My Latest Endeavor...

Cathie G

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Know what this is?
View attachment 334705

That is three Harris' Hawks airborne and coming to their trainer all at the same time. It could also be called beautiful, awesome, fantastic. poetry in motion, amazing, wonderful, terrific, excellent, etc...
Yes every word you called it. You are the fourth part of their flock.?
 

Tom

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Yes every word you called it. You are the fourth part of their flock.?
Summer gets along really well with the boys. She's still not sure where she stands with me yet. She grabbed each of my hands with each of her talons for no good reason today as we were leaving to truck to begin hunting, and I was stuck that way for a good minute. She was clamped down and it hurt a lot. I finally reached over with one hand and pulled her hallux out of my finger and threw her off of me. The boys then decided to discipline her since I did. It was interesting watching the interaction. I broke it up immediately, but it was fascinating to see those little boys march right up to that big girl and give her the what for. Equally fascinating was her acceptance of their discipline. She could literally have killed them for that kind of insolence, but sat there and took it instead. It showed me how careful I need to be with that sort of thing. I walked away and left her sitting on the ground, seemingly sulking, and the boys quickly joined me and began hunting. She sat for a good while, and then decided to come join us and behave herself. She was very well behaved the rest of the day and even assisted the boys with a jackrabbit catch.

A couple of jacks jumped up, but evaded capture in this Yucca forest:
IMG 5366

They managed to get feet on one in this patch of scrub brush directly after though:
IMG 5368

I was too busy managing three birds to stop and get a pic of them with their rabbit. What a challenge that is. I have to think very fast and act even faster.
 

jcase

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Summer gets along really well with the boys. She's still not sure where she stands with me yet. She grabbed each of my hands with each of her talons for no good reason today as we were leaving to truck to begin hunting, and I was stuck that way for a good minute. She was clamped down and it hurt a lot. I finally reached over with one hand and pulled her hallux out of my finger and threw her off of me. The boys then decided to discipline her since I did. It was interesting watching the interaction. I broke it up immediately, but it was fascinating to see those little boys march right up to that big girl and give her the what for. Equally fascinating was her acceptance of their discipline. She could literally have killed them for that kind of insolence, but sat there and took it instead. It showed me how careful I need to be with that sort of thing. I walked away and left her sitting on the ground, seemingly sulking, and the boys quickly joined me and began hunting. She sat for a good while, and then decided to come join us and behave herself. She was very well behaved the rest of the day and even assisted the boys with a jackrabbit catch.

A couple of jacks jumped up, but evaded capture in this Yucca forest:
View attachment 334762

They managed to get feet on one in this patch of scrub brush directly after though:
View attachment 334763

I was too busy managing three birds to stop and get a pic of them with their rabbit. What a challenge that is. I have to think very fast and act even faster.
Super interesting thread, thank you for sharing
 

Yvonne G

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Summer gets along really well with the boys. She's still not sure where she stands with me yet. She grabbed each of my hands with each of her talons for no good reason today as we were leaving to truck to begin hunting, and I was stuck that way for a good minute. She was clamped down and it hurt a lot. I finally reached over with one hand and pulled her hallux out of my finger and threw her off of me. The boys then decided to discipline her since I did. It was interesting watching the interaction. I broke it up immediately, but it was fascinating to see those little boys march right up to that big girl and give her the what for. Equally fascinating was her acceptance of their discipline. She could literally have killed them for that kind of insolence, but sat there and took it instead. It showed me how careful I need to be with that sort of thing. I walked away and left her sitting on the ground, seemingly sulking, and the boys quickly joined me and began hunting. She sat for a good while, and then decided to come join us and behave herself. She was very well behaved the rest of the day and even assisted the boys with a jackrabbit catch.

A couple of jacks jumped up, but evaded capture in this Yucca forest:
View attachment 334762

They managed to get feet on one in this patch of scrub brush directly after though:
View attachment 334763

I was too busy managing three birds to stop and get a pic of them with their rabbit. What a challenge that is. I have to think very fast and act even faster.
Just goes to show how much more intelligent animals are than we've given them credit for.
 

Cathie G

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Summer gets along really well with the boys. She's still not sure where she stands with me yet. She grabbed each of my hands with each of her talons for no good reason today as we were leaving to truck to begin hunting, and I was stuck that way for a good minute. She was clamped down and it hurt a lot. I finally reached over with one hand and pulled her hallux out of my finger and threw her off of me. The boys then decided to discipline her since I did. It was interesting watching the interaction. I broke it up immediately, but it was fascinating to see those little boys march right up to that big girl and give her the what for. Equally fascinating was her acceptance of their discipline. She could literally have killed them for that kind of insolence, but sat there and took it instead. It showed me how careful I need to be with that sort of thing. I walked away and left her sitting on the ground, seemingly sulking, and the boys quickly joined me and began hunting. She sat for a good while, and then decided to come join us and behave herself. She was very well behaved the rest of the day and even assisted the boys with a jackrabbit catch.

A couple of jacks jumped up, but evaded capture in this Yucca forest:
View attachment 334762

They managed to get feet on one in this patch of scrub brush directly after though:
View attachment 334763

I was too busy managing three birds to stop and get a pic of them with their rabbit. What a challenge that is. I have to think very fast and act even faster.
That's really interesting that she grabbed you like that. She's probably still just a little bit afraid of her surroundings. I'm not saying that because I know how to even come close to doing what you're doing. I did a few owls in a wildlife sanctuary. Only one used it's talons on me. What's really interesting about that is... that was the only owl that I didn't cover it's eyes while carrying it. I'm blessed I still have the tendons in my wrist cause the bird had them. I had to calm myself down and pull the talons out. Maybe you are considered top dog in the pecking order ?
 

Tom

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That's really interesting that she grabbed you like that. She's probably still just a little bit afraid of her surroundings. I'm not saying that because I know how to even come close to doing what you're doing. I did a few owls in a wildlife sanctuary. Only one used it's talons on me. What's really interesting about that is... that was the only owl that I didn't cover it's eyes while carrying it. I'm blessed I still have the tendons in my wrist cause the bird had them. I had to calm myself down and pull the talons out. Maybe you are considered top dog in the pecking order ?
This wasn't fear. She has shown territoriality in her mew before. This was a trait of hers before I got her. I don't handle or mess with her in her mew. I just put bait her into her travel box with food, shut the door behind her, and get her out of there. When they are afraid, they bolt. Her posture and body language were all about intimidation and dominance.

This type of aggression is commonly seen with imprint birds. She was chamber raised and pulled at 18 weeks, so it should not be that, BUT... There is a book on Harris Hawks written by Tom and Jennifer Coulson. This is commonly regarded as the "Bible" of the Harris Hawk world. They are to falconry what Bill Z is to tortoises with their decades of experience with 100s of HHs. I read in their book that some HHs are so naturally tame and unafraid of humans, that they can imprint on their hawk parents, as we want them to, but then dual imprint on their human caretakers even when everything is done correctly with them. My gut instinct tells me that there is some of this going on with her. A universal solution for most problems with falconry birds is more hunting. Get them out in the world doing what they do and problems tend to evaporate as the miles pass under their wings. This girl did very little actual hunting, and I suspect these issues will disappear as we get out in the field more and she starts using her natural talents and skills to do what hawks do. In the mean time, she is teaching me some valuable falconry lessons that will save my bacon should I ever decide to rehab a golden eagle for falconry. Tom quote from my paint balling days: Pain is a good teacher.

There is a general rule with dogs that I've seen consistently over the decades with only a few exceptions. Dogs that are aggressive toward people tend to be non aggressive with other dogs. Dogs that are dog aggressive, tend to be good with people. I'm seeing that with this girl too. No hint of aggression toward the boys in any circumstance. Me? I've got to keep hand hands away from her feet.
 

Cathie G

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This wasn't fear. She has shown territoriality in her mew before. This was a trait of hers before I got her. I don't handle or mess with her in her mew. I just put bait her into her travel box with food, shut the door behind her, and get her out of there. When they are afraid, they bolt. Her posture and body language were all about intimidation and dominance.

This type of aggression is commonly seen with imprint birds. She was chamber raised and pulled at 18 weeks, so it should not be that, BUT... There is a book on Harris Hawks written by Tom and Jennifer Coulson. This is commonly regarded as the "Bible" of the Harris Hawk world. They are to falconry what Bill Z is to tortoises with their decades of experience with 100s of HHs. I read in their book that some HHs are so naturally tame and unafraid of humans, that they can imprint on their hawk parents, as we want them to, but then dual imprint on their human caretakers even when everything is done correctly with them. My gut instinct tells me that there is some of this going on with her. A universal solution for most problems with falconry birds is more hunting. Get them out in the world doing what they do and problems tend to evaporate as the miles pass under their wings. This girl did very little actual hunting, and I suspect these issues will disappear as we get out in the field more and she starts using her natural talents and skills to do what hawks do. In the mean time, she is teaching me some valuable falconry lessons that will save my bacon should I ever decide to rehab a golden eagle for falconry. Tom quote from my paint balling days: Pain is a good teacher.

There is a general rule with dogs that I've seen consistently over the decades with only a few exceptions. Dogs that are aggressive toward people tend to be non aggressive with other dogs. Dogs that are dog aggressive, tend to be good with people. I'm seeing that with this girl too. No hint of aggression toward the boys in any circumstance. Me? I've got to keep hand hands away from her feet.
Yep that kind of pain is a very good teacher. It's a good thing you got her last then. She's low on the pecking order.? Good luck when you try an eagle. I know it's just absolutely amazing when they return to you after hunting. They could leave but they chose to come home.?
 

Tortobsessed

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Out of curiosity, what would be the best way to remove a hawks talons in case of an emergency? For example, if a hawk is close to breaking bones or is attacking a captive animal (like a dog). In one of the practice tests I did it said to grab it by its neck and pull, it seems like there would be a better option but if this isn't too harmful to the bird maybe it would be okay. For something not as urgent a piece of meat or pulling the back talon off and pushing the rest of the talons up would work but those might not be as quick or effective if it were an emergency.
 

Tom

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Out of curiosity, what would be the best way to remove a hawks talons in case of an emergency? For example, if a hawk is close to breaking bones or is attacking a captive animal (like a dog). In one of the practice tests I did it said to grab it by its neck and pull, it seems like there would be a better option but if this isn't too harmful to the bird maybe it would be okay. For something not as urgent a piece of meat or pulling the back talon off and pushing the rest of the talons up would work but those might not be as quick or effective if it were an emergency.
There are a million variables in this and it really depends on the situation. I put that disclaimer in because if you do whatever I mention here, it might be the wrong thing to do for a given situation and might make things worse. You can grab the bird by the head. This works, but expect those feet to release what aver they have and come straight up to grab the hand on their head. No problem if you have a falconry glove on, but a bit dicey if not.

In my case yesterday, there was no need to panic. There was no need to rush and I had time to think it through. Method number two is to simply grab the back of the hallux and pull it out of whatever it is stuck in. This works, but again, expect the feet of fury to be flying and grabbing at whatever else they can get hold of. I was able to quickly flip the script and get hold of her feet before tossing her away from me. I will use this method when they grab each other on a kill. It minimizes damage and the birds don't see it as punishment the way they do a head grab.
 

Tom

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My friend who made the video came out to the field with me again with his new camera to get some shots. His camera is equipped with a "bird's eye view" feature where it literally focuses in on the eyeball of a bird in flight. He showed it to me and here are the results. All Rick and Summer:
IMG 5410
IMG 5412
IMG 5411
IMG 5413
IMG 5418

Rick and Morty are better than ever. Game is scarce this year due to drought and the horrible rabbit disease that swept through the SouthWest last year. I'm having to find and try new fields and I'm not able to hunt most of my old fields. I don't know if there is a sense of urgency since we see so few rabbits now, but if they see one, they catch it. They've caught mostly jacks this year and they are not kidding around. I've been able to do some catch and release, which has been an interesting new concept. The boys don't care at all. They get their reward either way.

Summer is coming along. Getting better, but the lack of game isn't helping. I lost her yesterday. She decided to go dumpster diving somewhere out of my sight and I couldn't find her. She got picked up by animal control somehow and I got her back this morning. That was a close call. My telemetry failed for some reason, so I am addressing that. I may go ahead and purchase the new GPS system that is available. This system makes it much harder to lose them.
 

Jan A

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My friend who made the video came out to the field with me again with his new camera to get some shots. His camera is equipped with a "bird's eye view" feature where it literally focuses in on the eyeball of a bird in flight. He showed it to me and here are the results. All Rick and Summer:
View attachment 335319
View attachment 335320
View attachment 335321
View attachment 335322
View attachment 335323

Rick and Morty are better than ever. Game is scarce this year due to drought and the horrible rabbit disease that swept through the SouthWest last year. I'm having to find and try new fields and I'm not able to hunt most of my old fields. I don't know if there is a sense of urgency since we see so few rabbits now, but if they see one, they catch it. They've caught mostly jacks this year and they are not kidding around. I've been able to do some catch and release, which has been an interesting new concept. The boys don't care at all. They get their reward either way.

Summer is coming along. Getting better, but the lack of game isn't helping. I lost her yesterday. She decided to go dumpster diving somewhere out of my sight and I couldn't find her. She got picked up by animal control somehow and I got her back this morning. That was a close call. My telemetry failed for some reason, so I am addressing that. I may go ahead and purchase the new GPS system that is available. This system makes it much harder to lose them.
Excellent photos!! I can see how you get hooked on the sport. Being outdoors, visual acuity you need, physicality of the "hunt," thought processes to anticipate your birds actions....just WOW!!
 

Tom

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Excellent photos!! I can see how you get hooked on the sport. Being outdoors, visual acuity you need, physicality of the "hunt," thought processes to anticipate your birds actions....just WOW!!
Every day is an adventure. I have no idea what will happen or what we will encounter. You make a plan to start out with, but the plan usually changes within the first minute or two when the first rabbit jumps up.

Its my gym, therapist, church and more all-in-one.
 

Ranman

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My friend who made the video came out to the field with me again with his new camera to get some shots. His camera is equipped with a "bird's eye view" feature where it literally focuses in on the eyeball of a bird in flight. He showed it to me and here are the results. All Rick and Summer:
View attachment 335319
View attachment 335320
View attachment 335321
View attachment 335322
View attachment 335323

Rick and Morty are better than ever. Game is scarce this year due to drought and the horrible rabbit disease that swept through the SouthWest last year. I'm having to find and try new fields and I'm not able to hunt most of my old fields. I don't know if there is a sense of urgency since we see so few rabbits now, but if they see one, they catch it. They've caught mostly jacks this year and they are not kidding around. I've been able to do some catch and release, which has been an interesting new concept. The boys don't care at all. They get their reward either way.

Summer is coming along. Getting better, but the lack of game isn't helping. I lost her yesterday. She decided to go dumpster diving somewhere out of my sight and I couldn't find her. She got picked up by animal control somehow and I got her back this morning. That was a close call. My telemetry failed for some reason, so I am addressing that. I may go ahead and purchase the new GPS system that is available. This system makes it much harder to lose them.
Tom those are some beautiful pictures. i would say his camera does the job. Those are some beautiful birds and I can see how relaxing and peaceful it would be to be out there. Thanks for keeping us updated.
 

Tom

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Tom those are some beautiful pictures. i would say his camera does the job. Those are some beautiful birds and I can see how relaxing and peaceful it would be to be out there. Thanks for keeping us updated.
Relaxing and peaceful... Interesting choice of words for what we are doing out there, and I pondered them for a moment. Each day starts out with a fair amount of uncertainty, anxiety, and of course, excitement. After the catch, when the work is done, the whole world just seems right. It is definitely quiet, peaceful and relaxing in those moments. I get a good workout and I'm high on adrenaline and endorphins, like a "runner's high", and I just stand there enjoying the scenery for the couple of minutes it takes the birds to eat their hard earned reward. When we start the hunt, they are flying all over the place like mad men on a mission. After a catch and a good meal, they are pretty content to just take a leisurely ride on their T perch back to the car. I just can't see how they could be any better. Starts my day out right every day and I drive home from the fields in morning traffic with a big smile on my face. It must look ridiculous to the people around me who are going about their daily grind headed to work at a "real" job.
 

Moozillion

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My friend who made the video came out to the field with me again with his new camera to get some shots. His camera is equipped with a "bird's eye view" feature where it literally focuses in on the eyeball of a bird in flight. He showed it to me and here are the results. All Rick and Summer:
View attachment 335319
View attachment 335320
View attachment 335321
View attachment 335322
View attachment 335323

Rick and Morty are better than ever. Game is scarce this year due to drought and the horrible rabbit disease that swept through the SouthWest last year. I'm having to find and try new fields and I'm not able to hunt most of my old fields. I don't know if there is a sense of urgency since we see so few rabbits now, but if they see one, they catch it. They've caught mostly jacks this year and they are not kidding around. I've been able to do some catch and release, which has been an interesting new concept. The boys don't care at all. They get their reward either way.

Summer is coming along. Getting better, but the lack of game isn't helping. I lost her yesterday. She decided to go dumpster diving somewhere out of my sight and I couldn't find her. She got picked up by animal control somehow and I got her back this morning. That was a close call. My telemetry failed for some reason, so I am addressing that. I may go ahead and purchase the new GPS system that is available. This system makes it much harder to lose them.
These photos are AMAZING!!!!!
Such gorgeous birds!!! And, boy, do they look like they mean BUSINESS!!!
 

Moozillion

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Summer gets along really well with the boys. She's still not sure where she stands with me yet. She grabbed each of my hands with each of her talons for no good reason today as we were leaving to truck to begin hunting, and I was stuck that way for a good minute. She was clamped down and it hurt a lot. I finally reached over with one hand and pulled her hallux out of my finger and threw her off of me. The boys then decided to discipline her since I did. It was interesting watching the interaction. I broke it up immediately, but it was fascinating to see those little boys march right up to that big girl and give her the what for. Equally fascinating was her acceptance of their discipline. She could literally have killed them for that kind of insolence, but sat there and took it instead. It showed me how careful I need to be with that sort of thing. I walked away and left her sitting on the ground, seemingly sulking, and the boys quickly joined me and began hunting. She sat for a good while, and then decided to come join us and behave herself. She was very well behaved the rest of the day and even assisted the boys with a jackrabbit catch.

A couple of jacks jumped up, but evaded capture in this Yucca forest:
View attachment 334762

They managed to get feet on one in this patch of scrub brush directly after though:
View attachment 334763

I was too busy managing three birds to stop and get a pic of them with their rabbit. What a challenge that is. I have to think very fast and act even faster.
Tom, when she grabbed your hands, her talons didn't go THROUGH the gloves, right?
 

Moozillion

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I had no glove on. I was bare handed. Her talons did go right through my skin. It doesn't feel good, but its a risk you take.
YOW!!!!
SO GLAD the boys stood up for you!!!!
It seems like several of your female hawks have been real witches (I wrote "witch" in my post, but in my mind I substituted a B for the W!
 

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