Sunday, November 30, 2008

redtail whimsy

Tis the season to be trapping. Actually, that started in October, but we see most of our passage birds in early November. There seemed to be quite a few immie redtails and Swainson's hawks coming through. Just for the hell of it, I put together a new balchatri a few days ago, bought a hooded rat (a little more expensive but so much more cooperative than feeders) last night, and went trapping this morning.

It got some interest from a mature female RT but she wasn't interested enough, which was just as well. I moved on and set it for an unusal bird I couldn't quite identify until it flushed, and I realized I was looking at a very contrasty peregrine, perhaps a tundrius but more likely a Peale's. It moved to another power tower, where another peregrine, which had the look of an anatum, was munching on a pigeon.
(The light one is at the bottom of the photo.)

The third time I set the trap was for an obvious immature RT perched on a road sign. S/he was hungry and went for the trap as soon as I drove away. S/he overflew it, though, a little nervous, and perched on another road sign directly across from the trap. S/he was there just long enough for me to get turned around and park the car. Within 20 seconds s/he hit it.So now I have a redtail without any plan whatsoever. She weighed in at 1220 gm but he has a calmness I associate with tiercels, as well as some of the delicate look. Of course, I'll do all the usual things, hooding, walking him/her around, training to come, but there's limited joy in chasing jackrabbits. I think I may just train a little for the fun of it, then let him/her go.

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