Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

it doesn't get simpler than this



And tell me this dog doesn't look like he needs a beer:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

itching

P's dropped a few downies and body feathers, but no flight feathers. I must admit that, except for the sharpy last year, I haven't kept a proper falconer's log in years. Memory fails (far too easily): is he behind schedule or does he normally start in June? or July?

I want him to start molting, and from his early-morning yakking, I think he'd like it too. Feeding him all the quail, chicken livers and crow he can eat would kick-start it, but for some reason I want a drop to tell me we're done for the season. Just one.

Quarry is jumpy and hard to find -- they're nesting too -- which makes for less-than-satisfactory hawking. We got just four plus one starling last week. Getting the car painted would buy some stealth...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

six weeks and silliness

A short while back, a falconer friend in Pennsylvania and I were joking about the Silver SUV of Death and WWII planes. This convo led to my purchase of a rubber stamp of a crow on Ebay. Since I didn't want to mess with my car, and besides, I juggle enough things car hawking already, I started stamping the wall in the hawk's room.
The little half-stamp is for the starling. The upside-down one is for the accidental take of a human-edible bird. (Roasted, with apple and jam stuffing. Eminently edible.)

Speaking of starlings, I've been stowing all small birds in the freezer in anticipation of a small raptor to feed them to. On a whim I decided to step up the action and built a starling nest trap.
This crazy monster is a birdhouse mounted on a 4" sewer pipe. A starling takes a peek inside and sees an eligible nest (artfully faked up with twigs, grass, and a hot glue gun.) Then, in theory, the starling gets so excited at the prospect of nest theft that it leaps in, and instead of landing in the nest, falls through the hole in the bottom of the birdhouse -- aaaaaaaahhhhhhhiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeee! -- down the pipe and to the bend. It then sees light (yes, at the end of the tunnel), and walks into a wire cage at the end, where it conveniently finds food, water, and eventual freezing.

I have no idea if anything will happen. I hear them every day, but I know the flock is quite small. Just a bit of nonsense to spice up the season.