Monday, December 7, 2009

Frustrations of Baby Birds

The nice thing about the frustrations from baby birds is that it is usually a temporary thing.  It seems this past week we have had every kind of frustration.  Missed stoops leading to tail chases, ducks hammered to the ground only to have a lazy wing-over and they escape, whacking a Mallard that hugged the edge of a pond while his two buddies flush clean over the prairie (the Mallard that was hit was knocked through the ice and popped up in the middle of pond a minute later, kinda funny looking back on it), hitting ducks in the rear end rather than the head giving the duck a sudden boost of speed; all of which have happened over the past week.  These are the things that often leave me head scratching.  Is his weight to low, or to high, did the last duck he hit beat on him and now he's scared of ducks, did I flush to far out of position?  The list goes on and on when things don't end up with the desired outcome.  

But more times than not it all just comes back together and I have to realized that this is just a baby bird and baby birds to baby bird things.  Catching game is new to them and it takes years for them to have seen all the moves that each duck species has in their "I wanna live mode".  I got spoiled with the hybrid that died last year.  In his third season he had seen it all from ducks and it was surprising to not come home with a duck in the bag.  This year we are back to square one and I have to jump into action when *surprise!* he gets one. 

Today it all came together again.  I had not changed anything despite my rethinking of every flight.  Pretty text book flight.  He quickly mounted up to a respectable pitch and came down in a nearly vertical stoop cutting through the drake Gadwall.  No wing-over, no power-bind, just straight through the duck at top speed.  Both duck and falcon fell behind the wall of the cattle pond dam out of view, but I knew there was no way this duck was gonna get up again.  Hell I could hear the collision from over 100 yards away.  After making my jog over there I found falcon munching away on duck vertebrae.  An excellent flight and a good reminder that he is still learning and seems to be getting it.

On a less exciting note I served my Gyrkin for the first time today and he handled it well.  Soon there should be hawking stories from him.  *Knock on Wood*

Speaking of wood, Tiger Woods, did everyone hear that he thinks his name is too famous now and he is thinking of getting it legally changed to Cheetah?


Jvanz8 said...

I think that Tiger is from down sSouth so really it wold become Cheeter.....

Josh Myers said...

im glad your "baby" is coming around. Cant wait to hear about your gerkin too :)

How many birds total do you have?

Ryan said...

I have two Falcons, several parrots, and slew of pigeons at home. I also train birds for a living.

Josh Myers said...

If you don't mind me asking, how did you get into animal training?

I am just graduating from college but not necessarily with a degree that would help me into the animal field?

Over the last couple of years i have been soaking up A LOT of falconry info and can already see it being something i want to dedicate my life to.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.


Ryan said...

What degree doesn't really matter, just that you have one. It really comes down to what you know and more importantly who you know. Feel free to email me ( I can elaborate. I also hire interns throughout the year. The next one I'll be hiring will start this spring if your interested keep in contact and apply in late Feb. or early March.