Archive for October, 2011

Federal Bird Band: Lesson learned.

Posted in Falconry on October 26, 2011 by ABS

Well I called Megan at TPWD and she sent me a Federal Band for my new bird that we named “Kain”. Actually my daughter named him Kain she is the namer of all animal things in our house. I measured Kain’s tarsus and cut the tubing to the right size and zip tied it on. It can turn an the tarsus and seemed loose enough but Kain doesn’t like it. He picks at it and spins it every chance he can and now he has a small pink mark on a leg scale. I am going to call Megan and see if she can issue me a new band. The next one I will put on alot looser. So lesson learned put them on loose so it wont rub on the tarsus when the bird pics on it.

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Tail Saver Perch

Posted in Falconry on October 26, 2011 by ABS

I hear alot of good thing about the Meng Type tail saver perch. I have a floor perch but because of the way it is made I never leave my bird on it unattended for safety reasons. I went out and bought some 1/4″ and a 1/2″ round cold roll bar. I took them along with a picture to a local welder. I explained what I wanted and he made me a nice meng perch for my bird. I will be wrapping it tonight. It is 26″ at the base and 18″ high.

I really like this set up and it is probably the safest perch I have used. Kain’s leash is just short enough that it can’t wrap completely around the perch in any direction. Also I feel the shorter leash and tying him high will protect him from any leg injuries while bating. He sure looks happy in my weed choaked rock infested sun scorched backyard.

An Indoor Perch

Posted in Falconry on October 26, 2011 by ABS

Well the wife aint happy but she is letting me use our spare bedroom to house the bird in. We have a mews outside but I want to make some changes to it like adding a misting system and an evacuation air fan to keep it cooler inside it. Here in Laredo, Texas the heat can climb up to 110 plus degrees. In the spare bedroom we layed down some foam board and covered it in plastic tarp over that we put a 9′ X 12′ short pile grass mat. We lined the walls with 4′ x 12′ choroplast to keep the mutes contained. We are building a wooden perch that will fit in the corner with 50lbs of weight in the bottom of it so the bird can’t pull it and/or knock it over. We made it out of heavy 3/4 inch plywood.

We are going to wrap the perch area with sissal rope on the sides with grass mat in the center so the bird will have two different perching surfaces to use. We also have a heavy piece of mesquite cut as a perch he can get to which we call his feeding stump.

Well we finally finished the indoor perch. I wrapped it with sissal rope very tightly and put grass carpeting on as well so the bird has a choice of perching surfaces. I got a bunch of blisters from wrapping the rops so tightly. With the short leash and this system it seems pretty safe as well. Only thing is now I would rather make a Table Loop Perch for the bedroom. My wife is pissed because that will be my next project LOL.

 

My new hunting partner

Posted in Falconry on October 3, 2011 by ABS

On Saturday, 10/01/2011 we finally started seeing some immature Redtails & Kestrels around Alice, Texas off of Hwy 59/Hwy44. Surprisingly we only saw a few Whitetailed Hawks usually we see bunches of them down here. We stayed on the Farm Roads around Alice and Robstown. Then in Corpus Christi we saw more immature Redtails so I guess they migrate faster down the coast. At 8:39 AM we trapped a 809 gram immature Redtail Hawk in Jim Wells County off of FM1539.

 When I first saw him, he was up in a tree overlooking a fallow crop field. I walked out into the field and spooked him. He flew approximately a half mile to a telephone pole. We drove by and tossed our faithful gerbil “Lili” out to do the redtail dance in the Bal Chatri about 50 meters from him on the side of the road. We drove about 4 telephone pole lengths away to watch. The bird slammed the trap pretty quickly but got spooked by a passing car and flew up across the road into a tree. The bird was watching the trap like a demon possessed. My wife was laughing at me because I was praying and tossing salt and practicing all manner of voodoo to get the bird to hit the trap. A few minutes later he slammed the trap again and I thought he was caught so I told my wife “Go, Go, Go!” We got up beside the trap and he spooked up to the telephone pole to glare at us. So we drove on by. 

After about ten minutes he flew back down beside the trap and we watched through binoculars. He would jump on the trap and foot it then jump off. We saw him flapping his wings and again I told my wife I think he is caught. My wife was like no just wait. Then the bird flew up about 5’ in the air dragging the trap with him. He flew across the road dragging the trap finally it brought him down. 

He weighed 809 grams off the trap and his keel is very sharp. He is feather perfect with no squirrel bites on his feet. The tips of his deck feathers are a little ragged but that is to be expected down here. We sprayed him down with Bird Mite Spray and within a few minutes several feather mites came up to the top of his feathers below his beak. The male redtail hood I have is not small enough to fit his head properly but it will work for now. I called Mikes Falconry and he is sending me a new hood.

 

 

This was a large female we trapped prior to the male. We jessed her up and we were going to keep her but a few minutes later we saw the small male out in the field. We released this female which was very heavy and super fat. I had a small female last year and really wanted a smalle male this year to try something different.

 

 

 

 

 

My daughter and I manned this bird for 23 hours also known as “Waking”. I have to admit he would not tuck his wings at all and always stayed a little fluffed up in an aggressive stance. The next day we manned him for 8 hours and the following day another 6 hours. He finally started tucking his wings up and slicking back. He roused on my daughters hand finally. We are big on hydrating our birds and try to teach them to not be afraid of a squirt bottle which he picked up on quickly.

 

As you can see he manned down quite nicely. He hates the hood and will bate like crazy but after a few attempts he will sit quietly with it on. He was taking tidbits off the glove by the end of day one. We scooped up his mutes and placed it in a plastic zip lock bag and examined them. You could see what I am thinking is round worm and tape worm segments inside the fecal part of the mute. We gave him Wormout and Apertex and it seems to have cleaned them out pretty well.

 By the end of day two he was bending down to tear meat on the glove but he took his time doing it. On day four he jumped to the glove and on day five we had him flying 30 feet inside the house to the glove using a variable predator call whistle. On day six we had him outside on the creance. He is coming along super fast.

Marriage Vows Renewed

Posted in Falconry on October 3, 2011 by ABS

Well the wife and I renewed our wedding vows after five years of marriage on our anniversary September 28, 2011. Our first marriage was a Justice of the Peace ceremony this one was a full blown wedding with the Minister, dress, reception and all the fixings. Let’s just say the wife was mighty happy.

My daugher Jasmine, the Best Wo-man.

 

My wife is Catholic so it was a formal service with Arias, Bibles being presented, Unity candles and all the other frills. We had a blast and now she can have her full blown wedding picture wall with all the trimmings. I have to say it was nice seeing her so happy. She can have anything she wants because she puts up with my hunting, fishing, Falconry, BBQ, drinking and cussing. She is an all around Saint as far as I am concerned.

Swainson’s Hawk

Posted in Falconry on October 3, 2011 by ABS

September 24th and 25th, the wife and I drove up to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and drove all around the airport hoping to trap a nice passage Redtailed Hawk for this season. We heard word on the forums they were already down at least that far south. We saw only 1 hag redtail and no juveniles so we headed up towards Sangar and Pilots Point, Texas around the lake further north. We finally saw one immature Redtailed Hawk but he bumped as soon as we dropped the trap. A little while later we saw another just south of Pilots Point but he also bumped. We ended up coming back home empty handed.

Well we went trapping again on September 26, 2011 and saw nothing but Harris Hawks, Buzzards and a Swainson Hawk. The Swainson was about a mile south of FM 255 on the south bound service road of IH-35. He was sitting on a telephone pole over the rail road tracks. I grabbed my trap and hot footed it to about a pole away and the bird just watched me place the trap on the ground. I had just made it back to the truck when he hit the trap. He was a beautiful bird but totally illegal for a Texas Apprentice to keep so we sprayed him down with mite spray and I removed about a dozen thorns from him. We released him and he took off like it was no big deal to go back hunting. Very awesome bird.