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Training Complete

October 7th, 2012

Training Complete

It took Cedar 15 days of manning and training to achieve first free flight and catch her first rabbit.  To say I’m excited about this would be an understatement. This is a wonderful start to what looks like it could be a great falconry season with a fantastic Red-Tailed Hawk.  It’s hard to say just where training ends and hunting begins for these raptors, but I’m quite pleased with today’s progress in the field.  The weather today was ideal  for Cedar’s first free flight;  light winds, cool temperatures, and a moderately cloudy /overcast sky.  Not only was she great at following along through the trees, she was very attentive to the hunting area,  and she was a successful hunter today.  Very exciting!  I’ll be sure not to get my hopes up too high, as each bird and each season can be different.  Each season, hawk, and adventures bringing their own set of challenges. I’m sure glad to be back enjoying the fall weather with a feathered friend in the hunting grounds. Stay tuned for more hunting updates, it’s going to be a heck of a ride!

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Cedar’s Training Progress

October 6th, 2012

Cedar’s Training

It’s been almost two weeks with Cedar and so far she is showing great promise during her training. She started out fairly high wieght, as nearly all newly trapped birds do, and has been manned down to training weight (around 850g) and continues to progress through the steps. The manning process took about two hours each day for the past week and we continue to spend time together to get used to one another.

Vitals:
Trap Weight: 1100g
Color: Dark Back, Medium-to-light Belly-Band, Light Colored Head Feathers
Feet: Large, dirty feet, a few mild scratches, talons sharp
Keel: Medium sharp
Crop: Full
Feathers: Good Shape, none missing
Attitude: Very Mild mannered, getting used to new falconer

So far, the most impressive feature about Cedar is her light colored feathers on her head and neck. She has a full white breast, with the distinctive immature belly band. Her breast feathers are very thick and it gives her the appearance of being larger than she actually is. The other thing that is amazing about this animal is her temperment. She is manning down very easily and allows all the handling and attention that new birds get without any issues. She sits on the glove very comfortably for long periods of time. She accepts a hood without any bating or issues. The other day, I was sizing hoods for her and she sat on the glove while I tried on 5 different hoods to get the proper size. She did not bate once. I’m truly excited about her personality and am excited for her training to progress into the hunting excercises.

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Hosting ‘Maude’

September 6th, 2012

Hosting Maude

 

This weekend, our mews is playing host to a ‘hawk-in-training’ just to make sure that she continues learning her falconry skills while her ‘master’ is away.  She is learning quickly and each encounter and training excercise is showing her strength and ability to hunt!

 

 

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Jump-Up Training

December 21st, 2011

Jump-Up Training

I’m experimenting this week with some additional hawk training this week to keep Sable in top condition through the winter. When I trapped her, Sable’s keel was exceptionally sharp and this seems to maintain it’s shape despite my best efforts to ‘beef her up’ with higher food rations. This doesn’t do much for hunting episodes, but I do want to make sure that she’s got enough muscle to fly properly when we do hunt. These exercises are part of that training.

As you can see by the video episode, she jumps up the the glove on each whistle command. There are 17 total jumps to the glove for food reward. One of the things I enjoy most about Sable is her easy-going personality.  She is not tethered for these training exercises, and follows commands and pays attention for the duration of the training session. When I need to take care of her feet for inspection and such, I can hood her, sock her up, and take care of her talons and feet. When I’m done, she pops back up to the glove like nothing ever happened.

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Oct 7 Successful Training Exercise

October 7th, 2011

 

Sable is enjoying her chipmunk that she caught today.  I am very excited for her first hunting experience, even if it is at home.  She is training like a champ and I’m excited to see what level she achieves as the hunting season continues.

 

 

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