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Early December Falconry

December 10th, 2012

Early December Falconry

Michigan Hawking Club West Side Field Meet

The Michigan Hawking Club hosted a west-side field meet this past weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  This is a gathering of falconers from across the state who help out not only with falconry adventures for folks in the club, but also by putting on a falconry program for the Boy Scouts.  Several members of the club bring their raptors for an educational program for Boy Scouts interested in earning their “Birding Badge” in the boy scouts.  The educational program is lead by a master falconer for the local boy scout troop and other falconers assist where needed with their birds by putting on additional demonstrations.

Club members who are interested in additional falconry experience can go out with falconers for hunting expeditions in the morning and the afternoon.  Our group went out early in the morning to a local hunting spot that was close to the Boy Scout center for a morning hunting expeidition.  The hunting was difficult in the early part of the day due to the covering of snow that coated all the brush and trees in the morning.  I flew Cedar for the group and she did extremely well for  a young Red-Tailed hawk out for the first time with such a large group of people.  Typically, young hawks have difficulty hunting with large groups of people at first, as they are usually used to only the falconer in the field as a hunting partner. When you add an additional ten brush-beaters to the hunting party, the activity can sometimes get to be too much for the young hawk.  Cedar followed along just fine and took several stoops at running cotton-tails in the early part of the day.  She pulled fur on one and the morning came to a close for us.

Cedar’s Progress

During one of my recent hunting expeditions, I was able to capture this short clip of Cedar returning to the glove for a tidbit.  She has been hunting very well, taking stoops and dives on rabbits on each field outing.  She follows the hunting party (usually me and another falconer) very well and responds to direction and encouragement while out in the field.  I’m very excited for her progress and ability to follow and pay close attention while out in the field.

 

Gyrfalcon

I was lucky enough to be able to meet this wonderful Gyrfalcon, named “Luna” this past weekend (below). With all the other falconers at the field meet this weekend, there were great opportunities to learn new things and to “talk hawking” with friends.  These meets are great for that, as well as getting to see and visit up close with different birds and learn about them.

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