Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Aging Female Kestrels

Click on photo to enlarge

I thought I would share my observations of how I age female kestrels, since it seems to be hard for a lot of people. The sub terminal black band being close to equal size to the bands above it can be a good indicator of passage in a lot of birds but some, like the one above, its pretty hard to tell. 

I've trapped a bunch over the past couple of years and I only counted passage by stress bars across the tail, then I compared them to known hags. There are a couple of stand out indicators between the two. At least from the birds I've trapped in Oklahoma. One is the overall color. Passage birds are a dull orange compared to hags that are more of a reddish orange. The black markings on hags are much sharper than that of the passage birds. The most distinguishing feature that I have noticed is the color of the primaries and secondaries. On the hags they are almost black and on the passage birds they are more brown. Also the Hags have a distinct white trailing edge to their primaries and secondaries, where the passage birds have a more tan trailing edge. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wildlife commissioners denounce HB 1249

State wildlife commissioners on Monday criticized a bill that passed the House of Representatives on Thursday which requires hunters to first get permission of a landowner before retrieving a lost hunting dog.
HB 1249 passed the state House of Representatives 80-11 on Thursday and now goes to the state Senate.
Commissioner Ed Abel of Oklahoma City, an avid coon hunter, said the bill threatens honest sportsmen with fines and possible jail sentences.
At the end of the monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission, Abel asked his fellow commissioners to pass a resolution voicing their opposition to the bill and send it to each lawmaker in the state Legislature.
The commission chose not to vote on a resolution, fearing it might be a violation of the state’s open meeting laws since HB 1249 was not listed on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.
However, most commissioners agreed the bill is bad for Oklahoma sportsmen.
“If the real point (of the bill) is cattle rustling, there is no reason to include hunting dogs,” said Commissioner David Riggs of Sand Springs, who suggested an amendment to HB 1249 that would exclude hunting dogs from the legislation.
Authors of HB 1249 contend the measure is to crack down on cattle rustling, but Commissioner Harland Stonecipher of Centrahoma on Monday called that a lie.
“It’s really about hunting dogs,” said Stonecipher, a longtime houndsman.
Hunters presently have the right to retrieve their dogs when they have wandered on another person’s land. However, it would be considered trespassing under HB 1249.
Coon hunting is a deeply rooted tradition in Oklahoma. National competitions in coon hunting are often held in Oklahoma but that would end if HB 1249 becomes law, Abel said.
State wildlife commissioners discussed the possibility of calling a special meeting to address the legislation.

This could make retrieving one's bird very difficult.....


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Best Pics from the 2010-2011 Season in No Particular order

And that ends another falconry season.  Next year Daniel will be a general falconer and his falconry horizons will be open, I'll definitely be flying my falcons, and who knows what new things may come.