Posts Tagged ‘hood’

Giant Hood

April 14th, 2009

Giant Hood Completed



This week I completed my giant hood or ‘hawk box’.  This is another do-it yourself type project that is easy to do if you are at all inclined to woodworking or making things with your hands.  The hawk box serves as a transport / carrier for your raptor while in the vehicle from location to location.  It’s also a good temporary resting place when cleaning out the mews, or when the weather outside is frightfully chilly.

While the giant hood is not a required piece of equipment, others would argue that it is essential to keeping your raptor safe, under control, and protected while travelling. There are many variations on the hawk box, from using PVC and plastic panels, to coroplast. I chose a pattern to make my giant hood out of 1/4″ louon with some additional accessories.  The main thing to making your box easy to tote around is to make it light enough to carry your raptor without overburdening you. A box that is too big, or too weighty will make travels difficult.




I used a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/4″ louon, 12 feet of 1/2″ quarter-round moulding construction on the inside to secure the edges, and 12 feet of 1/2″ corner moulding on the outside to hide the seams and about 75 wood screws.  With the sides and door securely attached to the moulding, I then cut the outside corner moulding to fit the dimensions of the box.  Once all the glue had dried, I drilled 2″ holes in each of the sides of the box for venting.  A few soffet vents filled the holes and completed the ventalation.  I attached some hardware handles, and made sure to reinforce the anchors with 5/8″ plywood inside the box.  The handle on the top is for carrying, and while the side handles can also be used for two-handed carrying, the real use is for tie-downs in the car when placed in the back.  I can secure the box with some bungee cords or straps and these handles will provide that support.  The corners of the wood block anchors were routed for a smooth, round finish.


Additional Details


On the left side of the box, just outside the door, I placed an additional handle for clipping the leash to the box, securing the raptor in case of a hasty exit.  A small hole between the door and the door catch allows the leash to latch to the outside catch. Inside, I mounted a perch on a 1″ dowel, and used a slot so that I could remove it for cleaning.  The dowel is covered in foam pipe insulation for a soft perching base.  A 16″ x 5″ peice of astroturf is sewn together at the seam to create a uniform look on the perch.


The inside was painted with a dark color to keep the bird calm during travel.   I ran out of black paint, so I used an emerald green that I like.  The outside of the box is covered in one coat of marine varnish, to prevent fading by exposure to sunlight.  The marine varnish is some of the best coating for protecting wood from exposure to the elements.  It’s important to give the box 4 weeks or more of airation and drying time before putting a raptor in your box.  You want to make sure that any of the chemicals have long since evaporated before using full time.


I hunted around for a suitable door latch that was decorative, yet functional.  If you go into a marine store, they have really nice brass and stainless hinges and all sorts of door clasps, however, you’ll pay a premium price for these riggings.  Since I didn’t need brass or stainless (even though they really looked nice), I settled for some inexpensive, yet functional small brass door hinges and a turn-catch.


More Pictures:

Giant Hood

Pictures that show the completed hawk box, or giant hood.


Additional Ideas and Suggestions:

  • To provide additional aeration and venting, a small CPU fan could be put in place of one of the soffet vents to forcefully move air through the box. Wire up some batteries in a small, detachable box and instant air for your raptor.  * Warning: Hawk boxes should never be set out into direct sunlight while holding a raptor.
  • Install some clips to the inside to hold your newspaper or muting material for a quick change when it’s time for a cleaning.
  • Leave one of the soffet vents on the bottom-rear of the box un-glued.  That way, you can remove easily and wash out the chunky stuff (ewwww….).
  • Pound in some furniture-savers (sliders or posts) into the bottom four corners of the hawk box to avoid scraping the wood when sliding around or moving from place to place. Depending upon your storage or travel needs, you may want these posts to be ‘grippy’ instead, that way, your box *won’t* slide when you are driving around.

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