PDA

View Full Version : Apache - 2011 Imprint Male Goshawk



Pages : [1] 2

rocgwp
06-04-2011, 01:11 PM
I'm not sure how detailed I'm gonna keep this thread, but I couldn't resist sharing.

Meet Apache. He is an 18 day old goshawk from Barry's project. I am raising him with full-food association (hand feeding). Here are some pics...

This is the large soft sided dog kennel I'm using as an imprint tank. It is lined with a cheap shower curtain that I can change regularly.
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/530a2465.jpg

Apache in his nest bowl. (I'm going to get a bigger nest bowl for him, he can already get out of this one)
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/6298e9bd.jpg

Exploring the house...
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/216e584f.jpg

Taking a rest on the dog bed...
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/10ab9b6e.jpg

Exposing him to horses, just in case I ever hunt from horseback :)
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/8813c4ec.jpg

Last night he crawled out of the nestbowl and explored for a little bit. He went back to the nestbowl on his own where I rewarded him.

At this point I am handing feeding him and introducing the CR (clicker). I only feed him when he is sitting calmly on his haunches. I hand feed him until he loses interest and then I leave the rest of the food with him.

hcmcelroy
06-04-2011, 02:52 PM
Jeff,

He looks a handsome fellow. Good to see you experimenting with hand feeding. Are you feeding from the bare fingers? Are you going to use Steve Layman's system of hand feeding? Please give us any detail in his raising.
I am collecting information on weights used in gender determination in the gos so it would be great if you would weigh him at day 20 in the morning before feeding. My guess is that the male and female gos begin to separate in weights at 20 days but this is only a guess. The aplomado and Cooper's can be sexed using weight so there is a record that the system will work.
My intention is to use food association in hooding a male gos I will imprint this year.
Best of luck with your little boy.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-04-2011, 03:10 PM
Harry,

I am feeding him with my bare fingers and I am using Steve Layman's method of feeding, raising, imprinting. I approach the nest bowl with food and set it in front of him. I crouch down with my face close to him and hand him the tidbit as if I am a parent feeding him. I don't hide food from him at all. The goal is to simulate a parent as much as possible and to teach him to calmly wait for food.

I'll try and weigh him on Monday for you since that will be 20 days.

kitana
06-04-2011, 10:56 PM
Cool project! I intend to do something very similar the day I get a goshawk. I will follow your thread with attention. Good luck and have fun!

FredFogg
06-04-2011, 11:15 PM
Man, I am getting eyas fever! LOL Definately going to watch this thread because I want to imprint a goshawk sometime in the future and really would like to see the OC methond done in steps and detail. Thanks for starting this thead. clappclappclapp

hcmcelroy
06-05-2011, 12:28 AM
Jeff,

Most interesting. I look forward to reading the details of your project and how this system works for you and your little buddy.

Many thanks for the weighing Monday.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-05-2011, 02:39 PM
19 days

Apache is beginning to understand the feeding routine. I'm not sure he understands the CR yet, but that should come soon. At this point, I approach with a bag of food. I put it inside the small plate/jar lid inside his nest bowl. I wait for him to sit on his haunches. I then CR and lean in and hand him a tidbit. I continue CRing and feeding him looking for things like 'rubbery feet', relaxed posture, etc...my aim is to CR for behaviors that show a calm relaxed attitude. If he stands up and walks around, I stop feeding him. Once he sits on his haunches and is relaxed, the CRing feeding continue. After a 20 or so tidbits, I step away and leave him to self feed with the rest of the food if he wants.

Here are some pics.
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/61ec5105.jpg

This one isn't great because I had to take it through the kennel screen. This is his favorite way to sleep though. Scared me to death the first time I saw him...
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/95035459.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-06-2011, 12:41 AM
Jeff,

Interesting keep writing about your system.

Harry.

TiercelR
06-06-2011, 03:43 AM
Hi Jeff, good luck with your goshawk !! very interesting the method of rearing you useing.

This is the first time i hear about the method of whole food association of the raptor with the falconer.

You know, in past times this food association was relationed with screaming and aggression behaviours, etc. But i do believe that the imprinting methods still improving new good results with the pass of the time as it is right now.

So, now with the use of a clicker in critical moments of the imprinting, it is a new revolution in the new training methods for raptors.

Are there a link online of the article by Steve Layman about this method of rearing that you are useing ?? or where can i find this article for read it ?? thanks.

rocgwp
06-06-2011, 08:09 AM
20 days

I weighed Apache this morning before I fed him. I weighed him twice because I figured there is no way he has gained that much since he left Barry's on Friday morning. He weighed in at 690g this morning. I am going to weigh him tomorrow with a different scale and see if it is a scale issue or if he has grown that much.

Yesterday he was exposed to mowing the lawn and playing outside. He was also"Ooooed and Awwwwed" over by about 10 college students that came over. He takes everything with a grain of salt so far. No fear response on anything...today he gets to go to camp and me LOTS of kids...

Here is a shot of the feather growth:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/38dc884b.jpg

rocgwp
06-06-2011, 09:00 AM
I went ahead and reweighed Apache to see if it was a scale issue. It appears the scale is accurate. He weighed 715g when I reweighed him, but that was with a partial crop after being fed. So I guess 690g at 20 days is an accurate weight for him.

kitana
06-06-2011, 09:05 AM
You know, in past times this food association was relationed with screaming and aggression behaviours, etc. But i do believe that the imprinting methods still improving new good results with the pass of the time as it is right now.

That's exactly what one wants to avoid with using the clicker. You want the hawk to associate the food with himself, with behaviors he can do, not with the falconer. I'm sure it works great with a clicker-savvy falconer, as it works with every other species out there. Horse for example are well-known to become troublesome and bite if given treats. Use the clicker though, and they stop these behaviors as soon as they understand what to do to receive the food beside bullying the trainer.

I'm very interested in food delivery mechanics. We all know that hand-feeding a hawk results in being footed. I know about high-level tidbiting and it does work, but then you have to replace the clicker by a whistle or a noise made by the mouth for the mechanics become too complex. I have friends who clicker train free-lofted raptors in zoos using a stick to deliver the food and a whistle as a clicker, it works great but I still think it's a hassle. It would be great not having to worry about those feet! lol

hcmcelroy
06-06-2011, 11:07 AM
Jeff,

Many thanks for Apache's weight at 20 days.

By the way I've brought the dish of chopped food to the Cooper's during imprinting and other hawks for decades. I sit with them stroking them softly as they eat and always with a dog present. In recent years I have bare hand fed aplomado falcons and none of them have been a problem except for one that I modified the procedure to feed bare hand only occasionally.
Falconers flying the larger falcos have been bare hand feeding especially gyrs for years too so the practice is far from new. I notice bare hand feeding of passage gos on kills in a video filmed in China by Nick Fox as another example.
For what its worth we have situated the hawklet near a window so it can view the outdoors along with the activities of the family and provided 30 to 45 minutes of early morning sun daily. I cover my imprints with a wire cage when out sunning and NEVER walk away from them. The local predators are really hungry in this desert. We watched 3 goldens slope soaring above our house last week and the RT is here all too often.
Keep up the good work it is looking good! We want the details...

Harry.

hcmcelroy
06-06-2011, 11:22 AM
Jeff,
I forgot to mention that I hood trained an aplomado falcon last year using Nelson's system of associating the hood with tidbits. As the hood was presented she would search through the hood looking for a tidbit and was hooded. As the season passed I began to offer a tidbit with the hood only now and again.
I have hooded passage HH using food over the years also and trained my late passage male HH to the hood last year using the same system. This HH is really footy and what one would call a pushy fellow but he takes food from the bare hand delicately.
This year I want to imprint a male gos and see if I can hood him using tidbits or food association. Perhaps it will work who knows with my all thumbs approach.
Harry.

goshawkr
06-06-2011, 01:12 PM
That's exactly what one wants to avoid with using the clicker. You want the hawk to associate the food with himself, with behaviors he can do, not with the falconer. I'm sure it works great with a clicker-savvy falconer, as it works with every other species out there. Horse for example are well-known to become troublesome and bite if given treats. Use the clicker though, and they stop these behaviors as soon as they understand what to do to receive the food beside bullying the trainer.

I'm very interested in food delivery mechanics. We all know that hand-feeding a hawk results in being footed. I know about high-level tidbiting and it does work, but then you have to replace the clicker by a whistle or a noise made by the mouth for the mechanics become too complex. I have friends who clicker train free-lofted raptors in zoos using a stick to deliver the food and a whistle as a clicker, it works great but I still think it's a hassle. It would be great not having to worry about those feet! lol

Hand feeding a hawk can result in being footed, but it dosnt have to.

A few weeks ago the subject of hand feeding imprint goshawks came up in a thread about imprint harris hawks. See post 92 of this thread:
http://www.nafex.net/showthread.php?t=11310&page=3

The mechanics become very difficult with using a clicker with the hawk simply because your short one hand. Although you can click with your bare hand, set the clicker down, and then deliver the food.

The whole point of the clicker is to decouple to some extent the behavior to be rewarded (and the instant that it occured) with the actual delivery of food.

Back on the point of delivery methods, I have had hawks with bad manners about taking food, and I delivered food to them by tossing the tidbit on the floor. There were a few hawks that I have had where I just decided floor delivery was simpler for me than teaching them manners.

goshawkr
06-06-2011, 01:42 PM
19 days

Apache is beginning to understand the feeding routine. I'm not sure he understands the CR yet, but that should come soon. At this point, I approach with a bag of food. I put it inside the small plate/jar lid inside his nest bowl. I wait for him to sit on his haunches. I then CR and lean in and hand him a tidbit. I continue CRing and feeding him looking for things like 'rubbery feet', relaxed posture, etc...my aim is to CR for behaviors that show a calm relaxed attitude. If he stands up and walks around, I stop feeding him. Once he sits on his haunches and is relaxed, the CRing feeding continue. After a 20 or so tidbits, I step away and leave him to self feed with the rest of the food if he wants.


Hi Jeff.

I think its very exciting to see another falconer willing to walk on the dark side and hand feed an imprint accipiter. There are a number of us out there, but since the collective wisdom is that what we are doing is going to create a face grabbing monster, we dont tend to get a lot of press.

It sounds like your really on the right track. I was going to point out that at the age your little guy is at you dont need to train for a relaxed attitude, but then I realised its never too eary to start that and it never hurts to be too paranoid about that. And, indeed, it does hurt if your not paranoid enough about that and get some bad manners.

You can also take advantage of this time to do a surprising amount of training. I start lure training at about the age your guy is at now by using OC. I start by clicking when they show any curiosity or other interest in the lure, and gradually ramp up the stakes until they are actively footing it. You can have them wed to the lure by the time they are barely able to walk.

There is a lot of time between now and entering, and a lot of fun games you can play while raising them that will actually get them prepared for life in the field and/or life at home.

If your into exercising your hawk so they are super fit in the field, the foundation for those exercises can be laid down while they are a baby as well - not as young as your guy is now, but a bit later on.

One other thing I wanted to point out is that you can take things a lot farther if most of the meal comes through tidbits and OC games. Very young hawks have a short attention span, and their focus on getting fed disappears very quickly once they food actually shows up. This combines to mean that there is a very small window of time to play each individual game, but you can come back in 20-30 minutes and play another game. Depending, of course, on how that works into your own personal schedule.

At this stage - many small games are better than one or two big ones. And, of course, many small games are better than one small game.

joturley
06-06-2011, 02:52 PM
Jeff,
I notice bare hand feeding of passage gos on kills in a video filmed in China by Nick Fox as another example.

Harry.

I have bare-hand fed all my goshawks (4 passage/1 imprint) with no footing problems from any of them. My current passage female gos takes tidbits exceptionally gently, and lets me rearrange her food on the glove with a bare hand, as well as on the kill. One of her favourite treats is a half eggshell with the yolk in it, which she 'sips' as I hold it for her. /jo

rocgwp
06-06-2011, 07:05 PM
It's good to see lots of good info about OC training.

I will begin the lure training as described tonight.

I had a great talk with Steve Layman today. It's good to see he is recovering well and ahead of schedule. He hinted that he might start working on that book while he is recovering. A lot of the techniques I am using, I might not post a lot of details on. Everything I know OC falconry wise gets credited to Steve and our conversations over the past year. If he publishes it, i want him to get credit for it not me.

I am working toward a modified hack. My coops got electrocuted at hack last year, so I'm a little gunshy. Where I was going to hack this year, I could have some redtail issues. What I am leaning towards is using a 20' x 20' flight pen. I am setting it up with appropriate perches this week.

rocgwp
06-06-2011, 07:09 PM
As for the weight issue, Barry helped me sort it out. I was a day off in my calculations. Apache is 21 days today, not 20. Sorry if that throws your records off Harry...

hcmcelroy
06-07-2011, 12:43 AM
Jo,

4 gos is a good number. What is the advantage you see in bare hand feeding?

Harry.

hcmcelroy
06-07-2011, 12:49 AM
Jeff,

I'm a great believer in the flight pen and had dual 50' flights in Willcox. Here we live on a hill and it is solid rock, and on a hell of a slant so we only added a 16' flt pen. It took us forever and we were sliding over the loose gravel every time we made a move. But it is finished and so be it. Including the mew the gos will have a 24' area for exercise.

Harry.

hcmcelroy
06-07-2011, 12:51 AM
Thanks again Jeff no problem I can live with weight at 21 days.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-07-2011, 01:05 PM
Started lure training with him last night and it went well. We did several short sessions with 20-30 minutes in between.

Here is a pic from this morning:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/2edab74d.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-07-2011, 07:46 PM
Jeff,

An enchanting photo. You might want to put it on the wall.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-07-2011, 08:31 PM
Jo,

4 gos is a good number. What is the advantage you see in bare hand feeding?

Harry.

The advantage in hand feeding for me comes in combination with using the CR. The combination of the two allows me to define the boundaries of our relationship. I can reward what I like and shape the behaviors I will need later down the road. The biggest advantage I see is I have a means of dealing with problems as they arise. The hawk and I now have a common language and I have a tool to get through aggression or whatever else pops up.

Here are some pics from tonight...

22days
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/10237ffe.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/1ec95b7b.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/679cdec6.jpg

joturley
06-07-2011, 10:42 PM
Jo,

4 gos is a good number. What is the advantage you see in bare hand feeding?

Harry.
*****************

(5 gos) I never thought about advantage/s; I didn't/don't do it with the RT or HH. Maybe it started off as a way to get the gos interested in tidbits without the threat of a cumbersome glove on the hand. I did both high level offering, and a 'hidden in the hand' approach, the treat then dropping onto the [round perch] platform without the hawk seeing the transfer.
The one male gos I used bare-handed feeding with was very hood-shy, and that morphed into being very hood-hand shy; the tidbitting with the bare hand got him over that eventually. /jo

hcmcelroy
06-08-2011, 01:14 AM
Jeff,

Thanks for your comments about hand feeding. Do you care to go into details about shaping behaviors using the system. It would be a real service to many of us.

Harry.

hcmcelroy
06-08-2011, 01:18 AM
Jo,

Thanks for your comments about hood shy. Can you offer some detail about the hood shyness? How did it develop and at what age? How did you use high level tidbitting, etc. Fascinating information!

Harry.

joturley
06-08-2011, 10:11 AM
Harry - the bare-hand tidbitting only got the passage male over being shy of the hood hand as long as he didn't see the hood; but that was still an improvement. I didn't keep him after the season, so the experiment stopped at that stage. I think the fear started soon after the first month of training - November? and went downhill from there.
My current passage gos I did hood train using tidbitting specifically as an inducement & reward -- just as effective was that the tidbitting caused her to focus on food, not the instinct to bate, long enough not to interrupt the sequence. A bate bypass, as it were. For the entire manning period, all her ration was in the form of tidbits, and she was fed throughout a 12 hour day while she was hoodless on a round perch & kept in a medium traffic area with 4 doorways; with nothing to immediately quell her appetite, she was always ready for another interaction and keenly paid attention. Within a couple of days she would be leaning from the perch towards whatever door anyone came through, looking for her tidbit. Only when she was jumping to, and staying on her own on the glove, did I incorporate the tidbitting/hooding & it went very smoothly. From the start of training to the hood & putting her up for the moult, I think I can honestly say she bated during the hooding process less than 6 times; and even then, only a single bate.
Her continuing performance this last winter was an extension of the manning - I kept her in the traffic zone; never fed an entire ration at one time except on the days she hunted; fed with my bare hand & always with some touching of her keel, feet, shoulders & tail with or without a tidbit. As I mentioned before, she goes hoodless except when in the travel box; didn't do the hanging bate from the glove, hardly bated at all, actually; tolerated handling like an imprint but was never in the least footy.
Now she's free-lofted for the moult - who knows what latent monster will emerge <G>. /jo

hcmcelroy
06-08-2011, 10:59 AM
Jo,

That is impressive...many thanks for your time! Your combination of manning and hooding seems to fit your female to a T. Good to hear she did not grab your hand in feeding. That must have taken some careful reading of her reaction. With such tameness I assume she was easy to handle in the field. Did she follow along or was she flown out of the hood?
I hooded an imprinted aplo falcon this year and used tidbitting with it a la Nelson and it went nicely. When the hood was used in the field, usually after a kill and some feeding, she peered at the hood searching for a tidbit. She was hooded daily after the hunt on the ride back to the truck. As the season passed the tidbitting was maintained but used less frequently.
I'll try the same general system on an imprinted male gos this year. We pick it up in two days!!!
Thanks again!
Harry.

rocgwp
06-08-2011, 11:26 AM
23 Days

We had some great outside time in the yard last night. The lure training is progressing quickly. So far nothing seems to bother this bird. He is more mellow than the coops I have raised. We have been very careful and haven't had any moments that caused fear chittering. As he gets more active, I will transition him to the big flight pen during the day.

Here is a picture of this fall's hunting team:

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/e616d3ca.jpg

joturley
06-08-2011, 12:48 PM
[QUOTE=hcmcelroy;192583]Jo,

That must have taken some careful reading of her reaction. With such tameness I assume she was easy to handle in the field. Did she follow along or was she flown out of the hood?
*****
I just went ahead and did it as soon as I had her on the perch. If she bated off, she came up again to find the tidbit there on my hand, or on the platform of the round perch. Once she took the first offering, she hardly ever went over the side again, away from my approach. I do feel she was a pretty mellow gos to start with - taken just past mid-Oct of the year. I started feeling her over as soon as she was taking the tidbits eagerly & steadily - I think day#3. Certainly within the week she would be steady in front of visitors, letting me handle her whole body with no bating & seemingly little anxiety. She also let visitors touch her (I encourage it).
She was GREAT in the field; a little more diffident about coming to the glove when called after a miss vs the imprint, but she started doing it well by the end of the season - sometimes running along the ground up to 50 feet to get to me. Always at the end of the hunt she followed VERY WELL, anticipating the quail I invariably kicked up for her on the way (baggy) - but if we did see a hare before the baggy event, she was game to go after it.
A surprising event happened on maybe our third free flight/hunt in the bush - I thought she'd gone after a hare, and followed some 200 yards to the point I last saw her - but she wasn't there. We'd been out maybe 3+ hours, it was getting down to dusk and I was about 2 km from the truck.
My Tracker came out of the holster with the display fogged over, and I had to warm it up inside my coat for a few minutes while I called & whistled.
I spent the next half hour tracking her - she seemed to have kept to a straight line, which I couldn't do in the cover of that woodlot with its deep snow drifts. Eventually I decided that it would be better to track the truck, as it was getting dark. By coincidence, the tracks were almost the same. As I broke into a meadow from which I could see my truck some 300 yards away, I also whistled and swung the lure - and my gos came out of the woods across from me! I am convinced she was waiting at the truck for me all that time.
Since that time, I noticed that she was reasonably independent for the first 3-4 hours of a hunt, but if no kill had happened in that time, she worked in closer & followed much better - NICE FOR ME <G>.
I never let a hunt end without a live kill, in as natural a way as I could set up - I think this helped tremendously in what turned out to be a harsh season w/low population, difficult access re depth of snow & number of hours required to kick up what was out there. It could have been very frustrating for a first year passage hawk, but she was a trouper & easy/reliable to work with- I could walk her unhooded on the glove for a mile at a time, to access different woodlot areas - and thus be ready for a flight off the fist if such a [rare] opportunity presented. To do the same with her just following, would have taken longer, and at 5-10 F, we prefer shorter hunts in the most populated area we can get into!!! /jo

rocgwp
06-08-2011, 02:46 PM
I forgot to mention that I weighed Apache this morning. He weighed 746g at 23 days.

Here is that favorite sleeping pose of his:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/7cafedbb.jpg

Here he is in the nestbowl waiting for food:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/8b734ada.jpg

robruger1
06-08-2011, 02:59 PM
Is this a NA bird or a euro?

rocgwp
06-08-2011, 04:57 PM
It's a North American bird produced by Barry. The father of this bird was wild taken from New Mexico and flew at 750g+ the mother flew at 1020g. It likes he is going to have some size to him.

hcmcelroy
06-09-2011, 01:47 AM
Jo,

It seems that your gos tamed like a passage HH!!! That is exceptional and must have included the right moves. That is a good idea tossing a live bird at the end of an unsuccessful hunt I'll try it this year with the gos. Strange as it seems I have had several passage HH that returned to the truck when flown the first few days. I have never been able to figure this out because they were not fed in or around the truck and they were carried to it in a hood??? My guess is you value this gos highly. I've had only one gos that was exceptional so I feel it is my turn this year. Ouch but your weather is cold. I've hunted several days at 0 and could not keep my feet warm even in snow packs so I really belong down here where we often wear only light jackets.

Harry.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-09-2011, 02:03 PM
24 days

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/4852dd0a.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/28246bf0.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-09-2011, 07:26 PM
Jeff,

That looks prime to me. Dog and all. What an attractive little killer.

We pick mine up tomorrow.

Harry.

Flight
06-09-2011, 08:09 PM
Jeff,

That looks prime to me. Dog and all.

Agreed on that, I've never quite seen a pointer in that position before. confusedd

rocgwp
06-09-2011, 09:15 PM
Apache weighed 788g today at 24 days...

Tonight my gwp (Karis) learned an important lesson. She learned it may be okay to sniff a dog's butt, but never sniff a hawk's butt as he is raising his tail :) She caught it right in the face...

We played "kill the paper" tonight with Apache. He is beginning to use his feet and foot things. I'd toss a wadded up piece of paper and he would kill it. I CR'ed for footing and chasing.

Here are a couple pics from tonight:

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/9961c0b5.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/71c6bdcf.jpg

rocgwp
06-09-2011, 11:25 PM
While watching a movie tonight, I began putting plucking on cue. I left a carcass in with Apache and laid down on the couch. Whenever he got interested in the carcass and would pluck, I would CR and then get up and give him a tidbit. The goal is to give him another way to make me feed him. Later on a kill, he can make me approach to feed him by plucking. Tonight he got to where he would pluck and then luck at me.

rocgwp
06-10-2011, 11:19 PM
Apache is beginning to branch and get more mobile. I will transition him to spending the day in the flight pen hopefully by the end of the weekend.

DirtHawker
06-11-2011, 01:06 AM
Keep up the thread, I am enjoying following the progression I have been doing some thinking about a goshawk next year and find your thread valuable.
Sue

rocgwp
06-12-2011, 02:49 PM
27 days

Apache is making the transition to the free flight pen. He spent about 3 hours in it yesterday. He didn't explore a whole lot, but he got to spend some time in the Texas heat.

I am slowly increasing his time in the pen to gradually adjust him to the heat. Our temps are close to 100 lately. The pen is shaded, so he is not experiencing direct sun.

I feed him only at the nest bowl at this point. That is how I move him from place to place. He comes to the bowl for food and I can pick the bowl up and transport him.

Steve L.
06-12-2011, 07:45 PM
Hey Jeff, I hope this isn't to far off topic, but can you post a solo shot of your Wirehair? Looks like a nice dog. Thanks

rocgwp
06-12-2011, 11:41 PM
Hey Jeff, I hope this isn't to far off topic, but can you post a solo shot of your Wirehair? Looks like a nice dog. Thanks

Thanks...she has been a blessing. Her name is Karis, which is the Greek word for grace or free gift. She was given to us by a group of coworkers after a dog I had was stolen.

Her registered name is Scotian Holy Smokes. She is a NAVHDA NA Prize I and a Utility Prize II. She scored 192 of 204 possible points in her Utility test.

Her is a couple pics of her:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/331f26fa.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/8fba5501.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/caddf81a.jpg

and a couple videos:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/afa5afa1.mp4

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/f02495db.mp4

rocgwp
06-12-2011, 11:48 PM
Sorry, try this for the videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHgFHXWd1Ho&feature=youtube_gdata_player

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxVkHa0GBzs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Ross
06-13-2011, 06:59 AM
Nice dog! Should make turning Apache into a killing machine easy having a dog like that to work with.

rocgwp
06-13-2011, 09:03 AM
28 days

The feather growth has really exploded.
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/11291196.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-13-2011, 02:52 PM
Jeff,

Impressive dog! Has he had loads of pro training or what? One of my pointers is exceptional. Everyone who sees him in the field claims he is absolutely the worst dog they have ever seen. Ever! But he has a nose to die for so I can't shoot him. He detects birds off farther than I am willing to say and locks in on the approach. When we are out some time without finding birds we all begin to watch him...

Keep up your thread it is fascinating!!! Many thanks.

We arrived home yesterday with my small male Colorado mtn. gos. He tipped the lab balance at 397g at 20 days on an empty corp. Pens on wing tips were out about 1". He plays with everything and is dead serious about white washing the place.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-13-2011, 07:18 PM
Jeff,

Impressive dog! Has he had loads of pro training or what?

Harry,

No pro training with her. I have done all her training. A good breeding makes a big difference in trainability and instincts.

Congrats on the gos! I look forward to following it's progress.

Apache did great today being in the flight pen all day. I stopped in several times throughout the day. Twice I opened the door went in and walked out, but left the door open. He came looking for me, which I rewarded. I did the same when I picked him up to take him home today, except after he came to find me I went to his nest bowl. It took a little bit, but he eventually went to his nest bowl. I picked up his nest bowl and brought him home.

To and from work he is now riding in a big plastic dog crate inside his nestbowl. I'm prepping him to hopefully eventually ride relaxed and unhooded in a crate without a perch.

hcmcelroy
06-14-2011, 12:05 AM
Jeff,

I guess we have all seen eyas gos and Cooper's riding in a hawk box without the hood. My bet is that you will have him trained to it soon.

One year when we were living in Nevada I went to the mew to pick up the gos to go hawking. My practice was to place the open hawk box on the top of the heater for the home. It was only a few feet from the rear of the mew. As I opened the door of the mew and offered my fist a powerful gust of wind caught the door and pulled it out of my hand. All I saw of the hawk was a flash of feathers so I closed the door and began to search for the gos first walking through the neighborhood and then driving all over the place. Quite late that evening I returned to pick up the box and was more than a bit surprised to find a hungry gos inside.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-14-2011, 10:44 AM
29 days

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/c0026a19.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/70313631.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/83f157c2.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/dad7f56b.jpg

rocgwp
06-14-2011, 11:06 PM
This summer is definitely going to be a test of how a goshawk deals with heat. It was 101 degrees today and the next 4 days are supposed to be just as hot. This is shaping up to be one of the hottest and driest summers we've had in a long time.

hcmcelroy
06-15-2011, 01:23 AM
Jeff,

When we go down to feed the horses my little boy gets hot quickly. I hope he begins to thermo regulate soon.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-15-2011, 10:47 PM
Apache is getting into a good routine now. Each morning he rides to work in his nestbowl in the big plastic dog crate in the back of my truck. At work I put him in the big flight pen and feed him his breakfast. I always CR for calm behaviors and only feed him when he is calm. I check on him throughout the day and feed him mini-meals. At ~5pm I show up and feed him a mini-meal at the nestbowl and then take him home (riding in plastic kennel in back of truck). Once at home I put him in a 10x10 weathering area and feed him his evening meal. I leave him in the weathering area until almost dark. Once he has roosted back in his nestbowl, I bring him inside for the evening. So far once inside, he is really calm.

My wife's favorite thing is there has been almost no down in our house so far. It has all floated away outside!!!

Here are some pics:

The weathering area:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/87789942.jpg

In the house:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/25c7f016.jpg
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/224158d5.jpg
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/c7587432.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-16-2011, 01:11 AM
Jeff,

Sounds like a good routine to me. I love the pictures including your little daughter.

For better or worse before each meal I'm offering the first two tidbits on the hood. So far he is quite fond of the hood but I'm not putting it on him.

Harry.

AK Rev
06-16-2011, 02:01 PM
What a great topic. Love the photos. Your weathering area is interesting as well. Sounds like your hawk and dog have been trained with a lot of thought...no doubt, your daughter is turning out well too! Are you training your dog by any particular method?

I've never met Steve but heard great things. Would love to see that book printed. Since you are well acquainted with his methods, are there any of his writings that you feel sum it up decently to this point?

goshawkr
06-16-2011, 02:22 PM
Jeff,

Sounds like a good routine to me. I love the pictures including your little daughter.

For better or worse before each meal I'm offering the first two tidbits on the hood. So far he is quite fond of the hood but I'm not putting it on him.

Harry.

I like the photos of your daughters involvement as well.

My daughter was about that age when I raised my first goshawk, and they were constant companions. At our falconry club's summer picnic a friend of mine, who was raising a goshawk at the same time, laughed and told my daughter had wandered over to hug the wrong hawk and freaked his hawk out. He dubbed it the "two year old manning technique." It certainly makes a hawk that will put up with a lot!

I have a great photo of my daughter and my half grown goshawk laying down on a pillow, beak to nose. Now my daughter is approaching 15.5, and I am working on getting a nice photo of her holding that same hawk for a "now and then" photo segment.

rocgwp
06-16-2011, 02:30 PM
What a great topic. Love the photos. Your weathering area is interesting as well. Sounds like your hawk and dog have been trained with a lot of thought...no doubt, your daughter is turning out well too! Are you training your dog by any particular method?

I've never met Steve but heard great things. Would love to see that book printed. Since you are well acquainted with his methods, are there any of his writings that you feel sum it up decently to this point?


Bryan,

The basic method that I use to train my dogs is found in George Hickox's Great Beginnings video. It consists of using the clicker early in the dogs life to shape the behaviors you want and then using a marker signal for corrections as well. The contrast training makes sense to the dog and really seems to solidify it in the dogs head. It's been really effective for me.

I agree that Steve is a great guy. I know he is working on the book currently. I don't know of any particular writing of his that sums up his methods well. He had an old Hawk Chalk article called "Passage to Imprint" and another one the talked about doing jump ups and restrained pursuits at one point. If you read Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" you get the basics of his method there. Steve is great at reading the bird's behavior and looking at things from the BIRD'S perspective. He encourages the behaviors he wants and puts them on cue. He is also really creative in problem solving.

AK Rev
06-16-2011, 02:39 PM
Thanks Jeff. I have Karen's book and I'm reading her April '97 Hawk Chalk article now. I'll have to see if I have Steve's articles from the April '94 and April '95 Hawk Chalks.

goshawkr
06-16-2011, 02:48 PM
Thanks Jeff. I have Karen's book and I'm reading her April '97 Hawk Chalk article now. I'll have to see if I have Steve's articles from the April '94 and April '95 Hawk Chalks.

HE wrote one in '01 or '02 about using his OC and direct food association with a hard impring coopers hawk that he raised. He went so far as to purposely trigger aggression, and then shape it away to prove the shaping would work.

I think that was the last time he wrote about this, but he has given several talks about it and he is scheduled to talk about this at the NAFA meet this year in Vernal. I dont know if he will still be up for that, he is recovering from heart surgery right now.

AK Rev
06-16-2011, 02:51 PM
Thanks Geoff. I'll look for that article also. I'm not sure I can make Vernal but I haven't decided for sure yet.

rocgwp
06-16-2011, 10:26 PM
31 Days

Apache is branching. He has figured out how to get off the ground and is perching on higher surfaces.

Here are some pics:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/36db3e7a.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/60ad2e86.jpg

krazieness_2
06-16-2011, 11:04 PM
He is turning out to be quite a handsome fello!
I LOVE the sleeping pictures, too precious!

rocgwp
06-17-2011, 02:34 PM
Had a funny moment this morning with Apache. He definitely sees me as his parent at this point in time. He likes to come looking for me when I'm in different rooms. He has caught onto the routine and evidently thought I was sleeping too late today and it was time to get up and get going.

I was laying in bed and all of the sudden I heard a "Kak-kak-kak" call. It wasn't a food begging call or an alarm call, but a "where are you call". I waited a little bit and then went and checked on him. He was laying down in his nest bowl waiting for me to come get him. It's fun to see the social side of these birds. I took him out to the weathering area and fed him. I left him in the weathering area today because there are more shorter perches for him to explore and hop on than there is in the big flight chamber. I'll probably keep him in the weathering area this weekend and then put him back in the big flight pen next week.

2 new things I will start doing with him at this point are:

1) I will start feeding him on the glove on the ground as if it was a lure. As he gets used to eating off the glove at some point I will slide my hand in and begin picking him up.

2) I will begin helping to make sure Apache sees my dog as a sibling. I will have my dog near the food and then Apache gets to come in and eat in front of her (i.e. letting Apache think he is stealing the food from the dog). I would expect Apache to then direct aggression toward the dog if she get's to close on a kill (which keeps the dog from running in on him) and it will also mean that Apache thinks he will be competing with the dog to get to the food or whatever is flushed first.

hcmcelroy
06-17-2011, 07:57 PM
Jeff,

We all do things differently I guess. I've been feeding imprints out of a dish with the nest pan on the floor with a dog right beside for decades. I took a few pictures two days ago.

Harry.

AK Rev
06-17-2011, 08:18 PM
Jeff, can you provide some info on your mews setup? Looks like a hog panel type setup. More photos?

rocgwp
06-17-2011, 08:40 PM
The weathering area seen is a 10'x10' piefert dog kennel. It has a jump box with a tire perch in it and a zip line to a bow perch. My mews are at work, so this is what I use when I bring birds home. It has worked well for a harris, coops, and hybrid falcon so far.

AK Rev
06-17-2011, 08:43 PM
Mews at work? That's interesting. I have a modified dog kennel with jump box as well. Your's is more refined. I like the idea of running a zip line to an alternate perch.

rocgwp
06-17-2011, 08:46 PM
Jeff,

We all do things differently I guess. I've been feeding imprints out of a dish with the nest pan on the floor with a dog right beside for decades. I took a few pictures two days ago.

Harry.

I too have been feeding imprints with the dog around for a while. What I haven't done before is intentionally try to set it up so the bird sees the dog as a sibling. I will have the dog tied out next to the food and then bring the hawk in so the hawk thinks it is stealing food from the dog like it would take it from a nestmate. The goal is for the hawk to think it is competing against the dog for food. I want the hawk to think it has to beat the dog to the quarry.

goshawkr
06-17-2011, 09:44 PM
I too have been feeding imprints with the dog around for a while. What I haven't done before is intentionally try to set it up so the bird sees the dog as a sibling. I will have the dog tied out next to the food and then bring the hawk in so the hawk thinks it is stealing food from the dog like it would take it from a nestmate. The goal is for the hawk to think it is competing against the dog for food. I want the hawk to think it has to beat the dog to the quarry.

That poor dog is gunna catch some real heat in the field if it dosnt produce game as well. I am not sure taht is a bad thing, unless the chaufer hasnt doon his research well. :D

harrishawk_79
06-17-2011, 10:02 PM
we had a female gos that was imprinted to us and the dog stole some food from her as a chick and she attacked all dogs.and im not talkin in the butt like as to say hey u better get me game im talkin would fly any where and how ever far she had to to grab the dog in the face.and we had several master falconers standing there tell us no the hawk is just tying to tell the dog to hunt and when she his his brittany and almost ripped her eye out they finnaly agreed we knew what we said i would be carefull making it seem anything like that but thats just me.

hcmcelroy
06-18-2011, 10:21 AM
Jeff,

I'm with Harold. Some gos tap dogs and others take them down. It was too dangerous to have my little fiest in the field with one gos.

Harry.

goshawks00
06-18-2011, 11:28 AM
I too have been feeding imprints with the dog around for a while. What I haven't done before is intentionally try to set it up so the bird sees the dog as a sibling. I will have the dog tied out next to the food and then bring the hawk in so the hawk thinks it is stealing food from the dog like it would take it from a nestmate. The goal is for the hawk to think it is competing against the dog for food. I want the hawk to think it has to beat the dog to the quarry.


Jeff, I hope i am mis-understanding you, if not, I don't think you are approaching this right... Why intentionally drive a wedge between the two? They are not siblings , but rather should be molded to trust and react to each other in a positive way. Just because the dog is present shouldn't be promoted as a negative.. it's a small leap from that to it seeing you as the same. He was raised with dogs until you got him... they were in his face from day 1 , why try to promote competitiveness.

When the bird misses game in the field, using your technique the gos will POSSIBLY take his aggression out on the dog, and if the dog isn't present ..guess who may be next... you, or worse one of your kids. Please don't create intentionally bad 'ju-'ju... there will always be a loser.
.02

rocgwp
06-19-2011, 12:18 AM
Concerns about the dog are noted. I have talked in some serious detail with a falconer that has done this successfully several times with no ill effects. I think we are all on the same page, he is just explaining to me the why of how a lot of dog and bird relationships work. The goal is for their not to be bad ju ju between them, but for them to have clearly defined roles in their relationship as they work together. I will proceed with caution if I continue that route...

33 days

Apache began making short flights today. I love the fact that he still comes to the nestbowl and sits on his haunches to be fed like a little eyass. He calmly reaches up for his food...

Here he is being fed:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/9b2a4504.jpg

Chilling in the nestbowl:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/48b41591.jpg

Starting to look like a goshawk:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/6f19ab34.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-19-2011, 10:01 AM
Jeff,

Progression is rapid. He looks good. Now much of the meal is fed in the bare hand?

I'm placing the nest bowl down on the floor often to all my boy to step out and venture about. He was out for a while but now has gone back in the bowl to sleep.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-19-2011, 01:05 PM
Jeff,

Progression is rapid. He looks good. Now much of the meal is fed in the bare hand?

Harry.

How much I feed bare handed completely depends on how much time I have and what is going on. Sometimes the whole meal, sometimes a couple bites. This morning is a good example. I set the whole quail in front of him while he was on his haunches. I cut the legs of the quail off and cut them into tidbits. I then CRed for his calmness and patience and fed him each piece (about 6-7 pieces and CR's). I then got up and refilled the bath pan while he ate off of the quail. Once the bath pan was full, I walked over to him and cut off a couple pieces of breast meat. He stepped back while I cut it off and I CRed and handed him a couple pieces. I then left and fed my dogs. He ate some more while I was gone. I came back handed him another piece. He was ready to go play by that point, so I picked up the remaining quail and left.

hcmcelroy
06-19-2011, 11:48 PM
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm feeding only two tidbits on the hood and one or two from the bare hand as he eats. So far there is no sign of aggression but of course he is only 27 days old.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-20-2011, 09:40 PM
35 days

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/3bbfea4b.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/2d80ea59.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/14c41aeb.jpg

rocgwp
06-20-2011, 10:35 PM
I forgot to post that I weighed him today. He weighed 796g at 35 days...

rocgwp
06-22-2011, 09:43 PM
37 days

Apache is getting a lot more confident in his flying abilities. He is now outgrown the weathering area at my house unless he is tethered. Starting tomorrow he goes back to the big flight pen. He can fly to a perch 6' tall now so he should be fine.

We had a 2 day reprieve from the heat. We got a little rain yesterday and today temps stayed in the lower 90's.

Today was Apache's first time on the fist. I've been feeding him on the glove and today I slid my hand in and picked him up. It was pretty seamless and uneventful. He got several clicks and treats as I raised the glove and stood up.

Here are some pics...(I realize he only has one anklet on. I didn't get the grommet set well and it came off. I will replace it tonight)

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/9adbb43a.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/ad53a95d.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/e8f7f71a.jpg

rocgwp
06-23-2011, 05:23 PM
38 Days

Apache got to spend today in the flight chamber. I have set it up with several perches to help make training/rewarding him easier. I have put a large dog kennel elevated on a perch that he can lounge in and I have a glove perch set up that he can stand on. Both of these make it easy for me to CR and reward behaviors that will be beneficial later i.e. laying relaxed in the kennel, flying to the kennel on cue, flying to the glove, etc...

He was also tethered for the first time today. When I brought him home and put him in the weathering area, he was tethered. He didn't like it very much. The nice part is I can monitor him through a window without him associating the negative experience of being restrained with me.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/421bf7a1.jpg

AK Rev
06-23-2011, 08:05 PM
Interesting use of the kennel. You have some creative ideas on housing. I would like to hear more about your mews at work? You caught my attention with that remark.

rocgwp
06-23-2011, 10:36 PM
Interesting use of the kennel. You have some creative ideas on housing. I would like to hear more about your mews at work? You caught my attention with that remark.

I run a non-profit educational program, so I have a 10'x10' weathering area at my house and my main mews are at my work place. We have a large mew with 4 10'x10' rooms, 2 12'x12' rooms, and 2 22'x22' rooms. We use exotic raptors as much as possible, but are permitted to use some native species. With this setup, I am able to take birds back and forth from home and work easily. I usually have a bird perched in my office depending on what needs training at the time. It also means I am able to work with my falconry birds during the day while at work.

hcmcelroy
06-24-2011, 01:33 PM
Jeff,

Nice picture he is looking good.

My boy now 32 days of age is just beginning to become active and tried to fly up to my chair this morning.

Amazing that sounds like a full time job. How many raptors do you have?

Harry.

rocgwp
06-24-2011, 11:20 PM
We only have 6 raptors Harry. The Airborne program is only one small aspect of what we do.

39 days

I came in this afternoon to check on Apache and he was asleep in the elevated dog kennel. When I opened the door he peeked out at me.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/ef829c7e.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/37eed512.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/f071a06d.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-25-2011, 10:26 AM
Jeff,

That is a good number of raptors!!!

He is looking all but ready to go.

I see only one jess? Are there two on him?

We put rolled anklets anklets and training jesses on mine yesterday. He played with them for a while but is ignoring them today.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-25-2011, 10:13 PM
40 days

I had to go out of town last night, so Apache got to spend the night in the big flight chamber. I set up a timed cat feeder to give him his meals while I was gone. I picked him up on my way back today and all went well. From the amount of down in the elevated dog kennel, my guess is he roosted there last night. He was silent when I showed up and waited patiently for his meal tonight as normal.

I really like this bird so far...

rocgwp
06-27-2011, 07:07 PM
42 Days

Apache is looking great right now. He is losing TONS of down and it is everywhere, except in my house :)...

He loves his big dog kennel and is currently starting to cache food in the kennel and tire perch.

We had a great session tonight. He greeted me by coming over and sitting patiently and quietly. I rewarded him for it. For most of his meal, I tossed quail wings and rewarded him for chasing and plucking.

He only has one anklet on because somehow (twice) I have managed to not set the grommet well and it fell off. I have to pick up some more grommets. He has only been restrained once, the rest of the time he is loose. When he
comes in in the evening, he lays down and goes to sleep in his portable kennel without any fuss.
Here are pics:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/f08ad1a4.jpg
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/b828f8aa.jpg
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/cbe73711.jpg

hcmcelroy
06-28-2011, 03:45 AM
Jeff,

Nice photos! He looks good and the training must be moving along well. I hope you don't take chances and restrain him with only one jess. They are tender when so young.

My boy Quixote is developing too and at 35 days went to the top of a chair today.

Harry.

rocgwp
06-28-2011, 07:20 AM
Jeff,

Nice photos! He looks good and the training must be moving along well. I hope you don't take chances and restrain him with only one jess.

Harry.

No worries Harry, I have only restrained him once and he had 2 anklets then. He is loose everywhere he goes right now.

rocgwp
06-29-2011, 03:36 PM
44 days

Riding to work up front instead of in the crate for a change:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/a8c587d4.jpg

Sitting on the glove perch in the flight chamber:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/1e8a298f.jpg

Hanging out in his elevated kennel:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/5cb10981.jpg

SOF
06-29-2011, 04:59 PM
Great to see you have another coops! It was very sad last year when Bullet got electrocuted. I just caught on to this thread and will be an avid follower. I love OC and BOP. Very interesting. I wish I could have gotten a coops this year, maybe its a little late for me. I'm hoping to do a similar approach to training as well. Keep up the good work!

FredFogg
06-29-2011, 07:52 PM
Great to see you have another coops! It was very sad last year when Bullet got electrocuted. I just caught on to this thread and will be an avid follower. I love OC and BOP. Very interesting. I wish I could have gotten a coops this year, maybe its a little late for me. I'm hoping to do a similar approach to training as well. Keep up the good work!

Uh, goshawk, not coops! confusedd

ikcus
07-03-2011, 05:55 PM
How is your Gos taking the heat? It is also very hot here where I am at and my female tolerates it, but I can tell she does not like it. I have been limiting her exposure to 95 degrees and below. Today it should reach 104 and she will be inside until it drops below 95.

rocgwp
07-03-2011, 07:12 PM
Apache is taking the heat okay. I don't think he likes it, but is tolerating it. He spends a lot of time bathing. It is 102 today and he is in his weathering area. Anytime he is outside, he is under shadecloth. That has seemed to help. This is definitely the hottest summer we've had in several years.

rocgwp
07-03-2011, 08:14 PM
48 Days

Not a lot new. Apache's tail is still pushing down. He now is free lofted in the big flight pen during the day and tethered in the weathering area in the evenings. Once he goes through O'gos 30 and roosts I bring him inside and put him untethered in his dog kennel until the morning.

I am still hand feeding his meals, but I do have an automatic cat feeder set up to feed him in case I can't be there. He eats 2-3 times a day. He will come down to the lure and eat or return to the nest bowl. He loves it when I toss quail wings for him. He catches them, tosses them in the air, and repeatedly foots them. Once he begins plucking, I CR and reward the plucking. At this point he understands he can make me feed him by plucking. When I hand feed him, I hold the quail in my hands and cut pieces off for him. He waits patiently for me to hand it to him and doesn't try to take it from me or get it out of my hand. He is around the dogs each evening and has no issues with them. My oldest daughter lives to assist in the training and helps by tossing wings and handing him his tidbit for plucking. When traveling to and from work I alternate riding in the cab and him riding in his dog crate.

We are waiting for him to hard pen at this point. It won't be long.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/a238f997.jpg

AK Rev
07-03-2011, 08:18 PM
Looking good. What model of cat feeder? That's a good idea.

rocgwp
07-03-2011, 09:14 PM
This is the cat feeder I use. It has 2 compartment that flip up. It works well. I use it with some of our other raptors mounted upside down so the food falls down to the floor when it opens.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSwnZQBuyPm9GsTJXxeMYQXqOdf8SZkF _o_g2uh_Eso2mX9LtiL

AK Rev
07-03-2011, 09:21 PM
Interesting piece of equipment. Thanks Jeff.

hcmcelroy
07-04-2011, 11:44 AM
Jeff,
Apache looks to be doing well. Barry reports that they hard pen at 60-65 days. I'm following your hand feeding with interest. I'm still hand feeding mine and at 42 days he is flying all over the place with confidence.

Harry.

JRedig
07-05-2011, 10:12 AM
We too are having a decent hot streak with several days in the upper 90's last week. My gos was practically living in his pool last week and otherwise not moving/preening in front of the fan when not in the pool.

Lee Slikkers
07-05-2011, 10:21 AM
Where are the pics Jeff? That sounds hilarious...any webbing starting to grow on the feet? LOL

JRedig
07-05-2011, 10:32 AM
Where are the pics Jeff? That sounds hilarious...any webbing starting to grow on the feet? LOL

Maybe if I feed him enough mallard now, he'll grow better feathers to float. At one point, he spent about an hour with his wings out just kind of floating around! I tried a few pics with the webcam but they are low res and the focus is out of wack right now, need to plan a night to go in there and adjust it and make a few other changes.

Sorry for the hijack jeff!

Lee Slikkers
07-05-2011, 10:45 AM
Too funny...

Yeah, my bad for starting the hijack...

Back to your regularly scheduled programming...

sevristh
07-05-2011, 10:59 AM
This is the cat feeder I use. It has 2 compartment that flip up. It works well. I use it with some of our other raptors mounted upside down so the food falls down to the floor when it opens.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSwnZQBuyPm9GsTJXxeMYQXqOdf8SZkF _o_g2uh_Eso2mX9LtiL

Jeff,

That's the same type feeder I used with my eyass gos. I got burned once when the batteries ran out though (bird went hungry for 8 hours while I was at work). Make sure you check or replace them regularly.

rocgwp
07-05-2011, 03:50 PM
50 Days

Same general routine with Apache. I went to check on him this afternoon and he flew down to my feet and sat on his elbows waiting to be fed. I CRed and handed him some tidbits, I then sat a quail down in front of him and cut it up and handed him pieces while he sat on his elbows. He definitely sees me as a parent and not as a sibling at this point.

Feed me please...
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/2aebd418.jpg

Waiting patiently to be fed with a quail in front of him...
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/556bf9d6.jpg

rocgwp
07-11-2011, 12:50 AM
55 days ~810g

I had to go out of town this weekend. Apache spent the weekend in his big flight chamber. I set up the cat feeder to feed him and had another falconer restock it for me.

I was concerned about Apache switching from seeing me as a parent to seeing me as a sibling while I was gone. When I showed up to pick him up he was as friendly as ever. At the next feeding, I saw a little bit of him turning his back to me with a quail wing. I only CRed and rewarded him when he faced me and was demonstrating calm relaxed posture. By the end of the feeding, everything was back to normal.

I hope to get his backpack installed this week. He is ready to begin some following lessons.

allredone
07-11-2011, 03:44 AM
Looking great Jeff. I think you're the Texas guy that Steve L. talks about. I'm following this thread with some mix of envy and enthusiasm.

hcmcelroy
07-11-2011, 10:32 AM
Jeff,

Interesting that your male began to demonstrate some withdrawal. Were you away more than two days?

Harry.

rocgwp
07-11-2011, 03:52 PM
It didn't surprise me too much that he was set back some while I was away. I was gone Thursday-Sunday morning, so he ate ~6 meals away from me. It wasn't a major set back either, just the very beginning symptoms of the change in the nature of our relationship. At this stage in his development he would be stealing food from nest mates and playing aggressively with them. Who ever was most hungry would get the food. I am working hard to avoid him playing those games with me and for him to maintain seeing me as the parent.

Steve L. had warned me to be careful when I returned since it was possible for his viewpoint to switch while I was gone. He said especially around the penning time it could result in a pretty violent reaction (face grabbing). I am hoping to avoid the aggression, but I do expect to see it at some point. When/If it pops up, we will refocus it away from me and keep going...

This bird has been tons of fun so far. He rides unhooded in his dog kennel really well (~15 miles to and from work). He lays down inside it and doesn't bounce around. That has made it nice transporting him. I will introduce him to a hood sometime this fall once he is going in the field.

He was 799g this morning and not interested in eating a lot. Since he had food available to him all the time over the weekend, it may take him a day or so to adjust back to eating when it it available.

I definitely have been surprised at how playful Apache is. He's like a puppy. I love to watch him "kill" things and toss them in the air with his beak to catch and "kill" it again.

ikcus
07-11-2011, 05:18 PM
I definitely have been surprised at how playful Apache is. He's like a puppy. I love to watch him "kill" things and toss them in the air with his beak to catch and "kill" it again.

My female Gos does the same thing, and yes, it is a blast to watch.
I hope you continue to play the parent role. You have come so far doing an excellent job.

RTJim
07-11-2011, 05:25 PM
Jeff,

That's the same type feeder I used with my eyass gos. I got burned once when the batteries ran out though (bird went hungry for 8 hours while I was at work). Make sure you check or replace them regularly.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This feeder was a real blessing on my eyass NA male Gos. It really broke the fact of direct knowing where the feed came from. To note it is better to not be obvious to let the gos see you pick it up and place it down. I used a sheet of choroplast to hid the changing of the feeder. I kept my gos in the house from May till Oct. It is also nice to start using the feeder outside as the gos always saw the feeder there when placing outside to weather etc........jm

rocgwp
07-11-2011, 05:42 PM
Not sure if you have followed the whole thread, but I am hand feeding my gos. I am only using the feeder as a back up if I can't feed for some reason. There is no reason for me to hide me stocking the feeder since normally he gets his meals directly from my finger tips.

hcmcelroy
07-12-2011, 01:05 AM
Jeff,

Being away so long it is good that he didn't react more strongly. He must be a nice one. A Cooper's would have reacted with withdrawal I would guess. I'm still hand feeding mine and he remains quite easy to handle and he has not been left alone.

Harry.

rocgwp
07-13-2011, 03:23 PM
58 days

Apache is progressing great right now.

He is riding the fist and I have restrained his jesses on the fist with no issues. I am getting him to jump to the fist and tossing tibdits for him to chase and catch. He understands the lure. I am still rewarding clam behaviors. He knows he can make me come feed him by plucking and he caches to a tire.

Hopefully by this weekend I'll have a transmitter on him and will begin taking him outside of the flight chamber and letting him explore and get experience following and playing. I'll use a lure pole to introduce some prey items (squirrels, crows, etc...) that he can gain experience on. I'll toss pigeons for him and let him have fun. When done I'll call him to the lure and feed him on his tire. I'm hoping to get this step in before his dispersal instincts kick in.

Here he is caching to his tire:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/f6f7ba8e.jpg

allredone
07-13-2011, 08:45 PM
Man nice looking bird Jeff! Sounds like you are combining great genes and great training. Should be a mega fun bird to hawk!

rocgwp
07-14-2011, 07:28 PM
59 days

With all the talk about giant hoods I realized Apace hadn't been in one yet. He's ridden in the dog crate a lot, but not sitting on a perch in a giant hood. I brought him home today in his giant hood with no issue. I use an abs giant hood made by ling with a light and fan.

Apache is getting a small meal this evening with the hopes of turning him loose for his first 'walk about' with me tomorrow. It'll have to be done early since it will be over 90 degrees by mid morning.

rocgwp
07-14-2011, 11:16 PM
Here some pics from tonight...792g

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/8e18bfcf.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/ddab1ce5.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/7561e58c.jpg

hcmcelroy
07-15-2011, 10:30 AM
Great pictures Jeff. Those must be rolled jesses?

If so what do you think about them?

I started using them 2 years ago.

Harry.

rocgwp
07-15-2011, 11:31 AM
60 Days - 772g

This morning was Apache's first 'walk about'. He spent the night indoors in the giant hood last night with no problems at all. We woke up early in order to hit the field before it got too hot. The field I chose is a 40 acre septic treatment field that is used for hay. It has trees interspersed throughout for him to test his flight abilities and I don't have to worry about poison ivy like I would in the surrounding tree line. This is also where his flight chamber is located.

I parked the truck, put on his telemetry took off the jesses, set him on the truck and waited. After about 10 minutes of playing around the truck he finally flew up to a tree and made a fool of himself trying to land. He spent about 20 minutes playing in the tree hopping branch to branch and improving his landing skills. He finally got brave enough to fly to another tree. When he left the first tree, it seemed like every songbird in the county was following him with disgust.

I sat on the tailgate of the truck listening to an audiobook, eating breakfast, and enjoying the beautiful morning. After a while, Apache decided he was tired of the little birds harassing him and began to chase them from time to time. At one point he left a tree flew up over the tree tops, circled twice and stooped the tree. My favorite moment was when he turned the tables on a scissortail. The scissortail was chasing him as he flew tree to tree. On one pass he pushed off with the scissortail right on him. He stalled just enough to let the scissortail pass him and then he tried to turn on the gas and get to him. The scissortail was gone quickly, but it was fun to see him make attempts and to be learning.

After 2 hours out playing, I figure it was time to bring him in. I blew the feeding whistle (which he's heard hundreds of times over the past month) and swung the lure. He pushed off and was on his way. For some reason he kept flaring off and wouldn't come all the way in. I thought about it and figured it might be the tall grass (I've seen that issue before with other birds). I moved to a small patch of bare ground, repeated the process and he came all the way in with no issue. I had a quail wing on the lure. I clicked and treated him on the lure a few times and then stepped him up to the fist. I carried him to the big dog kennel and he hopped in with some food. I then drove him back to his flight chamber and handfed him his remaining meal on the tire.

All in all, it was a great morning...

Here are the pics:

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/7103b0d6.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/e419a42f.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/0d28b334.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/733dcdd5.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/3ac5659b.jpg

rocgwp
07-18-2011, 12:24 AM
62 Days

Not a lot of training this weekend, we had family in. I was able to bring Apache in tonight while we had 14 peoe over. He sat on the fist silent with no bates while people touched him and walked all around. I couldn't have been more pleased with his attitude.

Hoping for a 'walk about' in the morning...

Flynn
07-18-2011, 12:36 PM
Good detailed read Jeff,
Any chance of a video clip of the clicker training ?

Yours Jim.

rocgwp
07-18-2011, 11:46 PM
63 days...810g

Apache appears to be hard penned at this point. I am now moving into the next phase of training with him. The goal is walk abouts in the morning and training sessions in the evening.

My first order of business is to get him hungry by increasing his activity level and fitness. He now works for every tidbit he gets. I am starting with rewarding bating so I can put it on cue. I fully expect each session to get more intense as he gets hungrier and it won't surprise me to see aggression. From there we will transition to Yo-yo's and restrained pursuits.

On a side note...I think it is a matter of time until Apache tips his deck feathers. He spends all day sitting in his water bowl leaning back on his tail. The feathers are constantly being bent as he leans on them.

rocgwp
07-20-2011, 10:11 PM
65 days

Had a great training session this evening with Apache. I was able to do restrained pursuits and reward bating until his wings were drooping. He understands RP's, but hasn't fully grasped the controlled bate yet.

hcmcelroy
07-21-2011, 11:28 AM
Jeff,

Home Depot carries a black plastic mixing pan for cement in two sizes. The small one fits my gos well and it is only $5.35. Would that size reduce the pressure on the train?

Harry.

goshawkr
07-21-2011, 02:04 PM
Jeff,

Home Depot carries a black plastic mixing pan for cement in two sizes. The small one fits my gos well and it is only $5.35. Would that size reduce the pressure on the train?

Harry.

I have found that the bottom 6 inches cut out of an old plastic 55 gallon barrel makes an excellent bath pan. Its nice and deep to make bathing easy, and the HDPE plastic that its made from is super easy to scrub clean. This last point is important with breeding chamber birds where the bath pan may need to go several weeks between cleanings to avoid disturbing the birds. Its also wide and deep enough to be very easy on the tail feathers of a goshawk.

goshawks00
07-21-2011, 05:51 PM
Geoff, I have I am still using after twenty years , they are great.
Now a couple of useful hints:

Only use the solid end for water pans, use the end with the bung for nesting bowls for your breeders.

Pick up some old garden hose that someone tossed out. Split it lengthwise, and "liquid nails" it to the edge of the pan. It will save possible foot issues when they stand on the edge.

Now then the center of the barrel.... Cut them in 10-12" widths. Take them and bury them anywhere you have root producing plants... Place them around the plant. It will stop them from becoming invasive and over taking you garden. Works great on any herb/flower/ivy etc that propagates through root travel.

goshawkr
07-21-2011, 06:49 PM
Now then the center of the barrel.... Cut them in 10-12" widths. Take them and bury them anywhere you have root producing plants... Place them around the plant. It will stop them from becoming invasive and over taking you garden. Works great on any herb/flower/ivy etc that propagates through root travel.

Thats a great tip. Pitty that I just tossed some of those middle bits out.

hcmcelroy
07-21-2011, 10:02 PM
Jeoff & Barry,

Great idea you could bath an eagle...

Harry.

rocgwp
07-22-2011, 10:21 AM
67 days - 785g

Apache had a great walk about this morning (best yet). He was up for about an hour and a half. He chased small birds several times and is getting much stronger and maneuverable. My favorite moment was watching him chase a squirrel that tried to make a break for it to the tree line. He hit the squirrel twice before it got to a tree and raced above him. I tossed a Texas Pioneer pigeon for him and he played with it for 20 minutes. He would catch it, release it, chase it on foot until it flushed, recatch it, and repeat. I finally picked the exhausted pigeon up and called an exhausted goshawk down to the lure. He bated a couple times before I could get him to the truck. This may be his last walk about for that reason. I will start hood training him in a couple weeks. Until then I don't want any negative association at the end of the walk about. We'll keep working toward putting bating on cue and doing rp's.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/938e7371.jpg

rocgwp
07-22-2011, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the water pan suggestions! Those are great ideas. I had been setting his bath pan on bricks to elevate it, but I purchased a mortar mixing tub from Lowes yesterday that should help.

This has been a great learning experience so far...

hcmcelroy
07-22-2011, 11:56 AM
Jeff,

Keep the updates rolling. Most interesting!!!

I'm especially interested in how you hood train.

My boy was 59 yesterday and beginning to withdraw so I'm feeding a bit less in the last meal of the day. He appears hungry this morning so I'll toss a sparrow in the mew again and see how he is going.

Harry.

Lee Slikkers
07-22-2011, 12:03 PM
Jeff,

Keep the updates rolling. Most interesting!!!

I'm especially interested in how you hood train.

My boy was 59 yesterday and beginning to withdraw so I'm feeding a bit less in the last meal of the day. He appears hungry this morning so I'll toss a sparrow in the mew again and see how he is going.

Harry.

Harry, is he in the mew full time now or still in the house with you?

hcmcelroy
07-22-2011, 06:38 PM
Lee,

Quixote is in the mew/flight until the temp begins to cook then in these two rooms. I take him back out at about 6:30. All he knows is play, play, play.

Harry.

rocgwp
07-24-2011, 01:01 PM
69 days

Apache is progressing in his training. He is beginning to understand that I am rewarding him for bating, but I don't have it on cue yet. Restrained pursuits have been REALLY useful thus far. I am been able to make him hungry by increasing the exercise instead of decreasing the food at this point.

The biggest lifesaver to this point has been the fact that he uses plucking as a way to cue me to feed him. On the days when I'm in a hurry and need to feed him quickly, I can walk in and toss down a quail wing. I hold the quail in plain sight in my hand. He grabs the wing and plucks, I then CR and hand him a piece of the quail in my hand. I repeat this for 8 or so rewards and then I can jackpot him with the whole quail. If I have time, I will walk out and wait for him to pluck the quail. I CR and then walk back in cut off a piece and hand it to him. I then just leave it with him. He eats what he wants and caches the rest in his tire. I can show up later and pick up the quail out of the tire if I want him to be hungrier at the next feeding. It takes me about 10 minutes to feed him like this and has been a lifesaver at maintaing the right attitude when I'm in a hurry.

Most of the time he is working for meal doing RP's and bates.

PeteJ
07-24-2011, 01:21 PM
That weight sure seems immense for a tiercel Gos. I could see if it was the dead of below zero winter, but its obviously not. I know guys that have flown females in that weight range, particularly right at the beginning of the season like this when its hot.

rocgwp
07-24-2011, 03:45 PM
He may be big or he could just be fat at this point. Note that he is not out hawking yet. He responds to the lure and I'm comfortable with doing walk abouts, but I don't feel comfortable putting him in a situation where I'd need instantaneous lure response yet (i.e. flying him on crows, grackles, and starlings in town).

I am using his hunger motivation to get training sessions going. He can eat as much as he wants, he just has to work for it. When he stops working, the food stops (unless I'm in a hurry and leave a quail as described previously). So at this point he is somewhat self regulating his own weight. The increase in exercise has definitely had an effect on his hunger.

The first couple of days it was a little difficult to get the ball rolling. He had a couple meals where he only got 1 or 2 tidbits because he wasn't interested. After that, he has caught on and this morning he ate most of a skinned quail cut up into about 35 or so tidbits as he did restrained pursuits. My guess is he will eat 25 or so tidbits tonight. I am not doing any form of weight control at this point. I'm just trying to work his tail off to get him into shape, increase his hunger level so he will work more, and keep his head screwed on straight.

It will be interesting to see what weight he flies at.

allredone
07-24-2011, 08:21 PM
The weight doesn't seem that unusual to me. I had 2 tiercels in 2009 that were on tame hack catching birds at around 800 grams. Not bragging I just think it's a result of different methods and maybe genes. One of them caught it's first wild bird at 840g and the other just under 800. I think Jeff's Apache bird may actually be bigger than either of those Wisconsin birds but they were on tame hack 10 hours a day and were witnessed doing tail chases on dove above the forest canopy and other serious work outs. Their weights dropped considerably around this time without dieting. I think the robust weight Jeff is flying this bird at is possibly due to great genetics from Barry and a different training philosophy with imprints. Sound's like your bird is a real peach Jeff. You have so much to look forward to with him. I'm very envious.

Just curious. Can you have your big stand on a straight ruler and measure the feet for talon tip to talon tip? That would mean something to me about size. Very curious.

allredone
07-24-2011, 08:26 PM
By the way. What's a texas pioneer pigeon?

goshawks00
07-24-2011, 08:58 PM
Just curious. Can you have your big stand on a straight ruler and measure the feet for talon tip to talon tip? That would mean something to me about size. Very curious.

Yep to that, sometimes it's tough to get real feed back on birds produced.
I think it's also safe to say weight = a combination of genetics and falconer ability.

Squirrelhawkin
07-24-2011, 08:59 PM
By the way. What's a texas pioneer pigeon?

They were bred for squab production,meat birds

allredone
07-24-2011, 10:07 PM
Just curious. Can you have your big stand on a straight ruler and measure the feet for talon tip to talon tip? That would mean something to me about size. Very curious.

Yep to that, sometimes it's tough to get real feed back on birds produced.
I think it's also safe to say weight = a combination of genetics and falconer ability.

Genetics + falconer opportunity too. There are probably lots of good falconers who fly at lower weights and fitness during this stage because of practical life style constraints. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to hack my birds in habitat very close to what real goshawk nest woods look like with abundant things to chase and distant neighbors. I wasn't doing anything with them while out except maybe check n them at lunch. All that time on the wing I think made them muscle up and they didn't loose much fat either because I'd had never cut rations. Can't say what happened after because I gave both birds away after they each caught their first field birds off the fist. The falconer who had the most success was more traditional and cut weight and caught ducks. Hard to argue with success. I was just imprinting the tiercels for experience.

allredone
07-24-2011, 10:08 PM
I should add that the other bird died of mysterious illness so when I say the bird that had the most success I mean the bird that lived. Ha!...

rocgwp
07-26-2011, 10:51 PM
71 days - 778g

Apache continues to progress. I am having to work hard to maintain the parent view with him as he reaches the age of dispersal. Tonight he was talking more than I have ever heard him. He was hungry although his weight was the same as our morning workout. He is not screaming by any means, he is just vocalizing in his excitement. I expect more vocalizing as he learns to deal with hunger and the for it to decrease as he shifts into hunting.

Tonight we did RP's and controlled bates until he was exhausted. We did some tidbit hunts with the dog out. We had a big group of camp staff over tonight and he sat on this fist without a care in the world while they all oohed and awed over him. Have I mentioned that I love this bird so far:)

Once my new hood arrives, we will begin hood training. I'll detail that procedure as it progresses...

Here are some pics:

A hot and tired gos
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/3df57841.jpg

Still friends
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/d1bdde8a.jpg

Tidbit hunts in the yard
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/3e86ab7a.jpg

rocgwp
07-26-2011, 10:56 PM
By the way. What's a texas pioneer pigeon?

A Texas Pioneer Pigeon is a pigeon bred for meat production. They are about 3 times bigger than a homer. They look like chickens they are so big. They make great training birds because they don't fly long distances. They will fly about 30-40yds and then bail into cover instead of trying to sky out like a homer. They will also trap back into the loft after use.

allredone
07-27-2011, 02:42 AM
Wow cool. Never heard of such a bird. Thanks.

rocgwp
07-27-2011, 09:08 AM
Just curious. Can you have your big stand on a straight ruler and measure the feet for talon tip to talon tip? That would mean something to me about size. Very curious.

Yep to that, sometimes it's tough to get real feed back on birds produced.
I think it's also safe to say weight = a combination of genetics and falconer ability.

Do you want talon tip to talon tip or from the tip of the toe to tip of toe? I am assuming middle toe to halux...

allredone
07-27-2011, 11:27 AM
Right, longest measurement you can get. Halux to middle toe. Some folks measure the feet from the quick of the talon at the fleshy part saying that's more accurate because talons wear down or overgrow. I don't think that changes the foot size much unless it's dramatic though because the talons curve at a downward angle.

EAZFalconer
07-27-2011, 01:34 PM
By the way. What's a texas pioneer pigeon?

The other thing interesting about texas pioneers is that they are auto sexing--you can tell the sex of the squabs as soon as they hatch.

Lee Slikkers
07-27-2011, 01:44 PM
would love to find some of those Texan pigeons up here...would be helpful with my female imprint gos.

allredone
07-27-2011, 09:28 PM
The other thing interesting about texas pioneers is that they are auto sexing--you can tell the sex of the squabs as soon as they hatch.

What's your source for them? Where can I buy them? Did Tex A&M invent these?

rocgwp
07-27-2011, 10:14 PM
I picked mine up off of Craigslist. I'm sure you could google them and find a breeder.

EAZFalconer
07-28-2011, 01:22 AM
What's your source for them? Where can I buy them? Did Tex A&M invent these?

Google "Texan Pioneer pigeon" here is the national club for them and that will help you find a breeder:

http://www.angelfire.com/tx5/texanpioneer/

rocgwp
07-29-2011, 10:56 PM
74 days - 780g

Things are about the same with Apache. I had an equipment malfunction today that resulted in me putting temporary gear on him. I was using bullet jesses and he broke one. I've had it happen before when they get older. I'll order some new ones.

I made a post perch for him and he has taken to it with no issue. I measured his foot span and best I can tell is he has 4 1/2 inch span from talon tip to talon tip.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/882cca61.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/e31d2e20.jpg

allredone
07-30-2011, 12:20 AM
74 days - 780g

I made a post perch for him and he has taken to it with no issue. I measured his foot span and best I can tell is he has 4 1/2 inch span from talon tip to talon tip.

:eek:

Jeff it you didn't know already that is truly a remarkable size. At least compared to the 3 Wisconsin males I've had and others I've seen.

Nice work Paul and Barry!...

My largest male Wisconsin goshawk had feet that were 4 3/8" and he had a, "feather volume" physical size that made him "look" just as big as my female who had feet that were only 4 5/8". That size spread is typical for Wisconsin birds. Huge males and small to average females. At many nests its hard to tell the difference between the male and female parent birds. Sometimes it's just the behavior of the agresive female and the fact that the male leaves when she gets really fired up that makes it obvious. Some Wisconsin females are quite large feet 5 1/4" and fly above 1000 but not many.

So this bird just looks really nice. Maybe the same or bigger than that one male I had.

If others have seem lots of males that have feet this large and may fly near 27 ounces please chime in here. I'm under the impression that is special and I'd like to hear about it if I am wrong.

Nice bird! Thanks for taking the time to measure!

rocgwp
07-30-2011, 01:07 AM
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/fa1b1601.jpg

sevristh
07-30-2011, 11:29 AM
Jeff,

I've never used the bullet jesses, but they always looked pretty stout to me... How have the ones you have used broken? Did they both fail the same way?

rocgwp
07-30-2011, 12:08 PM
Over a period of time the chord that runs in the interior of the jess rots or becomes weaker. I've never had 2 fail at the same time, but I guess it's possible. The ones I've had fail, failed in the same way. Another local falconer has had the same experience.

I really like them though because of the stiffness. I've never had an issue with a bird getting tangled like I have with leather or braided jesses. They are also really quick to change out.

Lee Slikkers
07-30-2011, 12:24 PM
Over a period of time the chord that runs in the interior of the jess rots or becomes weaker. I've never had 2 fail at the same time, but I guess it's possible. The ones I've had fail, failed in the same way. Another local falconer has had the same experience.

I really like them though because of the stiffness. I've never had an issue with a bird getting tangled like I have with leather or braided jesses. They are also really quick to change out.


Which style of jess had the failure? I have a set that has an almost "plastic" sleeve but I am not crazy about them cause they seem real stiff and always look uncomfortable for the bird that is tethered with them. I would like to pick up another set of those flying style jesses....

rocgwp
07-30-2011, 01:19 PM
Here is a photo of the type that failed. It is the one's with the plastic outer sleeve. Like I said, I love them and use them all the time. The inner chord is what failed. The amount of time Apache spends in his water bowl might have contributed to this as well.


http://www.bulletjesses.com/images/products/thumbnails/bullet_jesses_blue.jpg

Lee Slikkers
07-30-2011, 02:50 PM
yeah, those are the ones that always look too stiff when the hawk is wearing them...they are easy to use though.

rocgwp
07-30-2011, 09:50 PM
75 days

Had two great workouts with Apache today. This morning he was 776g. I did restrained pursuits to Mr. Frosty until he was exhausted. He ate as much as he wanted (cut up into tidbits that he was working for) which was an entire 3 week old quail.

He worked harder than I thought because tonight he was noisy and HUNGRY. I weighed him before his workout and he was 765g. I was surprised he had lost 10 grams over the course of the day after eating quite bit this morning. The workout tonight consisted of restrained pursuits to Mr. Frosty until his wings were drooping and he was exhausted. I believe this would have been a huntable weight with instant lure response. He hit Mr. Frosty, mantled, and was really excited. I CRed him for calming down and then stepped him to the glove and handed him another tidbit. On the next one he slicked down on Mr. Frosty and was eager to step up and do it all again to get fed. I made each RP tougher as we went (with an occasional easy one thrown in).

At this point I figured I'd introduce the hood.

The hood plan I am following is designed to give him a choice of 2 ways to get fed. He can either work his tail off for a tiny piece of meat doing RP's, fist drops, or controlled bates OR he can be hooded for a big reward. At first I will only work hooding after he is exhausted. Tonight I brought the hood up and let him look at it, CRed and rewarded with a big reward (I am now using a whistle as my CR when outdoors). After 10 or so reps I was able to get the hood up level with his face with his beak in it with no apprehension. I am using an oversized hood at this point. I'll repeat this process for a couple days before moving forward. I am looking for Apache to anticipate the sight of the hood near his head as an easy source of food. I'll detail more as we progress.

He ate a LOT tonight so hopefully he will maintain weight over night.

FredFogg
07-30-2011, 10:02 PM
Are you using the high level tidbitting hooding method shown by Jim Nelson on his website? It sort of sounds like it. I really like what I saw on the videos and am going to try it on my next falcon or accipiter.

rocgwp
07-30-2011, 10:31 PM
I'm not sure. I am using Layman's method. I think the shaping method of getting the hood on is the same and I am handing him tidbits with my hands as usual (not necessarily high level though). I think the difference is the motivation. Instead of only free shaping accepting the hood, in Layman's method the bird has a choice of how it wants to get fed. It can work hard for a small reward or be hooded for a big one. You have to be able to work the bird to exhaustion before you can start his method. Subtle difference now, but I'm told it is important later on.

allredone
07-31-2011, 12:09 AM
Are you using the high level tidbitting hooding method shown by Jim Nelson on his website? It sort of sounds like it. I really like what I saw on the videos and am going to try it on my next falcon or accipiter.

Fred I've got a video that you will want to see it's an hour long talk by layman where he's playing games and goes into depth on shaping. The high level tid butting thing is just the tip of the iceberg I think. Nice application and video though. Jim says that bird was videoed for it's first lesson. That kind of thing works quick.

FredFogg
07-31-2011, 02:34 AM
Fred I've got a video that you will want to see it's an hour long talk by layman where he's playing games and goes into depth on shaping. The high level tid butting thing is just the tip of the iceberg I think. Nice application and video though. Jim says that bird was videoed for it's first lesson. That kind of thing works quick.

PM sent.

allredone
07-31-2011, 05:05 AM
I'll post the video to a DropBox account for all to see in the next few days if I can find the DVD in storage tomorrow. Otherwise I'll get one from the guy who filmed the lecture for our club. Soon. I got permission to post it from Steve weeks ago I've just been dragging my feet.

kimmerar
07-31-2011, 05:23 AM
I CRed him for calming down

What behavior are you looking for here? What action are you looking for? I'm trying to picture that. There are many behaviors going in that one minute right?

rocgwp
07-31-2011, 08:43 AM
What behavior are you looking for here? What action are you looking for? I'm trying to picture that. There are many behaviors going in that one minute right?

He was excited and mantling. I was looking for him to bring his wings in to his side and then to slick down. He already knows what is expected (how he can get me to feed him), he is now learning to do it while dealing with hunger.

AK Rev
07-31-2011, 10:05 AM
I got permission to post it from Steve weeks ago I've just been dragging my feet.

fishslap

rocgwp
07-31-2011, 05:00 PM
After yesterday's weight drop, I am weighing Apache throughout the day. He ate close to 50g this morning and will have burned it off within 8 hours. The exercises seem to have kicked his metabolism in and he is becoming a bottomless pit. I will have to watch him close and determine a g/hr/day loss in order to maintain his weight. I am planning on feeding him 75g or so tonight.

I have been advised to keep his mind busy with exercises and his body tired at this point. An idle mind is the devil's workshop...aggression could raise it's ugly head any day (I'm told).

I am curious how much other imprints are eating at this point (Harry and Barry).

goshawks00
07-31-2011, 06:54 PM
3-4 oz skinned quail (1/2 quail), once a day with exercise.

rocgwp
07-31-2011, 07:55 PM
3-4 oz skinned quail (1/2 quail), once a day with exercise.

Thanks Barry. Thor is eating ~85-115g of quail a day. It may be heat is part of my issue, but Apache loses interest after ~50g of food in a session. Apache is eating about the same as Thor (atleast on the upper end) just in multiple sessions.

Temps. this week are predicted to be as high as 107 degrees. Me and Apache are both ready for a break from the heat.

hcmcelroy
08-01-2011, 11:04 AM
Jeff,

I start the day with a sparrow (20grams) and 40 grams of pigeon in the evening. My boy is dropping in weight yet still not hungry enough to appreciate jumping to the glove. He comes to the lure well in the room and is more relaxed but still not hungry enough to respond well. Quixote is a sensitive one.

Is your boy outside in this heat? Mine is inside during the heat of the day.

Harry.

rocgwp
08-01-2011, 08:35 PM
A hot and tired Gos after his RP's this evening:

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/073680d3.jpg

rocgwp
08-03-2011, 12:37 AM
What does a Gos do when it's 108 degrees outside?

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/2579ab9c.jpg

PHILADELPHIA CITY HAWKER
08-03-2011, 06:46 AM
Hi Jeff, good luck with your goshawk !! very interesting the method of rearing you useing.

This is the first time i hear about the method of whole food association of the raptor with the falconer.

.

Many notable long-time Falconers use the hand feed method. I did with my female NA Goshawk with positive results. Just like non-food associated methods you never let your partner go hungry or reinforce negative behaviors (grabbing or vocalization) when your hand feeding, otherwise you will promote that behavior. (I know this comment is late in the thread)

Jeff F.

rocgwp
08-03-2011, 11:07 PM
My wife took a short video of me hood training Apache tonight. All I am working on in this session is him placing his head in the hood. It's not perfect by any means, but it gives an idea of how I am shaping him to take the hood and how I am rewarding him. I use the clicker indoors and a whistle outdoors as my CR. He was 775g in this video.

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/b09cca9a.mp4

rocgwp
08-03-2011, 11:18 PM
Try this link...

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/b09cca9a.mp4

sevristh
08-04-2011, 12:27 AM
Cool video Jeff! Looks like it's working. Do you plan to try a larger hood first when you actually start putting it all the way on or just gonna stick to the one he will wear?

rocgwp
08-04-2011, 12:49 AM
I am using a red tail hood to start with. I won't switch to a good fitting hood until I am ready to work on closing the braces.

sevristh
08-04-2011, 01:58 AM
Cool. I've seen a male gos flown by a member of our club that was made to the hood using the same methods, and he hoods very nicely.

allredone
08-04-2011, 03:54 AM
clapp Thank you so much for posting this Jeff. Great stuff there!
What a strong example of the power of CR work.

Your shaping games are clearly effective. Do you enjoy theme as well?

Can you tell us more about how you worked up to this point? Quiet bird. No attempt to foot you etc. Looks great!

goshawkr
08-04-2011, 12:57 PM
Try this link...

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/b09cca9a.mp4

I gotta agree - great video.

rocgwp
08-06-2011, 12:43 PM
82 days - 775g

Been working Apache out with RP's and fist drops for small rewards. I then work hooding while he is still hungry for bigger rewards. This morning I was able to get the hood all the way on CR and then he got a jackpot reward. I'll work this for a couple more days increasing the duration of time the hood is on his head.

I'm hoping to do walk abouts this week and let him chase tossed pigeons. My nemesis has been the heat. Our lows have been in the 80's and temps stayed close to 105-109 all week. If I am able to do the walk abouts and get the hooding done, I don't think he is far from hunting. I'll probably try to start him off on crows.

On another note, Apache finally tipped his deck feathers. I changed his bath pan to a large mortar mixing tub a while ago. He likes to stand in the water and lean back on his tail to cool off. There is plenty of space in the pan, but my guess is he is just trying to cool off in the ridiculous heat. He spends a good portion of the day doing this and his tail finally had all it could take. Bummer...

kimmerar
08-06-2011, 01:23 PM
Jeff - your timing is great and you know when to quit the session. Great job. I've watched 1000's of hours of clicker training. None with raptors though. That was done before I was born :). I saw clearly what you were bridging. What was the next part of the chain?

rocgwp
08-06-2011, 09:55 PM
Hooding is going great with Apache! After working him hard for small rewards doing RP's, I was able to increase the criteria tonight to the point where the hood stays on his head for a count of 2. I would then CR and give him a jackpot reward. Once my new hood gets here, he should be ready to transition to it. After he is comfortable with it staying on a little longer, I'll start squeezing the back of the hood and CRing to prepare him for closing the braces.

rocgwp
08-10-2011, 11:25 PM
86 days - 779g

Tonight is a big night. I have worked the entire hooding sequence with Apache and it was time to close the braces. I worked him HARD to get him tired for small rewards. We then worked hooding with his hood from Ken Hooke. After most of his meal was done, I slid the hood on and closed the braces. As expected he didn't like it one bit. I was advised that once the braces close the first time that he would throw a fit. I was instructed to not ever remove the hood while he was upset. For the first hooding, I was told to hood him, let him throw a fit and then tie him to a safe perch for the night. Once he is good and hungry in the morning and has forgot about the negatives, I can remove the hood and jackpot him with a BIG reward. He is now sitting on the perch upset about his circumstances...

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/5a3d5257.jpg

A great pred8tor hood Fromm Ken Hooke:
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/3760d5b2.jpg

AK Rev
08-10-2011, 11:28 PM
It always makes me chuckle to see them at first with their sad body language. Obviously you don't want that for any length of time but it's a little funny. They get over it soon enough.

BestBeagler
08-11-2011, 09:57 AM
[QUOTE=rocgwp;201521]86 days - 779g

Tonight is a big night. I have worked the entire hooding sequence with Apache and it was time to close the braces. I worked him HARD to get him tired for small rewards. We then worked hooding with his hood from Ken Hooke. After most of his meal was done, I slid the hood on and closed the braces. As expected he didn't like it one bit. I was advised that once the braces close the first time that he would throw a fit. I was instructed to not ever remove the hood while he was upset. For the first hooding, I was told to hood him, let him throw a fit and then tie him to a safe perch for the night. Once he is good and hungry in the morning and has forgot about the negatives, I can remove the hood and jackpot him with a BIG reward. He is now sitting on the perch upset about his circumstances...
QUOTE]

Isn't there anyway you can go about this with out them throwing a fit? Them throwing a fit during hood training sounds negative to the whole process. It seems like a waste of time after all the work to get them to accept it nicely only for them to throw a fit after the braces close. It just seems the end result is the same; a bird resenting the hooder. The bird might not hate the hood as much doing it this way because it gets rewarded through the hood but the he still sees you as the one the hoods him. I'm hoping best for you! I congratulate you for trying something off of the main path. Good luck! I enjoy reading your thread.

JRedig
08-11-2011, 10:25 AM
Isn't there anyway you can go about this with out them throwing a fit? Them throwing a fit during hood training sounds negative to the whole process. It seems like a waste of time after all the work to get them to accept it nicely only for them to throw a fit after the braces close. It just seems the end result is the same; a bird resenting the hooder. The bird might not hate the hood as much doing it this way because it gets rewarded through the hood but the he still sees you as the one the hoods him. I'm hoping best for you! I congratulate you for trying something off of the main path. Good luck! I enjoy reading your thread.

Hi Isaac, how would you propose controlling the bird's reaction to the braces being closed? This is strictly in the interest of discussion, not a right or wrong scenario. I agree with your point that if there's a way to avoid it, by all means it should be done. I just don't see my way through it, maybe someone else does?

I think Jeff is doing it the best way you can, they have to come to terms with it and he's not allowing the bird visual stimulation(affirmation) while he's in the greatest state of dislike for the event he's unfamiliar with. Waiting until he's calmed and accepted the hood and then giving him a jackpot when removed should cement things in well. The bird might not like the braces being tightened right now, but he'll like the reward after a whole lot! The jump from one association to another goes pretty quickly, i'd imagine VERY quickly in a bird as mentally/reward/food stimulated as Apache.

BestBeagler
08-11-2011, 12:34 PM
Hi Isaac, how would you propose controlling the bird's reaction to the braces being closed? This is strictly in the interest of discussion, not a right or wrong scenario. I agree with your point that if there's a way to avoid it, by all means it should be done. I just don't see my way through it, maybe someone else does?

I think Jeff is doing it the best way you can, they have to come to terms with it and he's not allowing the bird visual stimulation(affirmation) while he's in the greatest state of dislike for the event he's unfamiliar with. Waiting until he's calmed and accepted the hood and then giving him a jackpot when removed should cement things in well. The bird might not like the braces being tightened right now, but he'll like the reward after a whole lot! The jump from one association to another goes pretty quickly, i'd imagine VERY quickly in a bird as mentally/reward/food stimulated as Apache.

I don't know. I don't know very much about OC. What if you waited longer before closing the braces? Or use a hood after he excepts it well with no braces? One that just sits on. I have seen them before. There may not be a way around it but I wish there was.

goshawkr
08-11-2011, 02:36 PM
I don't know. I don't know very much about OC. What if you waited longer before closing the braces? Or use a hood after he excepts it well with no braces? One that just sits on. I have seen them before. There may not be a way around it but I wish there was.

At some point, you just have to step up and seal the deal.

Jeff has been spending many days working on getthing his goshawk to accept the hood without the braces being struck. From the behaviours I have seen in the video he posted, I dont think he could have done any better on that foundation.

Perhaps he could have gradually ramped up the closing of the braces, by just closing them down a bit further each time the hood went on, but I dont see that being a big benifit. It would also be important to be prepared for the tantrum, because its not easy to easy the braces shut. They are desinged to close quickly and completely, and we are trained to snap them shut in under a second.

I am not anywhere near the purist that Layman is in terms of avoiding negative association, and I suppose that has lead me to taking a different tract with hooding. I try my best to avoid fear being tied to the hood - but I just hood my goshawks. I make it a daily routine. Everyday without fail, the hood goes on as gently as I can. Eventually they come to like it. I have attributed this to an odd counter intuitive thought loop they go through -they hate the scarry hood, and as soon as the hood is on they cant see the scary hood any more which is a big relief and they come to love the way the hood makes scary things go away. Goshawks HATE scary things.

Jeff - were you able to wait out the tantrum and take the hood off when your goshawk felt positive about it? I do my best to make sure the hood never comes off when the hawk is upset because an upset goshawk will often lash all its emotional trauma onto the first thing it sees and then hate that hing forever. However, I had one tiercel goshawk that threw a fit for over an hour and half and I had to give in.

allredone
08-12-2011, 02:00 AM
This is honestly pretty awesome Jeff. Personally I had great luck hooding by sensory overload from day one with the chick. I would train them that the sensation of my hand gripped around their head was no threat and even a positive. I never had fits with the braces being drawn and I didn't wait for the feathers to be done growing. However many folks have tried to do this and ended up with birds that were unhoodable. I'm not sure what I'm doing other than lots of hooding. Both my first coopers and my first goshawk are with other falconers presently and they comment that they are both very easy to hood.

I think the training Jeff is doing with his bird is extremely powerful though. That video of the bird not footing him and not screaming while taking did bits form the hand in reward for hunting the hood is just perfect. The groundwork laid there will pay dividends in all kinds of training from here on out.

Nice work.

rocgwp
08-12-2011, 10:17 AM
88 days - 775g

The hooding has progressed as planned thus far. After being hooded for the first time the night before last, he was upset for over an hour. I left him on the perch overnight and waited until the morning when he had calmed down and was hungry. I CRed and removed the hood. He looked at me like "What happened?" and then looked down to see an entire skinned quail in my fist. He ate as much as he wanted. While he was eating I hooded and unhooded him, CRing for the approach of the hood and his beak going in the hood. He had no issues with the hood or me.

Last night I worked him HARD again. He is getting to the point to where he is looking for ways to get fed without having to work so hard (this is a good thing). He knows if he flies straight at his food, it is going to take a LOT of effort to get it. He will turn around on the glove, look away from the food, search the room for another alternative, then turn around and finally push off for an RP. Once hooding is done, I will capitalize on this and begin capturing and shaping some new behaviors.

Currently (and conveniently) his only method that he knows to get fed without lots of effort is to be hooded. Last night I brought the hood up and it went on easily and I closed the braces. He was upset for about 15 minutes and then settled down and pulled up a foot. I left him there overnight. This morning when I CRed and removed the hood, he immediately looked down for his reward and began eating. He is understanding the game.

From here I will be able to go to multiple workout sessions in an evening. I can work him HARD for little reward, then offer the hood and let him rest for a little while. I can then unhood him for a larger reward and then do more workouts. This should really start building some muscle. It will also help solidify the hooding (work HARD for small rewards or hood for a big one).

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn74/rocgwp/c1f9368e.jpg

rocgwp
08-12-2011, 10:32 AM
Isn't there anyway you can go about this with out them throwing a fit? Them throwing a fit during hood training sounds negative to the whole process. It seems like a waste of time after all the work to get them to accept it nicely only for them to throw a fit after the braces close. It just seems the end result is the same; a bird resenting the hooder. The bird might not hate the hood as much doing it this way because it gets rewarded through the hood but the he still sees you as the one the hoods him. I'm hoping best for you! I congratulate you for trying something off of the main path. Good luck! I enjoy reading your thread.

I think Jeff and Geoff gave a pretty decent explanation of the tantrum. I had worked on closing the braces prior to the first time of actually closing them. I would slide the hood on and squeeze the back of the hood and then CR. There was no way to guarantee or predict exactly what Apache would do once the braces were closed. I needed to be ready for a tantrum in case it happened. By not removing the hood until he was calm and hungry, we are able to shape the behavior and turn it around. I'd love to find a way to avoid the fit if possible, but at this point I am unaware of one that guarantees no issues. This route allows me to be prepared in case a tantrum occurs and gives me a method to turn it around. All of the previous work wasn't wasted, it was the foundation for being able to turn the negative around.

allredone
08-13-2011, 03:43 AM
This is brilliant stuff Jeff. :)

rocgwp
08-16-2011, 02:19 PM
92 days - 795g

What a fun morning!!! I took Apache on a "walk about" and it turned into a squirrel hunt. I got to see a lot of things come together today. I had Apache on the fist and was walking with him unrestrained. I saw a grey squirrel feeding on the ground. I was able to walk around a building and get within 10 yds of the squirrel. As I rounded the corner I made my flushing noise and Apache slicked down anticipating something being tossed. He saw the squirrel and the squirrel bolted. He was after it! The squirrel made it to a tree and Apache pitched up and landed near the top of a pine (goshawks can go vertical like nothing I've ever seen). I was able to reflush the squirrel and he played catch and release with it. He caught and released it 3 times within 100yds. After that, we chased 8 more squirrels. He caught and released atleast 2 more, it was hard to see all the chases with the leaves on. He didn't have a great lure response since he was at such a high weight, so I waited for him to land low enough for me to step him up to the fist. He was exhausted! I hooded him and we walked about a half mile back to the mew. Once there I CRed and removed the hood. I tossed a quail for him and instead he did an RP to the water. He drank, cooled off, and then I hand fed him his meal.

I'll let him play and mirror squirrels until he decides he wants to catch one. I saw better chases with him today, than I saw with a cast of harrises all last year. A Goshawk's speed and maneuverability in the woods is incredible.

allredone
08-16-2011, 09:43 PM
92 days - 795g

What a fun morning!!! I took Apache on a "walk about" and it turned into a squirrel hunt. I got to see a lot of things come together today. I had Apache on the fist and was walking with him unrestrained. I saw a grey squirrel feeding on the ground. I was able to walk around a building and get within 10 yds of the squirrel. As I rounded the corner I made my flushing noise and Apache slicked down anticipating something being tossed. He saw the squirrel and the squirrel bolted. He was after it! The squirrel made it to a tree and Apache pitched up and landed near the top of a pine (goshawks can go vertical like nothing I've ever seen). I was able to reflush the squirrel and he played catch and release with it. He caught and released it 3 times within 100yds. After that, we chased 8 more squirrels. He caught and released atleast 2 more, it was hard to see all the chases with the leaves on. He didn't have a great lure response since he was at such a high weight, so I waited for him to land low enough for me to step him up to the fist. He was exhausted! I hooded him and we walked about a half mile back to the mew. Once there I CRed and removed the hood. I tossed a quail for him and instead he did an RP to the water. He drank, cooled off, and then I hand fed him his meal.

I'll let him play and mirror squirrels until he decides he wants to catch one. I saw better chases with him today, than I saw with a cast of harrises all last year. A Goshawk's speed and maneuverability in the woods is incredible.


Dejavu Jeff. That sounds so familiar. All that play time catching squirrels will pay off. He is learning where the business end is and how to grab them from behind the neck and head. Those flits are great to watch aren't they?

This is about the time where traditional thought might tell you to cut weight to force him into holding onto one. Your way is so much better. I've seen it myself. Many goshawkers have. Without the desperation of a weight reduction making him do things that are dangerous he will learn to never get more than a scratch and be deadly on squirrels. My small Wisconsin female had feet that were really no bigger than Apache's and she killed them before I could get to her. Generally me and the dog would run along with her on her violent tears through the tree tops and she would rake one off and glide to the ground, sometimes 50-80 yards away. Surprisingly squirrels pass out in seconds when the gos closes their wind pipe with the talon tips. It was either that or shock.

I'm excited for you. I love the way a gos hits the pursuit game after tree squirrels. It's like someone tied a balloon to it's tail. A heat seeking missile.

Keep us posted.

By the way... No bells? That's awesome. Better to have lighter feet and be quicker footing.

If you want a tail bell I've got a good design for a break away bell clip that will pop out without pulling a feather. I always tied hunter orange flash tape to it so I could find it on the forest floor but Thankfully I never had to.

allredone
08-16-2011, 09:55 PM
By the way possibly the coolest part of your post from today was the RPs to water instead of food.

People should really take a look at what you are doing. Seems like many austringers can't get the bird to come to the lure even without weight reduction. Let alone out in the dynamic flights you saw today. And to top it off he comes home and proves to you that hes not motivated by food alone.

Most of us fly birds so lean that food becomes the ONLY thing that matters to them. And that's because it works even if you don't have a clue what your raptor really is. Survival is a universal language. But What you are doing is in my opinion MUCH more powerful.

And more RELAXING. And more FUN. Sounds like your bird is quiet, well adjusted and not lean.

"FAT and HAPPY". Way to be.

goshawkr
08-17-2011, 05:13 PM
By the way possibly the coolest part of your post from today was the RPs to water instead of food.

People should really take a look at what you are doing. Seems like many austringers can't get the bird to come to the lure even without weight reduction. Let alone out in the dynamic flights you saw today. And to top it off he comes home and proves to you that hes not motivated by food alone.

Most of us fly birds so lean that food becomes the ONLY thing that matters to them. And that's because it works even if you don't have a clue what your raptor really is. Survival is a universal language. But What you are doing is in my opinion MUCH more powerful.

And more RELAXING. And more FUN. Sounds like your bird is quiet, well adjusted and not lean.

"FAT and HAPPY". Way to be.

I agree - this is great stuff.

Squirrelhawkin
08-17-2011, 07:33 PM
If you want a tail bell I've got a good design for a break away bell clip that will pop out without pulling a feather.

Could you post some pics of it?

allredone
08-17-2011, 07:44 PM
Could you post some pics of it?

Yes absolutely. I'll put it in a separate post in Shortwings and post the link here in a few. It's very simple and requires no special tools. Just things you already have.

rocgwp
08-18-2011, 06:46 PM
Had another good morning of squirrel chasing. We chased a lot of squirrels, but I couldn't see all the action due to the leaves on the trees. I know he put his feet on several. I am using a temporary bell on his anklet until I get a tail mount on. Without the bell, I would have been lost. We sure could use a break from the heat. 106 today, but Apache is taking it well.

I am going to work on his lure response some and see if I can establish some more field control with him.

allredone
08-19-2011, 01:43 AM
Had another good morning of squirrel chasing. We chased a lot of squirrels, but I couldn't see all the action due to the leaves on the trees. I know he put his feet on several. I am using a temporary bell on his anklet until I get a tail mount on. Without the bell, I would have been lost. We sure could use a break from the heat. 106 today, but Apache is taking it well.

I am going to work on his lure response some and see if I can establish some more field control with him.

What do you use for a lure?

I hawked squirrels hard and I used a cotton tail or jack lure from Northwoods Limited. It's made from wallaby fur and is super durable. The cool part is that I just cut the meat tie off of it and the fur was a plucking reward. I never put food on my fur covered lure after the first introduction. After that my imprints wanted it because it was fun to catch and after some plucking I would toss tidbits out for them and transfer off.

I would never let the hawk catch the lure if it set its wings and was just gliding in. I would pull it in a circle around me and the hawk would have to fly at a stall in a slow circle to catch up to it in the air. Then I wouldn't let it drop to the ground until the hawk walked up the lures back and grabbed it near the, "head". But the moment it struck the head end I would drop it like a stone instantly and let them settle down catch their breath and pluck for a while. Then transfer off.

They seemed to get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from this. I seriously never garnished the lure and I would get intense lure recall response. I think goshawks like to work for a living and they are simply not as impressed by the drop and flop lure presentation of tossing the lure out on the ground. They love motion. I got great recall response with my tiercels above 800 grams in summer heat.

I think sibling rivalry may have had something to do with it too.

Contrary to popular rules i would frequently toy with my hawk and flash the lure to recall to the fist and then hide the lure in the back pocket of my game bag and flush a wild bird. It was a, "trick", in the sense that I did not give them the lure when I showed it to them. But this, "betrayal", only increased my birds lure response. It did not convince them that I was just going to trick them and might as well not come when called. Instead they knew that the lure may or may not be catchable but a 110% effort would be rewarded in some kind of way. It just wasn't predictable.

Anyhow. I don't claim to have figured something out but I stumbled into something that worked really well for my imprints with great field control. The only time I had a hard time getting my bird down was the first time I tried to call her down in tall grass close to dark.

Just a thought. One of my sponsors was not impressed years ago when I bought the fur covered lure from Northwoods. He liked all the other gear that I made myself and said the rabbit lure looked like something a, "Mastercard Falconer", would buy. But man that thing turned out to be one of my favorite tools. So durable too. Even with all that plucking there was never much of a bare spot on it and the shape and weight was just perfect for a hard strike from a goshawk and the bird could really get a grip and hold on to the thing.

They loved that lure but were never too possessive of it.

Just some thoughts. I don't know what others are doing. I hear all accipiters generally love their lures.

One friend lost his and kind of famously used a shoe swung by the lace. Too funny. :)

sleeper2g
08-19-2011, 02:08 AM
That's exactly what one wants to avoid with using the clicker. You want the hawk to associate the food with himself, with behaviors he can do, not with the falconer. I'm sure it works great with a clicker-savvy falconer, as it works with every other species out there. Horse for example are well-known to become troublesome and bite if given treats. Use the clicker though, and they stop these behaviors as soon as they understand what to do to receive the food beside bullying the trainer.

I'm very interested in food delivery mechanics. We all know that hand-feeding a hawk results in being footed. I know about high-level tidbiting and it does work, but then you have to replace the clicker by a whistle or a noise made by the mouth for the mechanics become too complex. I have friends who clicker train free-lofted raptors in zoos using a stick to deliver the food and a whistle as a clicker, it works great but I still think it's a hassle. It would be great not having to worry about those feet! lol

Yes those are some big feet on that young bird, very nice pick, I am sure he will do well.

allredone
08-19-2011, 02:51 AM
Could you post some pics of it?
Nick. Here is the link to the Break-Away tail bell post:

http://www.nafex.net/showthread.php?p=202810#post202810

rocgwp
09-04-2011, 08:17 PM
Haven't updated on Apache in a while so here goes. 2 big events have happened in the past 2 weeks...

Event 1:
While I was at work one afternoon, Apache was perched out in the covered weathering yard. A sudden strong storm blew in a ripped the top off of the weathering area. My wife was home and came to Apache's rescue. The soft sunscreen top came down on top of him. My wife pulled the screen off him, but not before he trashed his tail frus) I was concerned about him mentally, but all seems to be okay. If anyone wants to send some goshawk feathers my way, I've got some imping to do. Otherwise, he'll be hunting with a broken rudder.

Event 2:
I had an extended business trip I had to go on. I was concerned that while I was gone, he would regress and potentially become aggressive since another falconer would be tossing him food without playing games. When I got back, there was no sign of aggression. He had pulled his jesses out and didn't want to come to the glove. I didn't want to risk a big negative event by putting jesses in and then him bating and potentially freaking out, so I only fed him small tidbits that he would step or hop to the fist for. He was loosing interest quickly, so I suspected that he was just really fat. After 2 days of that I was able to put jesses in and weigh him without any negatives. He weighed 815g (fat as I suspected). He is now perched out at my house settling back into his routine again. Once he gets serious again, so will I. We will start hitting the woods regularly.

frootdog
09-05-2011, 03:37 AM
I will check my supply when I get home, but I am pretty sure I have a full set of male tail feathers.

allredone
09-06-2011, 12:42 AM
I've got all but the center decks if that's any help. They are adult feathers. Average/biggish size.

frootdog
09-06-2011, 01:04 AM
I have a full set immy male NA Gos tail feathers if you need them.

goshawkr
09-06-2011, 02:32 PM
While I was at work one afternoon, Apache was perched out in the covered weathering yard. A sudden strong storm blew in a ripped the top off of the weathering area. My wife was home and came to Apache's rescue. The soft sunscreen top came down on top of him. My wife pulled the screen off him, but not before he trashed his tail frus) I was concerned about him mentally, but all seems to be okay. If anyone wants to send some goshawk feathers my way, I've got some imping to do. Otherwise, he'll be hunting with a broken rudder.

Sounds like you already have some offers, but for future reference (yours, as well as others) Harris' hawk tail feathers match goshawk tail feathers exactly. The benifit to using Harris' feathers is that they are more durable because they bend rather than break. The disadvantage, apart from looking out of place, is that they do not have the same flight characteristics because they are not as stiff as goshawk feathers (which is why they bend rather than break).

rocgwp
09-12-2011, 09:30 PM
It took a little bit to get Apache back to where we were, but I think he is there again. I've been letting him pluck a wing on the fist (CRing for the pluck) and handing tidbits for his reward. I occasionally throw in a tossed tidbit with an RP.

Tonight he was in the 790g range. I had intentions of going hawking, but the 100 degree weather changed those plans. Instead I carried him on the fist, made the flushing cue, tossed his empty lure and let him do an RP to it. I then tossed tidbits for him to transfer to and hopped him back to the fist. We did this several times. He had instant response on chasing the lure. He is a little reluctant to hop back to the fist, but that is fading fast. With some cooler weather, we are ready to hit the woods.

rocgwp
09-15-2011, 08:49 PM
Temps dropped below 90 this evening so I couldn't resist getting in the woods. Apache chased 3 squirrels and caught (and released 1). He is still playing right now. A week or so of some serious flying and my guess is he will seal the deal.

kitana
09-15-2011, 09:26 PM
I think I missed something Jeff... No weight control at all?

rocgwp
09-16-2011, 12:34 AM
I am using loose weight control. I didn't weigh him tonight. He wanted to go fly, so we went. My guess is he was in the upper 780's based on what he weighed after I fed him. If his attitude is right, we hunt. If not, we don't.

kitana
09-16-2011, 07:03 AM
Okay, but what about the dreaded food reduction that leads imprints to scream? It's THE reason I stale on imprinting an accipiter, the fear to turn it into a screaming monster at the first moment its weight will go down... That's what I meant by weight control.

rocgwp
09-16-2011, 08:34 AM
Apache definitely doesn't scream. At times he talks though. He didn't start talking until I got back from my trip and had been tossed food to for a week. My experience is that as you establish the idea that they are working for their food, the quieter they get. Hunting, RP's, etc...encourage quietness. Giving them free handouts (tossing them food) encourages noise. They might get vocal when you drop their weight initially, but most accipiters quiet down as you establish their work ethic and they are hunting hard.

kitana
09-16-2011, 08:45 AM
It's very cool Jeff. I had all this theoretical stuff in my head about clicker training an imprint from the start, and doing the most to avoid screams and agression, I believe it could be done but it's not until you see that happen in real life that you know it can truly work.

Way to go!! Can't wait to see how good a hunting hawk he will become. You are doing a very excellent job.

goshawkr
09-16-2011, 04:28 PM
It's very cool Jeff. I had all this theoretical stuff in my head about clicker training an imprint from the start, and doing the most to avoid screams and agression, I believe it could be done but it's not until you see that happen in real life that you know it can truly work.

Way to go!! Can't wait to see how good a hunting hawk he will become. You are doing a very excellent job.

Audrey,

There are a several people around who have pulled off OC raised imprints accipiters that are largely silent. Whats even more amazing about them is they are even tamer and more social than most imprints.

If they can do it, you can too!

kitana
09-16-2011, 08:44 PM
Yeah Geoff, you told me that in the past and I believe you, but when you pay 2500$ for a Cooper or a Gos, imprint it and it goes bad, and can't release it to the wild, it's stressful... I'll do it, and it won't be in a very long time, but for now I'm like a sponge absorbing the experiences of other in the hope that it will improve my own skills when the time comes... And Jeff is doing precisely what I intended to do so it's highly interesting to read about the results!! Until I can travel to the West coast and meet you guys and chat with you and see the results, I gotta read as much as I can! lol

allredone
09-17-2011, 03:07 AM
Apache definitely doesn't scream. At times he talks though. He didn't start talking until I got back from my trip and had been tossed food to for a week. My experience is that as you establish the idea that they are working for their food, the quieter they get. Hunting, RP's, etc...encourage quietness. Giving them free handouts (tossing them food) encourages noise. They might get vocal when you drop their weight initially, but most accipiters quiet down as you establish their work ethic and they are hunting hard.

Work Ethic! Perfect. Well said. It seems like all creatures are happier when they are working for a living. :)

rocgwp
09-17-2011, 09:15 PM
Some nights almost everything goes right...Apache chased 10 squirrels in an hour and a half. Almost every vine I yanked had a squirrel in it tonight. It was 94 degrees and he was 795g. He caught and released most of them. It was FUN!!!

bobpayne
09-21-2011, 10:53 PM
I really enjoy reading this thread, and am going to try and incorporate what I can to shape my new charges with this great information.

With the heat issue I have had good luck misting hawks feet and and even under wings, and using the stream on the mister straight into their mouths and on food given, to hydrate them. Thanks again for sharing.

goshawkr
09-22-2011, 01:09 AM
I really enjoy reading this thread, and am going to try and incorporate what I can to shape my new charges with this great information.


Hold the phone.... arent you a McDermott follower? His notions are diametrically opposed to the shaping that Jeff used. :D

bobpayne
09-22-2011, 07:31 AM
Hold the phone.... arent you a McDermott follower? His notions are diametrically opposed to the shaping that Jeff used. :D

Am not surprised you would ask the question Geoff, when stuff about McE D is mentioned you always question the mans format of imprinting.

Back in the day b4 the book was written, I met Mike who was hosting a field meet in St Louis. Having only read of the gos and never witnessed one hunt I followed him until it was his time to hunt his hawk, an imprint tercel. First off his drive to impower his hawk be sucessful was unequal with anyone else at the meet. He had scouted more hunting spots and knew where there were rabbits and quail setups that made it easier to catch, and every setup included wind direction, food and water sources, loafing areas, escape routes and cover. He and his hawk caught a limit of rabbits while chasing and getting a limit of quail. This all took place in a little over and hour.

You better believe I latched on to any chance to hunt with him. The hawk was nearly flawless, I could have done no better with my hunting dog and 101. The hawk was focused on the hunt while a large group and dogs worked cover, the hawk traded off of each of the eight kilsl without a hitch. Over the years I watched coops, shins and gos trained using Mikes approch and the hawks were outstanding.

Mikes first book has shortcomings to be sure, and Mike would be the first to tell you if something isn't working the way you want with the imprint, you need to rethink it and change the way you are doing things. Any book covers only so much of what ever information is available at the time of print. The second edition is much updated but as of today it may still be called outdated information in some regards. As a starting place for people getting into falconry and wanting to hunt a shortwing I would suggest you purchase his second book.

Sorry about getting off course with the McE D stuff but to answer your question, at this time in my life I travel my own path, with a quest for knowledge of others successes, using reflections of falconry experiences in my past. I train my new hunting companions for the future. I'm sure much the same as you do, We've just been down different roads though I'm sure we have some days, crossed paths.;)

Steve L.
09-22-2011, 08:08 AM
Nice post Bob.

kitana
09-22-2011, 08:34 AM
I understand why McDermott advocates never to let the hawk see the falconer bring food. That in itself is not a problem: the problem is that hawk are always making mental associations between their own behavior and the arrival of food, and many falconers are not observant enough to see what behaviors they are reinforcing when they bring the food. If they bring food to a nervous, jumpy or agressive bird, the bird will act nervous, jumpy or agressive again because he thinks THAT is what brings the food. Also, a hawk that can never make any associations cannot find a way to control the arrival of food, and that in itself can become highly frustrating. Fustration is the #1 enemy when training with positive reinforcement, as if it goes over the edge the frustrated animal will attack to vent. So it's possible both to reinforce behaviors leading to an attack, and not to reinforce anything so the hawks doesn't have a clue and become frustrated and attacks. Hiding the food from the animal is a solution, but animals are wiser than that: they will take any cue they can and make awkward associations at times, so it is very very easy to screw everything up even by never giving the food directly to the hawk...

goshawkr
09-22-2011, 12:17 PM
Sorry about getting off course with the McE D stuff but to answer your question, at this time in my life I travel my own path, with a quest for knowledge of others successes, using reflections of falconry experiences in my past. I train my new hunting companions for the future. I'm sure much the same as you do, We've just been down different roads though I'm sure we have some days, crossed paths

Hi Bob.

I was teasing.

All the best...

rocgwp
09-26-2011, 11:55 PM
Apache has had lots of catch and release lately. He was 799g tonight and chased game for 2.5 hours. Temps are still in the mid 90's. Tonight he chased crows, squirrels, and dove.

I am going to reduce his weight a little to start encouraging him to hold on. He's had plenty of practice catching and I'd really like to get him killing before our new baby shows up in 2 weeks. He's still my favorite bird I've flown thus far...

Hawkingcolorado
09-27-2011, 07:55 AM
Sounds like he's in great shape, and has the "skills"....How old is he now?
Best of luck and keep us posted...Oh, done any new OC stuff with him?

JRedig
09-27-2011, 09:24 AM
Did the hood training ever progress?

BestBeagler
09-27-2011, 09:29 AM
the problem is that hawk is always making mental associations between their own behavior and the arrival of food, and many falconers are not observant enough to see what behaviors they are reinforcing when they bring the food. If they bring food to a nervous, jumpy or agressive bird, the bird will act nervous, jumpy or agressive again because he thinks THAT is what brings the food.

Im not sure its that simple. Ever have a calm imprint cooper just suddenly grab your face? They can be calm and you think your doing everything right and they may accept it all till one day they break. Possession and Territory issues play a large role and they dont have to be jumpy or aggressive before they lash out.

BestBeagler
09-27-2011, 09:33 AM
Apache has had lots of catch and release lately. He was 799g tonight and chased game for 2.5 hours. Temps are still in the mid 90's. Tonight he chased crows, squirrels, and dove.

I am going to reduce his weight a little to start encouraging him to hold on. He's had plenty of practice catching and I'd really like to get him killing before our new baby shows up in 2 weeks. He's still my favorite bird I've flown thus far...

Jeff, I must say I am most impressed at how all this OC stuff works and what you have done. It really makes made me realize there is more than one way to imprint an accipiter. Do you think it was more work than using the recipe with your coopers?

rocgwp
09-27-2011, 12:20 PM
Im not sure its that simple. Ever have a calm imprint cooper just suddenly grab your face? They can be calm and you think your doing everything right and they may accept it all till one day they break. Possession and Territory issues play a large role and they dont have to be jumpy or aggressive before they lash out.

I agree that it isn't as simple as just rewarding calm behaviors, but the bird does give signals of aggression before they lash out at your face. The rewards have to be for behaviors that have an attitude of calmness or whatever you desire. For example...If the bird is giving the one-eyed-over-the-shoulder look, it may be standing calmly, but it is possible you could be rewarding an aggressive attitude.

rocgwp
09-27-2011, 12:30 PM
Jeff, I must say I am most impressed at how all this OC stuff works and what you have done. It really makes made me realize there is more than one way to imprint an accipiter. Do you think it was more work than using the recipe with your coopers?

I think it has been about the same amount of work just at different times. Raising the McDermott method was a pain in the rear up until he was flying and got into a routine. All of the baggies, trying to not have a food association, etc...was a lot of work and mental stress. Raising Apache was really easy up until he was flying. It was a lot more relaxed and I enjoyed it a whole lot more. The work with Apache has come in the form of playing games and shaping the behaviors I wanted once he was flying. I have delayed killing to let him develop mentally and get more practice flying, chasing, and catching safely. With Apache it is a definite relationship and he is more social and maintaining the relationship takes work.

All in all, I like this method best because of the tools it gives me to solve problems. I feel like if something comes up I have multiple ways to confront it and work through it. Previously, I felt the only option I really had was to lower the weight (which I can still do if I need to).

Both methods work great and produce great birds. It's always fun to experiment and try new things...

rocgwp
09-27-2011, 01:24 PM
After talking with Layman, I figured this was an important update and shows how important it is that we learn to read our birds and always be on the proactive side of training. Over the past couple weeks I have been working hard to maintain Apache viewing me as a parent (Him looking at me with both eyes, taking tidbits gently from my fingers, body posture, etc...) I have left his weight high so that he would chase and experiment catching, but not feel like he "had" to catch it. It has worked great and most of his response and return has centered around me being the parent and his dependence/relationship on me. Last night he showed me something suddle and a little different than what I have previously seen.

The normal routine is i call him in to the lure. He grabs it and mantles at first. Once he plucks, I CR and toss a tidbit. After a couple tidbits his behavior switches and he calms completely down and slicks down. I don't make in on the lure. I let him pluck and I toss tidbits until he is finished plucking. He then hops to the fist for the rest of his meal which I either hand feed of have on the glove. During that time I work hooding or something else...

Last night he came in to the lure and acted normal. He plucked and I tossed tidbits. As he went for the tidbits, he walked sideways keeping an eye on me and looking a little uneasy. I knelt down beside him to offer the fist and he completely stepped off the lure and took a couple steps away. When I offered the glove again he was very reluctant in coming toward me. He eventually hopped up, but was reluctant in taking tidbits from my hand. You could see that he wanted the food, but was unsure in taking it from me. This is in complete contrast to what he has done every day before. It was suddle. He still plucked and ate and hopped to the fist, it just was with a little reluctance for the first time.

Layman explained that this was potentially the beginning signs of dispersal behavior in him. I have been able to maintain the parent role up to this point, but his instincts are now beginning to tell him to disperse. Things could go south pretty quickly if I don't change to match his behavior. I will now increase his exercise to get him hungrier as I take his weight down pretty quickly. This weight drop will increase his emotionally intensity, so I will have to watch out for things like aggression. I will be playing lots of games with him (RP's, jump ups, etc...) in conjunction with hunting. I would expect the squirrels to start dieing soon :D It appears this is the next stage in defining our relationship...

goshawkr
09-27-2011, 01:41 PM
Im not sure its that simple. Ever have a calm imprint cooper just suddenly grab your face? They can be calm and you think your doing everything right and they may accept it all till one day they break.

Hi Isaac

Its an absolute myth that animals suddenly "lash out", even wild animals. They dont react unprovoked. They dont become provoked without giving warning. That absolutely never ever happens.

Now, what does commonly happen is for animal handlers to miss the warnings either because they thought they can work past them without incident (like Roy did when his tiger attacked him) or because they were oblivious to the warnings because the handler was ingnorant of their significance and/or the warnings were too subtle to be seen..

I think a careful observer would have noticed something in that coopers hawk you mentioned. A little sideways stare....a slightly haunched over posture..... tightened feathers, most like all the above, even if subtly.

I have been attacked by many animals that I have handled, and only one surprised me. That was a dog whose body language I completely misread, and now I have small scar on my nose to remind me that even one who can read dog's minds can get it wrong once in a while. :D


Possession and Territory issues play a large role and they dont have to be jumpy or aggressive before they lash out.

I think one of the biggest "mistakes" in the recipie is to point to possession/territory issues too frequently. I think its more acurate to think of these problems as simple "Rival" behavior. Its a fine point, and subtle difference, but it gets one thinking about possible remedies better.

rocgwp
09-27-2011, 02:07 PM
Well stated Geoff clapp

kitana
09-27-2011, 02:51 PM
Well stated geoff. Obviously I never imprinted anything, much elss a Coop or Gos, but I've trained many species and the first thing we always do as trainers is learn to interpret body language. It's hard at times, almost impossible at others, but reading the animal is the only way we have to avoid aggression, whatever the reason behind aggression is (predatory, resource guarding, territoriality, etc). It took me a while to understand my HH, and my kestrel is giving cues different from the hawk so I had to re-learn...

I like your observations Jeff, and the way you react to what you see. You are very proactive. We always have to remember that with behavior, the only thing that we know for sure is what we observed: body language, etc. The rest are our interpretations, and interpretations will be wrong until we can open up their heads and look what's inside! lol And even if they are subjective and we have no way to know if they are right or wrong, I like your interpretations as well!

BestBeagler
09-27-2011, 07:24 PM
Hi Isaac

Its an absolute myth that animals suddenly "lash out", even wild animals. They dont react unprovoked. They dont become provoked without giving warning. That absolutely never ever happens.

When one bird enters the territory of another it sits calmly till the other one gets to close and then it responds by chasing it off. Sometimes they scream sometimes they fan their tail whatever but sometimes they donít. An imprint cooper sitting in its chamber calm as can be till you enter his area then WHACK without warning. Next minute calm as can be looking at you. I think you can find many examples of imprint coopers attacking without much of a behavior que before they attack. I have had manned passage coopers foot me and release me in a blink of an eye without them giving me any behavioral que before doing it. Now you may argue I am not reading my birds properly and that may beÖ

kitana
09-27-2011, 08:25 PM
I'm not arguing with you Isaac as I value your experience with Cooper's hawks a lot.

However, it's a real possibility that some cues are being misunderstood, as no animal on the planet will engage into a battle without giving warning signs first, not even honey badgers or wolverines. A battle is a risk of injury, and if they can avoid getting injured they will.

Part of my work is teaching dogs and cats owners how to read their animals, so they can avoid aggression. I deal with intelligent people and very dangerous animals, and all the time, without exception, when I look at the videos they make me I can read the dog/cat perfectly well, loooong before it will attack. However the owners cannot: there are some signs they see, but some others are only visible to a trained eye since they are so very subtle. A twitch of the pupil, a stillness, a slowed down or stopped breathing may be very subtle to us, but extremely obvious to animals whose worlds revolve around reading body language. I guess if one were to videotape Cooper's hawks attacking falconers, and look at all the videos, some signs would become pretty obvious retrospectively. I do not suggest anyone to try that, but if you know you'll get attacked, why not prepare the camera... ;)

rocgwp
09-30-2011, 08:57 PM
Apache was 760g today. This is where I will hold him for a while before I take his weight back up.

We only found 2 squirrels today. The first was in my nemesis tree. It is a giant pine covered in vines. We always find squirrels in it, but I've yet to have a bird be able to catch a squirrel out of it. The second started with a squirrel on the ground. He was in hot pursuit but the squirrel made it to a tree. He went from the ground to the top a tree in a flash. The chase lasted almost 10 minutes before the squirrel disappeared in a hole. My favorite moment was when the squirrel climbed above Apache and started barking at him. Apache had lost him and then cocked his head up and launched. The squirrel had a definite "Oh Crap" look on it's face.

One thing I noticed is that Apache is making more direct flights at the squirrel at this lower weight where previously he was intercepting the squirrel. He had much more of a killer mentality today. Shouldn't be long before he is filling the freezer...

bobpayne
10-19-2011, 10:01 PM
Jeff, how is this cooler weather working with your charge? Am sure I'm not the only one wondering about the season

rocgwp
10-20-2011, 05:04 PM
Sorry I haven't updated in a while...my wife and I welcomed our son into the world on October 3rd, so things have been a little crazy for the past few weeks and my hawking schedule hasn't been as consistent as I'd like.

Right before the baby was born Apache was in a groove. I had dropped his weight to get him serious and he was really beginning to focus on sealing the deal. When the baby arrived, he was fed up for about a week and a half until things settled down. The good news is, on nights where I was bouncing back and forth between the hospital and home, my 7 year old daughter took care of him for me. She would take a quail into his mew, wait for him to hop to the tire perch, CR, and hand him his meal. She loved it.

After things began to calm down a little, I started playing games with him again. He was hog fat and well over 800g. Once he got back down below 800g I couldn't take it anymore and we hit the woods hunting. He wasn't interested in catching at that weight, but he was chasing and doing great hunting with my female gwp. Our first evening out we flushed a LOT of squirrels and had some fun flights with several catch and releases.

The second night I took him out, he was almost eaten by an immature Bald Eagle. The eagle came in with full intent on catching him. He FREAKED out and with the use of telemetry I located him about a mile away. When he came down he was nervous and still in "freak out" mode. He was jumpy about everything and I knew hooding wouldn't go easily. I had to make a decision at that point. I could either carry him unhooded in 'freak out' mode back to the truck or I could hood him and risk some potential negative associations. I opted to hood him. It didn't go on easily as usual, but I finally got it on and figured I'd have some training to work through later.

Once he was calmed down, I put him back in the mew. I flew him the next day and he was not quite himself. He was more jumpy and less inclined to chase. I ended up calling him down early. He didn't want to take tidbits from my hand and had a little fear from being hooded while he was in the mindset he was in on the previous day.

Because of this, I have dropped his weight and been playing games with him the past couple days. He is back down 770g. Any sign of fear is gone and my old bird seems to be back. I haven't reintroduced the hood yet, but will bring it back in over the next week or so. We should be back in the woods tomorrow afternoon.

rocgwp
10-22-2011, 09:02 PM
Not sure where all the squirrels went, but we have only flushed 1 squirrel in the past 2 days. This is really odd for around here, usually we flush too many and the bird has to decide which one to chase. Apache is following better and hunting great with the dog. He is coming instantly to an ungarnished lure and then hopping to the fist. He has been a little more vocal lately (vocal not screaming)but that should subside as he gets more hunting experience. We'll be back out tomorrow looking for squirrels.

He is hunting at 760g right now...

rocgwp
10-24-2011, 12:03 AM
Worked hard and found 3 squirrels tonight. The first one escaped by the skin of it's teeth. The second sold it's buddy out and left him with a goshawk and wirehair to deal with.

I was on the phone with a falconer friend when I heard Apache's bell. I turned around and he was pumping straight at me. I was about to poop my pants thinking I was getting a face full of goshawk when I realized my wirehair was chasing a squirrel on the ground. Apache was is hot pursuit. The squirrel ran up a tree and into a nest, when a second squirrel bolted. The flight went from the ground to the tree tops multiple times. He would barely escape the jaws of the dog only to run back up a tree and have to deal with the goshawk. It was AMAZING! I watched Apache climb vertically while circling the tree. It was the best squirrel flight I've ever seen. Somehow the squirrel managed to get to a hole and disappeared.

I called Apache down and gave him his daily rations. It is only a matter of time. He was serious today about killing that squirrel.

JRedig
10-24-2011, 09:51 AM
That sounds awesome Jeff! As others have told me...where's that gopro on your hat? :D;)