottontail in the distance and changed course for that, while Rick flew down the jack. Rick caught the jack all by himself and Morty's cottontail made it safely to cover a hundred yards away. Since it was the last day of the season I really wanted to end on a jack and let them both crop up nice and full. A big reward for the end of a great season. After assisting Rick with his fantastic catch and opening up the shoulder for him to get at the good stuff, it took a couple of minutes before Morty finally flew back over to see what we were all doing. I had open up the hind end for Morty to jump in and feast, and the whole back half of the jack was sitting there exposed while Rick was eating on the front half, but Morty stood off to the side and didn't come in to eat. I was very surprised. I had to go in and call him over to come on in and eat. Once he was invited he hopped right in and joined the feast, but what good manners he showed. The social interactions of these birds is a constant source of fascination and amazement to me.
They are SO amazing! 😃❤
 

NorCal tortoise guy

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Tom hope it’s ok I add a couple picture of a wild hawk I took this morning

I always keep my eye open for wild life and today I got a treat
39A0BF7F-7C56-4051-A622-950B562266BA.jpeg D6104667-15FC-44B7-97D9-A83D4C392099.jpeg
I could not tell from my vantage point at the time but I investigated after and it is a duck she has there.

I “Drove” by (In an electric golf cart) no more then 25 feet form her. See don’t seem to care I was there. I did not try to get closer because I didn’t want to bother her.

Found it very cool so I wanted to share
 

Tom

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Tom hope it’s ok I add a couple picture of a wild hawk I took this morning

I always keep my eye open for wild life and today I got a treat
View attachment 289092 View attachment 289093
I could not tell from my vantage point at the time but I investigated after and it is a duck she has there.

I “Drove” by (In an electric golf cart) no more then 25 feet form her. See don’t seem to care I was there. I did not try to get closer because I didn’t want to bother her.

Found it very cool so I wanted to share
That is super cool. You don't see wild raptors doing their thing very often. Pretty neat that you were able to get so close.
 

Tom

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We are a couple of months into the molt now. The breeder recommended that I keep them together in the same cage for the molt. They squabbled a little bit the first couple of days, but now they eat and sleep side-by-side. Everyone (Other falconers...) agrees that they bond and hunt better together if they share an enclosure during the molt.

IMG_0058.jpg
 

Moozillion

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Their behavior is so fascinating and so complex.
This is one of my all time favorite threads.
I am so glad you share your experience and your learning with us.
I can't wait to see what this year brings!
Are you doing anything differently with them than if we weren't in a coronavirus lockdown?
Since what you do with them is pretty solitary, do you think the restrictions will impact your hunting activities much?
 

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