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Trianing Log

October 27th, 2009

Training Log

Since I don’t have a better place to put my descriptive log for the first week, I’m going to post it up here with the weight chart from my first couple of weeks. This way, I can go back and refer to it, and have it stored where it’s pretty easy to access.  Any further entries are going to be contained as POSTS to this blog.

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Hawk Log entry day 1: September 27th, 2009


Trapped at 1147 grams.   Weight with equipment:  1174 grams.  After dusting, and attachment of the Jesses, We fitted her with a hood, and placed her in the box carefully.  The hood was put on slightly loose so that she could throw it and be comfortable for most of the day. When I took her out of the hood in the evening, she was turned around with the hood off.

Evening Summary:

3 bates in a row, it took 15 minutes to relax (hackles down, wings down)
Some Time….
water attempt, bate
20 minutes
water again, better adjustment
20 minutes
Chopstick test, good.
20 minutes
water again, easily accepted.
10 minutes, chopstick test, no big deal.
10 minutes, I stood up, bate
More Time….
Muted on the paper (thank goodness) and began looking around for an exit.  bated once. Decided to call it a night.
Clumsily attempted to hood her. Would not accept the hood (not surprising).
Slowly backed her into the Giant hood with no problems. Closed the door.  Forgot to put tinfoil in Hood. opened door and put tin-foil under her, no issues.

Will present food tonight.  I’ll need to hood her in order to get weight tonight.

Overall, I think the first night went pretty well, all things considered.  While a scared red-tailed hawk is quite formidable, she also seems to be picking up on things fairly quickly.  The watering took two attempts for her to be comfortable with that.  She often lip-smacked and seemed to be ready by the third time for the water.   The chopstick lesson was also a good introduction to having her feet touched, and she tolerated it exceptionally well;  looked down at the chopstick, but didn’t flinch, bate, or give it hardly any attention.  Her feet didn’t move. Since she was so tolerant of the chopstick on the feet, I even attempted to smooth out her wing feathers with my hand.  Slow, deliberate movements with no sudden moves is key.  She accepted my hand, albeit, apprehensively. She never snapped at me with her beak, but was very much against the hood going back on.

Hawk Log entry day 2: September 28th, 2009

Opened Hawk-Box to find Tahoe turned around again.  Only one small mute on the tin-foil.
One good bate-fit right out of the box, settled onto fist.
After three attempts, success at hooding.
Placed on scale for  weight:  1130g
Hood-tare= 20g : So far, all weights have been with hood, so actual weight is 20g heavy.

Unhooded Tahoe, and settled into the chair.
Gave water, easily accepted.
Touched with chopstick.
Touched wings and feathers with hand, gently: minimal reaction.
Touched feet with hands. minimal reaction  (this is a good sign)
Washed feet with toothbrush and water. minimal reaction (now I’m excited!)
Occasional feet adjustments on glove, repositioning.
Muted twice on paper.
Again, started looking around for an exit, bated. (this happened twice)
Changed leash from caribiner style to snap-shackle style while on the glove. (no issues)

Placed her back in the box without issue.

Looking forward to getting her tail-mount clip for telemetry transmitter.

I should note another difference from first night to tonight: she held onto the glove for balance with good grip-force so much that it took the circulation out of my finger.  Tonight, not so much.  In fact, after she did settle with a wider stance on my fist, her grip relaxed a bit with better balance. Seemed much more comfortable.

Hawk Log Day 3: September 29th, 2009

1: introduction to the boys

2: outfitting at sues

3: intro to food – no dice

weight: 1069, no hood

Hawk Log Entry, Day 4: September 30th, 2009

Tahoe spent two hours on the fist today during work hours at the computer. One hard bate during the afternoon session. Had a chicken drumstick on the fist. She did notice it, at one point even grabbing it with left foot.

Tool her out in the evening session and got weight: 1039 g no hood.
Settled in on the fist later brushed feet, no problems with that.
Failed at three attempt at hooding, but then was able to get it on upside down. Tightened it up and the loosened it and took it off . I want to be able to hood her and for her to learn that’s it’s not a long term thing.
Sat down for another long spell And the put her back in the box. Took the hawk box out to the mews for the night. Night was chilly @ 35 degrees. We’ll see if that helps the response tonight for food.

weight: 1040g

Hawk log day 5, Thursday October 1st, 2009

wight: 1040g

No change in weight today is quite disturbing, considering that she spent the night outside in the mews during a cold night (35 degrees).  When I took her out of the box, she was quite fluffed up.  Tonight I had lynn help me for the first time with some maintenance items:
1. we placed the band on the bird, now that we had tygon tubing around the band.
2. lynn cleaned talons for the first time.  It was a trick to put the bird back up on my own fist.
3. I decided that I didn’t like the thin jesses that appeared to be showing wear, so I changed them with Tahoe on the fist.
4. we have some dirty feathers from sitting in the giant hood, so I cast her in my lap again, and attempted to clean them: a few primaries and the train is dirty.

Hawk log, day 6, Friday October 2nd, 2009

Weight: 1040g
Had her out on the fist during the day during work.  Comfortable bird. roused and sat flat-footed.
attempted to show food (chicken leg) and was not interested this evening.  Another session goes by without a bend-over.
Washed feet

Hawk Log Day 7, Saturday October 3rd

Weight: 1030g
Chipmunk Weight: 110g

I’ll follow Sue’s cue this evening and provide a tasty thawed out chipmunk for Tahoe tonight.
She ate the whole chipmunk! success! It was a good feast, Tahoe looked down, stalled a minute with fur in her beak, and then bent down , fully mantled over her food, and ripped and tore into the chipmunk.  It took her a few minutes to eat, as she tore into it, prepared bite-sized peices, and she ate the whole thing.  She even cleaned her talons when she was finished.  A very satisfying session for both hawk and falconer.

Hawk Log, Day 8: Sunday October 4th, 2009

Weight: 1059g

Started out today’s session with feet cleaning, and weight.  Then things went downhill from then.  See, the chipmunk was probably too much for her, and is not hungry today. No response to beef-heart or to a small mouse. Whistled and showed garnished glove, and she looked away.  She does like the other perch though; she flew to it off the glove.  Now if I can just get the opposite.
Hooding went poorly again.  No luck with the hood.  She figured out how to avoid the hole for her beak, and rejects it every time.  I got my finger snapped once, and the last time she grabbed the hood right out of my hand and threw it to the ground.
I put her back into a clean box, and then took her out to the mews.

Hawk Log, Day 9: Monday October 5th, 2009

Weight: 1033g

Found my first casting in the hawk box today, most likely from the chipmunk the other night.  She spent the night and the day out in the mews, and will go back out there tonight.
Session was short tonight: no response to beef heart reward, no step to the glove. So we brushed feet with minimal distraction and also put the transmitter on and took it off.  This was an irritation to her.  Tough to get it on, and same difficulty to get it off.  Did not appreciate hand reaching behind her and messing with feathers.  Transmitter is *difficult* to get on while raptor is irritated with you.  I hope it goes more smoothly next time.

Hawk Log, Day 10:  Tuesday October 6th, 2009

Weight: 1017g

Sue came over and performed West Nile Vaccination this evening.  Very easy. Surprising how well the bird took it.
No response to tidbit on glove.  Washed feet for a few minutes.  I think she actually got more calm as I scrubbed (feathers down, and wings relaxed).Put back in box and finished early this evening.

Hawk Log, Day 11: Wednesday October 7th, 2009

Weight: 994g

She took three hops to the glove for beef heart today.

Hawk Log, Day 12:  Thursday October 8th, 2009

Weight: 979g

I chopped up four mice for nutrition today.  She hopped twice, and flew 4 times to the glove.  Only ate 6 halves of mice, other two were not interested in. Flights were short: 5 feet, not much more.  The interest just isn’t there.
Not ready for creance, not ready for mews yet.

Hawk Log, Day 13: Friday October 9th, 2009

Weight 985g
Training session in the house, flew to glove, missed on last time.
Took Her out to  the mews for the first time.  I sat her on the window first, then showed her the high perch.

Hawk Log, Day 14:  Saturday October 10th, 2009

970g in am
959g in pm with 20g hood on
939g total

Hawk Log Day 15: Sunday October 11th, 2009

Weight: 905g in afternoon

25g of beef heart, 20g mouse (med)
Creance training, did well: first bate off of perch, then came to glove 8x.  Ended with the mouse.  Yum.

Hawk Log, Day 16:    Monday, October 12th, 2009

875g to start
935g to end
60 g food

Response not quite there yet.  We were out in the yard, just before dark, so the lack of daylight may have contributed to her lack of attention.
Threw down the lure with a big mouse.  Noticed, but did not pounce.

Hawk Log, Day 17: Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

886g to start
936g to end
50g food

Training at Sues today.  Response not fast enough yet.  We think another 20 – 25g or so should produce the type of response I am looking for: Attentive, hot to the glove, and ready for more.

Hawk Log: Friday October 16th, 2009

weight: 865g

Performance was very good on the Creance at the Park today.  Flew full length of creance to glove.

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Here is a graph of her weight with overlays of the temperature for the corresponding days.

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