Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
A falling limb knocked the cap off the chimney several days ago, and the owl evidently fell in while exploring the new cavity that had suddenly appeared in her territory. (The damaged tree itself is a potential nesting location.) Elaine and the homeowners had tried last night to pull the bird up with a rope, but couldn't get her past a narrowing of the flue six or seven feet from the top. Today we tried to push her up using the sweeps' brush, but again failed to get her past the chokepoint. Fortunately, she took a good hold on the brush and Steve was finally able to pull her down far enough so we could grab her legs and guide her out past the damper.
Despite being worked up and down the narrow confines of the chimney like a bottle brush, she emerged without feather damage (most cavity-nesting birds have very flexible feathers) or other injury. And despite having been inside for several days, she was in remarkably good condition—a bit thirsty, but nowhere near starving. She did some bill-popping, but otherwise handled the ordeal with equanimity.
Nothing in the world could be as soft as the body plumage of a barred owl...
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Bob Noble flushing birds for Hannibal, a Harris' hawk trained by Mike Cox, in an unsuccessful flight out of the hood.
Hannibal flying off a rail car.
Hannibal cruises overhead in search of quarry.
Happy Bob, with Hannibal on the fist and a bunny in the bag.
Reunion: Mike checking Hannibal's keel after the flight.
Hannibal's sister, Clarice, atop a brushpile. (Yes, the names are from The Silence of the Lambs.)
Clarice, still with a footful of grass and fur from a previous flight, launches again from Karl Linderholm's fist.
"Which one is not like the others?"—Stekoa in flight. [Photo by Mitchell Renteria.]
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Another new blog is Trevor Herriot's Grass Notes, a prairie blog from a Canadian perspective. (HT John at Prairie Ice.)
Excellent new post at Accipitrarius Sordatus, as well as from both Dan and Gervase at Cheyenne River Updates here and here. Also new tazi puppies at Querencia, so congratulations Steve & Libby.
Here in Lincoln they're making a big deal about the upcoming 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth; less so about Charles Darwin's, which of course falls on the same day. Patrick has a great collection of Darwinian cartoons at Terrierman's Daily Dose, missing out only the Northwoods t-shirt that depicts the final step as a falconer with a peregrine on his fist.
I'm highlighting my neighbours' work largely because I've not been writing much at all lately, but maybe I can at least post a picture later on.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Over the last few years, as states like Delaware and Connecticut finally put falconry regulations into place, the North American Falconers' Association (NAFA) finally achieved its goal of legal falconry in 49 states. Hawai'i had always been considered a non-starter because the 'io was listed as an endangered species, and the state was understandably opposed to the use of non-native raptors. If the 'io is in fact delisted, it will be interesting to see if Hawai'ian falconry with the 'io might someday become a possibility. Of course, any efforts in that direction will be need to be extremely sensitive not only to the usual opposition from opponents of field sports, but also to the bird's significance as an 'amakua or (roughly translated) totem animal in traditional Hawai'ian culture.