Honda Shadow Forums banner

61 - 80 of 101 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #61
One of the biggest challenges facing falconers is finding game, and safe places to hunt. An advantage we have, though, is that we're not using firearms or weapons of any type so we can hunt in places where you would not expect. Small patches of woods in industrial areas, behind shopping centers, unfinished residential developments, etc., often contain small game and have not been hunted. This past Saturday my wife and I were doing some shopping and she noticed some woods behind a Tractor Supply store, which we decided to check out. We took a little walk and, sure enough, it looked like it had potential so on Sunday morning I took Durga over there. We weren't in the woods two minutes before she dove into some briars after a rabbit. That one got away and, over the next hour-and-a-half, so did the next two...once they get under heavy cover they're hard to get to...but the fourth one ran through a small opening in the cover and Durga dropped in on it.

I am really proud of her. She's a young bird and still learning but she really gives it her all and keeps trying. She'll crash into brush and briars and have to climb back out when a critter gets away, and she just shakes it off and starts again. When she is successful, it's well-earned.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,684 Posts
Yup! ..Keep them coming.. Love this Thread ...It's only this thread and the incessant slew of dildo jokes that keep me coming back to the forum! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #66
Thanks guys...yeah, I stare at her continually and I'm still amazed in every moment.
In the evening she sits on a perch in our living room and when she gets really relaxed she does what I call hawk-yoga. She will extend one leg down and back and, in the same movement, stretch the opposite wing up and forward...then bring her entire deck of tailfeathers around to the side like a fan. This is all done in one slow, graceful movement and she holds that position for about 2 seconds before returning to center and then doing the other side. I've watched this many times now and still it is mesmerizing and jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Then she leans forward, lifts her tailfeathers, and poops :-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,019 Posts
Thanks guys...yeah, I stare at her continually and I'm still amazed in every moment.
In the evening she sits on a perch in our living room and when she gets really relaxed she does what I call hawk-yoga. She will extend one leg down and back and, in the same movement, stretch the opposite wing up and forward...then bring her entire deck of tailfeathers around to the side like a fan. This is all done in one slow, graceful movement and she holds that position for about 2 seconds before returning to center and then doing the other side. I've watched this many times now and still it is mesmerizing and jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Then she leans forward, lifts her tailfeathers, and poops :-D
Same with our ****atiels....they stretch like that too. I know it's comparing a couple of Yugos to a Porch but still.

Durga would look at them and say (a la Jack Palance) "I crap bigger than you."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,254 Posts
Do people hunt with owls or just hawks and falcons?

We kept a Barred Owl for a weekend until the nature preserve opened on a Monday. I hit it with my truck on the way home from work on a Friday evening and injured its wing. The nature preserve wasn't open so we had to keep him for the weekend. They said nothing was broken and was going to keep him until they was sure he could fly well. That thing was so cool. Its amazing how tame he was to us. Acted like he wasn't scared at all. Almost like he new we were helping him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #70
Vito, that was interesting to me, to know that other birds did that...and hey, ****atiels are very cool birds, too. Probably smarter than a lot of honor students ;-)

Scared, owls are not typically used in falconry mostly because they are nocturnal hunters. They are actually one of the few animals that prey on hawks...they catch them asleep in a tree. Not to say that no one hunts with them...it has been done, it's just not common.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,254 Posts
Scared, owls are not typically used in falconry mostly because they are nocturnal hunters. They are actually one of the few animals that prey on hawks...they catch them asleep in a tree. Not to say that no one hunts with them...it has been done, it's just not common.
I never knew hawks had natural predators. I thought that man, weather, and lack of food was their only threats. Interesting. It must take one hungry owl to prey on a hawk!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,019 Posts
So, any action with Durga lately?
Any action without Durga lately? ;)

Just a bump so we don't lose this among the chaff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #73
Thanks for the bump :) As a matter of fact, lots of good action happening. I gained access to a couple of great properties that have not been hunted previously. Durga and I hit one property on Sunday and she nailed a squirrel within 20 minutes. On top of successful hunting is the fact that our partnership just continues to improve. Both of us are learning how to work together and I'm just amazed at the things she has learned to do without being taught...things I wouldn't even have known HOW to teach her, but that make it all work seamlessly. It's just a beautiful process.

I also bought my wife a glove and now we are having Durga fly between the two of us. Durga was a little surprised for about two seconds and then just went right with it. And it was great to see my wife enjoy the thrill of having her swoop down to her glove.

I took my dog, Bentley, along on a hunt recently and that went very well also, with Durga making a kill and Bentley quickly seeing that he was NOT welcomed in sharing the catch...Durga made that very clear ;-)

In this photo you will notice a metal object. It is a letter opener which I sharpened and use to quickly dispatch an animal in the event that it continues to struggle after being caught. The prey animals are deserving of humane treatment and it makes it safer for the hawk as well. I use the letter opener because it would be easy to accidentally cut off a hawk's toe with a knife.

Durga just keeps getting bigger, stronger, and more skilled...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,019 Posts
Bad Ass and Beautiful!

I take it she will let you near with the letter opener until you mess with the kill? (we know that won't happen, but is that the psychology behind it?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #75
It's a tricky business, getting in close while she is still amped up, but I always move in slowly and sit next to her while she eats her kill so she is learning that I don't steal from her. She is seriously quite dangerous when she's in that state, and was ready to attack me the first couple of times she killed something and I moved in close. Now she trusts me more and it's easier but I'm still very careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #76
Mark-B, in answer to a question you posed some time back; reproductive urges are a concern, not so much for me this year since Durga is not sexually mature. Next year though, around this time of year, I will have to be alert when we encounter wild birds. We often stumble into the territory of native birds and the only problem I have with her now is that she is very aggressive and, when the native bird comes over to warn her away, she chases them out of their own woods! Apparently, though, about all we can do is to be tuned in to our bird and watch their body language and try to intervene if it looks like they are about to elope with some suave male. It does happen that birds are sometimes lost due to this process of nature.

Durga and I are continuing to learn to work together and it just keeps getting better.
I wish I had some way to adequately share what it's like to be in the woods with her and to see the rewards of our work; to see the partnership functioning, as we watch each other and work together. The other day we were out and it was snowing...and it was so quiet you could almost hear the snowflakes falling. We chased a couple of squirrels while on our way to the "bunny briars" and, when we got there, we got set up to work the briars and she had a rabbit in about 10 minutes. I let her have a nice warm meal and then we enjoyed walking back to the car feeling very satisfied.

Doesn't get any better :)



 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,684 Posts
Very Cool.. A word might be, Majestic..

Keep those pictures coming, Bart.. Always a pleasure reading your stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,019 Posts
With the weather about to turn for the better (we hope)....thought another little bump would help.

Would hate to miss out on some exciting spring hunts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter #80
Actually....we only have a few more weeks of hunting. The small game season in Virginia, for falconers, is Oct. 1 - Mar. 31... and there are other reasons for not flying our birds later in the year. Once the leaves come out it becomes more difficult, or impossible, to find your bird. It's also a time when the urge to migrate northward sets in. And the summer months are when the birds go through the molt and replace all of their feathers. Wild hawks are relatively sedentary in warmer temperatures; they don't have to maintain body warmth so it takes much less food to sustain them. The molt is a stressful time for birds (as you probably know, Vito) and we tend to give them 'some space'; we interact with them less and try to provide a quiet, stress-free environment. This season will be particularly notable for Durga, as she will be replacing the juvenile plumage with the much more colorful adult feathers.
I am really going to miss being in the woods with her on crisp winter days...I'm not a hot-weather person anyway so I'll be counting the days till next Fall. We have had a great season, though, and it will only get better.

On a lighter note, my wife found this on sale at the grocery store:


And I took a few 'glamour shots' of Durga:










And just wait till next year...she'll be smokin' hot ;-)

Still a few weeks left, though, and I'll keep you guys updated...
 
61 - 80 of 101 Posts
Top