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So you want to see the birds?

Discussion in 'Other Pet Talk' started by wccmog10, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Member

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    As @Tom mentioned in my intro thread- I am also a falconer. I have been in falconry for about 8 or 9 seasons. I started with red tailed hawks, which are great here in the Southeast. We hunt mostly squirrels, and red tails are the perfect tool. More recently my wife, who is also a falconer, and I have gotten a cast (team) of harris hawks to fly. A few years after I started falconry I also got state and federal education permits. The birds held on education permits are non-releasable and have some sort of debilitating injury. I take the birds and assorted reptiles to schools, boy scouts, summer camps, birthday parties, earth day events, etc. and teach about these awesome animals, where they live, what they eat, how I train them, etc.

    Photos of everyone below. All together we have 6 birds of prey at the house. Feel free to ask questions- I could go on and on about it all.

    educationanimals-5587.jpg
    Grey phase Eastern Screech Owl "Grumpy"- education bird. This guy was actually bred in captivity in a research project, but he was also born with his right eye malformed- you can see the funky pupil in the photo.
    educationanimals-5580.jpg
    Mississippi Kite "Pippy"- education bird- he is currently molting his juvenile feathers, you can see a few of the brown feathers that remain- the grey color is adult plumage. You can see a wing droop with his right wing. These guys do something cool called "eating on the wing" which means that they eat while they are flying. While this guy can sort of fly- it is severely handicapped and he would surely not make it in the wild.
    educationanimals-5572.jpg
    Male Great Horned Owl- education bird. You wouldn't know it from the photo, but he has some level of vision loss in his right eye.
    educationanimals-5541.jpg
    Female Red tailed hawk "Astrid"- falconry bird- she will be going into her 4th season.
    educationanimals-5515.jpg
    Male Harris Hawk "Hiccup"- falconry bird- Tom and Jennifer Coulson bred harris hawk
    educationanimals-5472.jpg
    Female Harris Hawk "Toothless"- falconry bird- clutch mate to Hiccup. The two harris hawks fly together in what we call a cast. Which means they hunt together- usually birds of prey are solitary animals and do not hunt in groups- harris hawks are one of the exceptions.
    CarolM, Pastel Tortie, Pearly and 6 others like this.
  2. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    Very cool!
  3. pugsandkids

    pugsandkids Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Oh they are gorgeous, thank you for sharing!
  4. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I love owls.
  6. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Member

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    Owls are awesome. And everyone knows an owl when they see it- even kindergarteners. Which is kinda cool. I mean- a lot of people will call a hawk an eagle or falcon if they have never seen one up close or don’t know about birds of prey- but everyone knows and owl when they see it.
    Pastel Tortie, Pearly and Moozillion like this.
  7. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Absolutely STUNNING birds!!!!! :):<3::<3::<3:
    ...and one look at :eek: those talons makes me glad I'm a lot bigger than they are!
  8. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Wow, very cool indeed. Thanks for sharing.
  9. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    How cool for you to be around all that amazing beauty! Your birds are absolutely beautiful!
  10. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Member

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    Just because we are bigger than they are- doesn’t mean they can’t put a hurting on you. It is the talons you need to worry about though- people usually ask if I am worried about getting bit- and I’m like “nope, the feet is the part they kill with”
    Tom and Moozillion like this.
  11. EllieMay

    EllieMay Well-Known Member

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    Gorgeous!!!!
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I can't wait to see Astrid, Toothless and Hiccup in action!

    We only have ground squirrels out here and we avoid them like the plague. You'll have to school me on tree squirrel hunting.
    Pearly likes this.
  13. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    May I ask why? I love squirrels of all sorts. They are adorable.
  14. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Member

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    Squirrel hawking is awesome.
  15. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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  16. wccmog10

    wccmog10 Member

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    Of the birds I posted photos- the harris hawks and red tailed hawk are falconry birds. Their main job is to hunt. With these three birds my wife (who is also a falconer) and I pursue wild game. Our main quarry is eastern grey squirrels. Falconers also hunt rabbits with these species of raptor, but it is very hard to find rabbit hunting spots these days. Falconers also use other species of raptor such as peregrine falcons, Merlin’s, american kestrels, Cooper’s hawks, goshawks, etc. to peruse other prey species. The key is to match your raptor to the prey that you have available.

    -Wade
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Ground squirrels where I live are a terrible invasive destructive nuisance. They colonize and over populate areas where natural predators fear to tread and they wreak havoc. Their number must be reduced and controlled.

    I can't speak to other types of squirrels in other parts of the country, but many populations of all many species of animals now need human help to maintain balance because their has been so much previous human interference with natural predation and processes. Look at deer for example. Without our help, bad things happen. Over population followed by disease epidemics and die offs are a terrible thing to witness. I've witnessed this on a small scale and now I work to keep local populations healthier.

    Your questions and comments are welcome. This is a good discussion to have.
  18. CarolM

    CarolM Well-Known Member

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    Stunning Birds. Love seeing them.
  19. Redfool

    Redfool Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful array of raptors! Thanks
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