Monday, October 08, 2007

flying naked

The phrase "flying naked" leads to many jokes, particularly around someone as big as my friend K, to the point of planning a video with some excellent stoops interspersed with scenes of him running around the field among strategically placed bushes. And K does not so much run as gallop: he lifts his legs high and bounds along, which is comical enough with clothes. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we couldn't convince him this could easily become the second most watched video on YouTube, right after "Star Wars Kid."

Flying naked, seriously, is flying your bird without jesses. It's a common longwinger practice because wild raptors can interpret dangling jesses as carried quarry, so it makes your bird subject to attack.

It's also rumored to make it easier for your bird to catch stuff. A paranoid falconer will use two transmitters; an old-fashioned one, two bells. They have a federal ID band and may have an owner's tag as well. All this clutter could add up to an extra ounce, and that's a lot to a 20-ounce bird. It's the same as a boxer having to wear ten pounds of weights and ropes hanging from his arms while fighting.

I've been flying P naked for about half this new season. There are lot of factors going into success but I think this may be one of them.

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