Saturday, October 13, 2007

win some, lose some

P's new primaries are nearly full length, and the bastard drops another. I've never kept close tabs on molted feathers, but this one definitely looks like it's been through a year. (Feathers sun-bleach just like hair.)

We've been getting some rain and cold, and it's taking more food to keep him at weight than in the summer. (Molt season, they're fat as pigs, it sticks to them, and it takes far fewer calories to stay warm.) However, it seems like he needs more than in past seasons, so I wonder if he might have picked up an internal parasite. K always has the entire raptor pharmacopeia, and I'm sure he'll have something appropriate.

In the meantime we're taking doubles almost all the time now, and at greater distances. Finding the second slip can be hard, but I'm expanding my areas. I'm sure P would love catching more (he looked extremely satisfied the day we got four) but I rarely have the gall to slip him off a second time. This afternoon was slightly nerve racking. I generally fly only on public roads, but they just weren't there. Instead, the first was found in the driveway of a hotel near Moffet Field. We passed a good-sized flock (about 20 or so) on NASA property (fenced), but it was secured, so we went on. Turning onto Shoreline Boulevard, P got all excited as we passed the Microsoft parking lot, so I found my way over there and got his second.

Carhawking is effortless not just for me, but for P as well. Several few weeks into the season I noticed a loss in muscle tone even though he was taking plenty of quarry. This would never happen if we were going after cottontails or jacks. So now, once a week he gets a hundred vertical jumps and this has improved his flight considerably.

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