Monday, June 28, 2010

First Day at Hack

Little Rainbow has found her wings in the past few days, so today we began her tame hack.  I put her and her nest up in a tree outside of work first thing this morning and she promptly branched her way up into the upper part of the tree.  The plan is to put her out in the mornings upon arriving at work and call her down towards the end of the day to take her home for the night.  I have been feeding her a couple of bites in the mornings and then a full crop around 5pm each day to try and set a schedule of how things will go for the coming weeks.   I had to cut down the unlimited food supply because she was starting to show extreme fear of me, my glove in particular, when food was presented.  I'm attributing this "wildness" to the fact that she was raised with a sibling for the first couple of weeks taking away from the imprinting process. 

By spreading out the feeding times that fear disappeared and she is back to her friendly trusting self.  Her weight has been consistently in the 440-460 gram range each morning and I don't plan on really dropping her weight until other problems begin showing up or we get closer to her penning.  Today also marked the first day that she has really made any noise at all aside from her baby "peeps."  Not anywhere near a scream though, more of a soft "kewww."  

Her third black band is just showing through today and she is 33 days old.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What ya lookin' at?

Watching the Wii cursor moving around the TV screen is pretty interesting to a baby hawk.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

They grow up so fast

The new bird around 20days old or so.  She (weight is well into the 400 gram range) is standing and running around quite a bit now and also tearing into food as well.

As always imprints are a big hit with the family.  Both of my daughters go back and forth between being very interested to the extreme which quickly changes to disinterested; as birds around are the norm for our house.

It's also hard to believe my youngest daughter just turned one a little less than a month ago and the other will be three coming up!  I thought time when fast before but now its really moving.  With being three comes opinions and it is her opinion that the bird be named "Rainbow."  I didnt even know that she knew that word until I asked her what we should name the bird.   Well have to see if it sticks.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another go at this....

Cooper's Hawk nest high in the tree.

Here we go again.  I  decided that I am going to take another shot at imprinting another Cooper's Hawk.  Last summer I gave it a shot but the bird died unexpectantly about two weeks before being fully summed and after necropsy and tests there was no conclusion as to why he died.  Read more here.

Little closer shot

So I have been looking forward to giving it another shot this year.  Last year it was almost too easy to find a nest.  Basically I saw and adult fly into the woods and Daniel and I stumbled onto it within a couple of minutes of searching.  This year was different.  Many of the nests that we had found last year drew a blank this year. We (mostly Daniel) did find several active nests, mainly in the Tulsa metro area, and have been watching them for the past month or so.  By metro area I mean right in the middle of the darn city.  The majority of nests were WAY up in sycamore trees and in people's front and back yards.  Not the best for climbing without drawing attention to yourself.   

Monkey me up the tree

We did go back to a nest that was shown to us by a friend last year that was deep in the woods.  We found that this nest was active and it just happened to be in a very picturesque section of forest.  Also the tree is a hackberry tree which is a whole lot safer to climb than the brittle sycamores the other nests are in.  So it was decided that this was probably going to be the one.

Rappelling down with the "cargo"

We first climbed the nest on April 27th just to see how things were coming along.  In the nest we found four eggs and knew were were in business.  Then came the waiting game.

Daniel the "safety supervisor"

We kept a close eye on the city nests which were much quicker to check than the wooded nest.  In fact, Daniel had one just blocks from his house that we could see without even getting out of the car.  Last week we finally saw adults feeding babies, along with slices all around below the nest and knew is was time to head on back.

~2 day old chicks

So we headed back out to the woods only to find the female sitting on the nest and no slices below the tree.  Hmmmm...This was not looking good now.  After some quick math we decided that if the nest was still alive then there would have to be babies at this point.  So I put on the tree spikes and headed up the 40 or so feet of tree trunk to the nest.  The mother didn't leave the nest until I was about 4 feet below her and that got me thinking that I was just gonna see eggs.  Luckily I'm wrong from time to time, because when I scaled the last several feet and peeked over the edge of the nest I found several young Cooper's Hawks staring back at me!

Still sweating from the climb an hour earlier.

The birds had hatched but they were only a day or two old and that explains why we didn't see a lot of Coop poop at the base of the tree.  These birds were a little younger than I would have liked but I wasn't to psyched to climb that tree again so I decided I would put in the time it takes to get a young bird going.  So with the help of Daniel and fellow Oklahoma falconer Glen Bernard, I ended up pulling two birds of the four that were in the nest (Ok falconry regs state that two birds must be left in the nest) and Glen and I are the proud new austringers in the state this year.

I have the same plan for this bird as I did for the last one.  After it is close to being hard penned I'm going tame hack it at work for a month or two and see what happens.  I have high hopes for dog and bird working together this falconry season.