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jeffandheidi
06-18-2013, 02:54 PM
I'll do my best to keep up with this thread in hopes that those with helpful ideas will share them, and everyone else (including me) can learn something new. I met up with a group of falconers from all over the US last weekend and we set out to check the shin nests. Two of the nests we checked had already hatched, but been destroyed by a predator. Both nests had down and blood in them. Fortunately the rest of the day was much better. A bit of eggshell and a molted feather near a butcher block was a good sign.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null.jpg

The car ride home was long and packed and we probably smelled pretty bad, but we had entertainment.
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-18.jpg

Mine is the one at the very top of the group photo, the others ending up in Missouri, Colorado and California. This last pic is his tail as of the this morning. I'm guessing around 13 days old based on the growth. So far all he really does is preen, eat several small meals, sleep a couple hours, and repeat. He has been trying to stand up but isn't strong enough yet. He has been coming with to the high school summer school class I teach and doesn't seem to notice the noise or chaos.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-17.jpg

wesleyc6
06-18-2013, 10:13 PM
Hey Jeff, congrats on the new bird. Sorry we didn't really meet while we were there. How is your bird's behavior? Your bird looks a day or two older than mine.

jeffandheidi
06-18-2013, 10:49 PM
It was pretty hectic that morning. So far his attitude is great.
He stays on his nest box all the time and I try to mess with his feet a lot. I'm still twig feeding but this evening he picked up a few bites on his own.

jeffandheidi
06-19-2013, 09:33 AM
I haven't taken him out if the nest box or tried to weigh him yet, but his growth is obvious. He has been eating the most in the morning, then sleeps for about an hour. The rest if the day eats several tiny meals of only a few grams each (starling), preens, and sleeps a lot.
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-19.jpg
His feathers are growing very fast!

wesleyc6
06-19-2013, 09:54 AM
Man that feather growth is explosive!

jeffandheidi
06-19-2013, 11:37 AM
He is able to stand but only for a few seconds. I'm trying to expose him to everything now so he has been on several car rides in his box held above the dashboard. Last night my daughter fed him while I cut the grass, today I'll feed him while she vacuums around us. Maybe it's overkill but it can't hurt.

jeffandheidi
06-20-2013, 12:49 PM
Every day Iam amazed how fast this bird is growing. When he is awake he preens constantly an has been standing and flapping a lot. I think it's only a day or two before he starts leaving the box. We are done with twig feeding. He has food with him all day and feeds himself a few bites at a time, averaging about two starlings a day so far. Two more pics from this morning. About 15 days old. http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-22.jpg

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-23.jpg

BestBeagler
06-20-2013, 12:59 PM
Yours must be a couple days older than mine. Look at that feather growth!

jeffandheidi
06-21-2013, 08:16 PM
Not much new to report today, more rides in the car and lots of different people touching and carrying him in the box. This afternoon my wife was playing with his feet when he scooted over and fell asleep on her fingers. She thought it was pretty cool.
Jesses will go on tomorrow morning. 16 days old.
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-25.jpg

wesleyc6
06-21-2013, 10:17 PM
Did your bird come out of the little fish basket?

jeffandheidi
06-21-2013, 10:56 PM
Not from the woven basket, if I remember right he came from the plastic rectangle. I was looking for a male first and considered age second since they all looked so close.

Leather
06-21-2013, 11:39 PM
Jeff,
Hey man congrats, I was glad to hear you guys scored.
Looking good and growing like a weed I see Ė cute little fella
See ya
Eric

jeffandheidi
06-22-2013, 12:14 AM
Thanks Eric! He is pretty cool, and we are still in the easy boxhawk stage before he gets mobile. I'm looking forward to backyard baggies and getting into the field! We will do some field hawkin for sure! Talk to you soon.

jeffandheidi
06-22-2013, 03:27 PM
17 days old. He stands a lot more and had been hopping out of the box to sit on the nearest persons lap instead. During car rides he has been standing a flapping for about the first five minutes before getting tired and sitting down. I'll probably start tethering him in a few days. This morning I switched his plastic food dish to the lure, this afternoon he walked over to it, took a tidbit, footed it the lure then fell back on his rump. Another picture, note the deck feathers!
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-26.jpg

Fell asleep preening after breakfast.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-27.jpg

HERMANN
06-22-2013, 10:59 PM
Hey all, mark here those of you who went with me to take a sharpy congrats on the good luck! I know joe feels the same.(we apologize for jumping the gun on the first pick day thanks for understanding)
we appreciate all the patience and respect that everyone showed during the big day. We are very pleased that all are having great luck and enthusiasm with the little "fellers".
Keep on posting so we may also follow everyone's progress.

jeffandheidi
06-23-2013, 12:13 AM
Hey Mark! You and Joe are our heroes! The amount if time, effort, gasoline and sweat the two of you put into preparing for this spring is more than anyone could have asked for. Thank you!!

You can count of frequent updates, especially when hunting begins.

jeffandheidi
06-23-2013, 06:36 PM
Put jesses on last night and he didn't care or pull his feet away at all. Actually I put on two sets. The first pair didn't leave a pigs room for growth I didn't think so I unthreaded them and put on a slightly wider set.
Tethered this morning and offered a bath pan (pie plate) this afternoon while I could sit and watch. Within minutes he hopped in, took a couple drinks and made a funny attempt at bathing and dunking his butt.
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-28.jpg

On a side note I had one tick bite on my ankle from last weekend that started expanding and turning red. The blood test results won't be back for a week but for now I'm being treated as if its Lyme disease! Stupid ticks.

BestBeagler
06-23-2013, 07:56 PM
Jeff, enjoying the updates. Hope it's not Lyme's disease. These guys grow so fast! I've been plucking sparrows in front of my bird before I feed him feathers going everywhere. He's very entertained by that and is already checking out sparrows bobbing and weaving he's head when he sees them in the sparrow trap.

hcmcelroy
06-23-2013, 07:58 PM
Jeff,

When we lived in Mexico we walked through the jungle by the hour searching for various hawks including Bat falcons and aplos and despite all sorts of preventative measures we ended the day with large numbers of ticks. The sites itched for months!

Hope you are free and clear.

Harry.

Breeze
06-24-2013, 04:11 PM
Hi Jeff! Enjoying your thread, awesome bird you have there! Look forward to keeping up with your adventures together. :D Hope the tick bite is just an irritation and nothing more.

falcon56
06-24-2013, 04:44 PM
Also, be aware of tick fever. While in Africa in 2002, I was rummaging around under a Crowned eagle nest hoping to find a monkey skull, and got into a ton of pepper ticks, pin head sized red ticks. Once we were back in the states had a weird sore on my thigh-tick fever. A round of antibiotics did the trick. Really don't know if the US ticks carry this or not.

jeffandheidi
06-24-2013, 05:06 PM
Hey Isaac, I can't believe how fast these guys change. We have gone from feeding cut meat, to a scored carcass, to just opening a fresh bird and letting the hawk tear and feed itself. This many changes over just two days. He flaps and jumps a lot when I carry him around on the box, not getting much air yet but any day now. Being tethered to a floor perch hasn't bothered him at all.

Harry- that had to be an incredible experience having access to such a variety of raptors!
This morning the inflamed area was 9cm across. Hope it starts shrinking soon. Stupid ticks.

Thanks Deb! I'll keep updating this thread as things change. At the rate we are going we should be getting to the field in a couple weeks.

Sleeping. http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-29.jpg

jeffandheidi
06-24-2013, 05:10 PM
Thanks Ray, that sounds really cool. They started me on Doxycycline yesterday, hopefully this is all there is to it. I hope you found the skull you were looking for!

jeffandheidi
06-26-2013, 02:20 PM
He has been flapping and jumping a lot more today, and if anyone sits with the box on their lap, or just nearby he will run over to lie down on their chest. It's funny when he is on someone else's chest and starts preening because the feather cases and down go everywhere. Yesterday he took three baths, and it seems like his appetite is increasing if you can believe that. Anyone considering a shin really does need a freezer full of food before taking an eyas. I was fortunate to have access to hundreds of starlings over the winter, otherwise we might be in trouble.
I'm still doing constant food availability, but thinking about moving to three mealtimes and making him come to the lure for them. I hesitate to start because right now his personality is very sweet and I don't want to rush things and screw him up.

A couple from this morning. http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-38.jpg
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-34.jpg

HERMANN
06-26-2013, 08:46 PM
Hey Jeff I am enjoying following the threads growing like a weed keep em comin!

jeffandheidi
06-27-2013, 12:30 AM
Thanks Mark, will do! His feathers are growing incredibly fast. Major branching today. He stands and flaps usually gaining a few inches of air anytime I carry him around. He prefers a persons lap to his nestbox and loves to splash in his bath pan.
He doesn't know how to slice however, which I am ok with. He squats when he mutes. Go figure.

HGlider
06-27-2013, 12:27 PM
He squats when he mutes. Go figure.

Maybe it's a female instead. :D

jeffandheidi
06-27-2013, 12:59 PM
Lol, it is making cleanup easier than I expected!

Major branching exercise again today. He has been flapping/ hopping about two feet horizontally and a foot or so vertically. He isn't really exploring that much, but moving to a new perch to look around and preen for a while. If I want him back on the nestbox I either move the meat around in the lure and he will come investigate or if he is above the floor I hold the box in front of him and he steps right in. Down feathers are everywhere in the house. http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-42.jpg

jeffandheidi
06-28-2013, 05:24 PM
He has discovered that he can fly. Laps are ok to sleep on, but living room furniture is the preferred obstacle course. When he is tethered to his bow, that's where he stays with no bates or problems. With all this mobility I have ended the constant food availability. I'll do three feeding a a day making him walk/ run to the lure. Each session is as much food as he wants, for now, but when he walks off the lure goes away. Still bathing and drinking a couple times a day as well. I really like this little guy. The second dark tail stripe is almost completely out now.
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-44.jpg

vlp
06-29-2013, 10:46 AM
It's neat to see the growth difference between the males and females. Nice simple lightweight bow perch you made. I'm excited to see how everyone's experience goes this season. My girl is 199 gm this am and probably about same age. I don't think we met up there. Everyone was wiped by end of day with long drives home and way excited with their new charge

jeffandheidi
06-29-2013, 01:03 PM
Hey Vincent, yeah it was a busy day, not much time to meet new friends in the other group unfortunately.
Thanks, the bow works ok for now, the base is filled with sand so he can't move it at least not yet. He is flying a lot farther in the house 10-15 feet this morning. I've still been taking him in the backyard in the mornings for some sun on about a five ft. long weighted leash and he walks around in the grass and lies down in the sun. He eats his fill on the lure, comes in for a bath and then sleeps for a couple hours. We haven't thought much about restrained baggies yet, it may still be a while.

jeffandheidi
06-29-2013, 01:37 PM
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-45.jpg

wesleyc6
06-29-2013, 02:04 PM
Hey Vincent, yeah it was a busy day, not much time to meet new friends in the other group unfortunately.
Thanks, the bow works ok for now, the base is filled with sand so he can't move it at least not yet. He is flying a lot farther in the house 10-15 feet this morning. I've still been taking him in the backyard in the mornings for some sun on about a five ft. long weighted leash and he walks around in the grass and lies down in the sun. He eats his fill on the lure, comes in for a bath and then sleeps for a couple hours. We haven't thought much about restrained baggies yet, it may still be a while.

Hey Jeff is your bird more sedentary outside? My little guy is much more active inside than outside. He did fly up on the porch today but usually he just sits around outside. Also he hasn't eaten hardly anything today but I had to leave for a few hours. Hope he ate some while I was gone. I am going to three a day feedings now too

jeffandheidi
06-29-2013, 02:21 PM
Hey Wes, he is only sedentary for a few minutes outside when he spreads out and lies down. Once he is done with that he gets pretty active hopping around and preening. After about five minutes he starts panting and trying to head for shade so I scoop him up and take him inside to the bath pan.

I think he is going to be tethered in the house all the time from now on. He is just getting too good at flying and I worry that he will end up behind the fridge or hurting himself another way I won't think of until it is too late.

wgtail
06-30-2013, 11:45 PM
Hi Jeff, looks like your having a blast. Keep the pictures coming. By the way haven't see a name yet, what did the girls pick out for their new friend? ;)

jeffandheidi
07-01-2013, 02:54 PM
Hey Mike, no official name yet although I have deflected a couple. You know how bad I am at naming birds. (For those who dont know, my last coopers hawk was named Godiva the Chocolate Hawklet by my young daughters.) Something will stick eventually.

After ending the indoor freedom he was pretty bouncy on the perch yesterday and didn't eat his normal amount or bathe. This morning he made up for it by eating a full crop off the lure, bathing and preening all morning. The third tail stripe is about half way out. I still take him outside attached to a short creance for him to walk around and walk to the lure. He occasionally rides on the fist but most of the time he still rides around on the nest box.
This morning outside:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-47.jpg

jeffandheidi
07-02-2013, 01:16 PM
His personality is changing a little. Over the past couple days he has been stepping away if we touch his feet, but doesn't care if anyone touches his belly or wings. I still feel like I should be doing more with him during the day but can't think of exactly what that would be. My Cooper's hawks at this stage were established in the hack routine and were spending their days flying around outside. This little hawk is either on a weighted leash with me out back or tethered to his bow.
The three times a day feeding schedule seems to be working out ok. He is hungry enough to walk or fly about 3 feet to the lure a couple times, but not hungry enough to come right away. It usually takes him a few minutes to finish looking around and playing with his leash to come eat. This morning there were a couple sparrows already in the trap. I set him down in his nest box a few feet away and let him watch while I took one and prepped his breakfast. I did let it flap a couple times in front of him, he watched with his head upside down.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-48.jpg

HGlider
07-02-2013, 01:37 PM
Personally, with young hawks I don't believe in reducing weight to get an instant response to the lure or fist. At an early age they are too distracted by new surroundings and to reduce the weight is detrimental to their attitude later. My MHH hard peened at 585g and I would take him to the park for creance work. At first he would just sit there and look around but he didn't like me walking away. I kept getting suggestions that he was too high and to take his weight down. I found out that it was more surroundings control than weight control. His flying weight is around 665g now and I even had him hunting at 760g once as an experiment and he hunted just as aggressive. I had both imprint Gos and Sharpie and they didn't seem to have to have their weights down either. Threw them in the car and went hunting. I know weight control is the 1st commandment of Falconry but I have broken that one "ALOT".

jeffandheidi
07-02-2013, 02:06 PM
Hey John, I agree completely. I haven't weighed him yet and really don't care what he weighs until he gets close to penning.

His three feeding times include as much sparrow or starling as he wants. Sometimes e takes a full crop, sometimes not as much. Usually his last feeding around 7:30pm he eats the most. Right now we are in the back yard, he has already eaten, there is still a good portion of meat on his lure. I'm in a lawn chair a few feet away and he is on my knee with a foot pulled up. Life is good!

HGlider
07-02-2013, 04:21 PM
My time with my imprint Sharpie was one of the best season in falconry. I kept her pretty much free around the property, except on bad weather and such when she would stay free lofted in the mews. She didn't mind the mews at all, as I think she liked to get out of the bad weather. I'd come home from work and put my fist up and she'd come out of a tree. Half the time we'd just hunt near the property and some days we'd go around the county and ask permission to hunt around farms. All I had to do was open the back of the car and she'd fly into her GH, she knew it meant hunting. Great thing about sharpies is that you don't have to go far for game. Some days I'd go to Ed Freinmuth's farm (used to be the secretary for NAFA back in the 70's, for the people that knew him). He had more sparrows than anybody. The bottom line is the more you can take your bird out the less critical weight control becomes. Disclaimer : In my opinion that is. I would never try and tell people how to train. I just go with what's worked for me.

jeffandheidi
07-03-2013, 09:15 PM
Not much new to report, still three feedings a day outside on the lure. He comes about two or three feet on his long leash, wherever it happens to land. He hasn't shown any interest in bathing or drinking, but it hasn't been very warm here either. A couple pictures from today while the neighborhood kids lit bottle rockets all around. Happy Independence Day, stay safe.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-49.jpg

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-50.jpg

wesleyc6
07-03-2013, 09:18 PM
He looks great!

jeffandheidi
07-03-2013, 11:17 PM
Here's a recent problem I'm kind of stuck on. The past two days around 9pm he has become especially active. Bating around an squeaking as he does it. Not the fearful chittery thing thankfully but still it seems weird. He still has a partial crop from his last feeding. Refuses any additional food on the lure, and doesn't want anyine to sit on. Also this isn't a bate to the end of his leash and go back, this is the sweeping back and forth at the end of his leash type maneuver.

My guess right now is that he just wants to go somewhere higher to roost. I'm going to move him to a tabletop perch and see if that helps. If that doesn't work, plan B will be just to place him in a dark room at night.

His name is now Spaz, by the way.

hcmcelroy
07-04-2013, 11:17 AM
Jeff,

That is typical behavior. You could place him in the mew or in a hawk box in a dark room.

Harry.

Breeze
07-04-2013, 07:49 PM
Spaz has beautiful feathers, Jeff! Gorgeous bird!

jeffandheidi
07-04-2013, 09:43 PM
Thanks Harry. He's pretty laid back during the day, only dusk bring out the behavior. Should I expect it to last indefinitely or maybe diminish and when we start hunting?

Thanks!

wesleyc6
07-04-2013, 10:02 PM
Jeff, mine gets more active in the evening usually too. He still doesn't bate hard, but sometimes during that time I let him loose in the house. Tonight he got on the ceiling fan and laid down. A little later I brought him in the living room again to sit with me and he flew back to his perch. LOL

hcmcelroy
07-05-2013, 01:24 PM
Jeff,

I'm not sure because I always put them in the mew for the night once they reach the stage of wanting a high perch. Its just part of my decades long routine. It could be brought back into the home in the morning but watch those windows. Venetian blinds are good and they can still see outside if adjusted properly. They need to see out side.

Harry.

jeffandheidi
07-06-2013, 12:01 PM
Thank you for all the feedback. When he starts getting bouncy in the evening I have been moving him to a perch in a dark back room. I considered letting him have more freedom in the evenings to fly around some bit I worry too much that he will end up injured, escaping when one of my little ones forgets and opens the door to outside. His personality is still as calm and trusting as day one so I don't think this is causing him any damage.

We still spend several hours a day outside. Around sunrise I take him to the back yard and he preens a lot, eats very little and watches the birds at the feeders. Hummingbirds come within a foot or two of him and hover while checking him out. Other birds don't really pay attention which surprised me. He looks like a real hawk now, not a ball of fluff.

In the afternoon he eats a little more and in the evening he has been eating the most. He tends to bathe once a day in the evening and from what I can see while he suns himself the primaries appear to be penned. His tail has a bit more to grow. I'm thinking he should be fully penned next week. I will start lowering his weight then.

Here's a pic from yesterday evening, I know the bath pan is way too big, it's what I had available and he didn't seem to mind. Inside he has a smaller glass water pan.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-52.jpg

jeffandheidi
07-08-2013, 11:24 AM
Slow going these days. The heat has left my sparrow traps empty since Saturday. He hasn't penned yet but I think this weekend will be time for weight reduction and getting ready to start walking fields. His personality is very laid back, until about 8 pm when he gets very bouncy so I put him in a dark room and everything is fine. His appetite is slowly diminishing, yesterday he only ate one starling, and even left some on the lure each session. Finding his hunting weight may take a while! http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-54.jpg
Sunning yesterday afternoon.

BestBeagler
07-08-2013, 01:14 PM
Looking good Jeff. Mine gets agitated come evening too. I just put him in the giant hood. I just started feeding mine from my fist today. He was unsure about it and prefers to sit on it while I tear pieces of for him and feed him occasionally pulling on the carcass fine by me! He's very gentle and does interact with us all cheeping and such.

jeffandheidi
07-10-2013, 08:36 PM
Still routine and slow with a very sweet little hawk. I haven't started cutting weight yet but it's about time to. He finally bound to a sparrow baggie this evening. First time that has happened so I was really happy! I let him eat as much as he wanted and as soon as he stepped back off of it I scooped him up and brought him in. Easy stuff right now.

Chris L.
07-10-2013, 10:14 PM
Jeff

Thank you for taking the time to keep and update your log. We all can learn from these and I really appreciate you taking the time to keep it current. Logs like theses will be able to be referenced years from now.

Looking forward to the updates

Chris

JRedig
07-10-2013, 11:17 PM
Thanks Harry. He's pretty laid back during the day, only dusk bring out the behavior. Should I expect it to last indefinitely or maybe diminish and when we start hunting?

Thanks!

My gos and my coops both get active in the evening/roosting times. Last gos did it too and did so to exhaustion more often than not. Thankfully the current birds do a couple circles and settle down. Wireless camera isn't all roses, but at least I know why my birds come out looking like they do some days. Sometimes I think it would be better just not to watch...<aggravating!>

jeffandheidi
07-11-2013, 10:25 AM
Thanks Chris! I have learned a lot so far from this website. Thank you for keeping it running!

jeffandheidi
07-11-2013, 10:36 AM
Hey Jeff, a webcam would be cool, but I don't think I have the willpower to stop checking it.

We have a routine now that has made a huge difference, after his pm training session he uually takes a bath, preens for about 20 minutes and then sits calmly for about 30 minutes. Once he gets bouncy it is about 8pm and goes into the giant hood. When the rest of the house goes to bed a few hours later I put him back on his bow perch and turn the lights out.

No baggie this morning, there was a young songbird in the funnel trap so it went free.

jeffandheidi
07-14-2013, 11:00 AM
There isn't much to say about development, Im counting this weekend as the time he penned. I compare the fourth dark stripe on the tail to the tail coverts. The bottom of that stripe is just about even with the bottom on his tail coverts. Here's a pic from yesterday morning:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-55.jpg

From here on out I'll be adjusting his weight and reporting on his behavior.
Yesterday morning I had a sparrow baggie, which he was barely interested in at 104.6 grams. He footed it once, it bit his chest and pulled a couple of his feathers, and he let go! I killed it for him and he jumped on with both feet jumping up and down kneading it. After that he only ate a little with a final weight of 108 grams.

At 1pm he was down to 103.5g and we had a lure session coming about 6 feet slowly ad I fed him up to 110g with a target weight /time of 105g at 6pm. He bathed and drank three separate times after we came back in.

At 6pm he was 104.5g so I missed a little. No sparrows were in the trap so we had another lure session similar to the afternoon but I fed him as much as he wanted from a starling carcass to a final weight of 116.5g.

His daytime weight loss between sessions so far has been about 1.2g per hour. Overnight loss averaged .89 grams per hour.

He still gets active at 8pm so I have still been putting him in the giant hood until I go to bed. I am hoping this will eventually end when hunting starts and he comes home exhausted.

jeffandheidi
07-16-2013, 02:06 PM
We're making progress, but it's going to be slow while this weight comes off. Sunday evening there was a starling in the funnel trap. After ensuring it couldn't hurt my young shin I called him to the lure once for a small tidbit then showed him the starling. At 103.8 grams his response was exactly what I expected, slight interest and footed it once. I finished it, opened it and just let him pluck and eat what he wanted and topped out at 116.1g at 7pm. He likes to pluck a lot right now, even when the breast muscle is exposed. He just isn't hungry yet.
At 10 pm that night he was down to 113g.

Yesterday morning I overfed and kind of set us back a day in our weight loss program. He came to a few feet to a sparrow baggie in the morning and I let him eat as much as he wanted, which topped him out at 118.3g. By 6pm he was down to 104.5g and due to church meetings and family stuff I couldn't just wait an hour for him to lose weight, so we went ahead with the other baggie and another full crop up to 118.9g.
By 10pm he was back at 113g.

This morning he was at 105.7g and I only cut enough lure meat to bring him up to 117.4g. So far today there haven't been ANY birds near the traps, so I'm not anticipating a baggie today. Most likely we will just try to increase the distance he comes to the lure.

On one hand I feel like I may be taking this slower than necessary, but on the other hand I have to say his personality is still very relaxed and easy. This is by far the tiniest hawk I've ever worked with.

falcondoc
07-16-2013, 04:27 PM
Jeff, I am really looking forward to seeing your bird in action this season. September is only 6 short weeks away!

jeffandheidi
07-18-2013, 01:51 PM
Hey Tim! You're welcome to come anytime, as soon as there is something to see anyway.

So far the only thing that has changed is his weight. I've been taking him down a gram, holding that weight for a day, then dropping another gram. It's not difficult, just slow. I've been following Harry's 22 hour weight control, since its described so well in other threads I won't fill space typing it out here.
The 10 pm top off feeding has been by flashlight and so far has been working great. This little bird is very delicate and trusting and I'm very paranoid of damaging him. I put on a new pair of jesses the other night and he just sat on his bow preening his shoulders and belly while I took off the old ones and put on the new set. Easy!
I had also forgotten the joys of summer falconry in the Midwest. Heat and humidity have affected his lure response. This morning he started sunning as soon as we went outside but after gliding to the lure once about 15 feet he was slicked down and panting. The test of his ration I just had him drop from the back of a lawn chair to the lure.
At first:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-56.jpg

A minute or so later:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-57.jpg

jeffandheidi
07-18-2013, 02:02 PM
The past two training sessions he was at 103g. Tonight he should be at 102.5g. He is still coming slowly to the lure no more than 20 feet.

jeffandheidi
07-19-2013, 10:35 AM
102.5g this morning and still very slow lure response. I had planned to feed to 115g but he left 2 grams on the lure so we came in from the heat at 113g. I'll check him again around noon and make sure he won't be too low this evening. I don't want him below 102g at 7pm.

I've been so careful to bring him down slowly, about half a gram at a time, but I am starting to think it's too slow now. On the lure he is getting wary and flinches if a dog barks somewhere in the neighborhood or a car goes by. When I opened the door to come in he went bat poop crazy bating, first time I've seen him show fear of anything. He is just acting like a heavy accipiter.

wesleyc6
07-19-2013, 02:36 PM
102.5g this morning and still very slow lure response. I had planned to feed to 115g but he left 2 grams on the lure so we came in from the heat at 113g. I'll check him again around noon and make sure he won't be too low this evening. I don't want him below 102g at 7pm.

I've been so careful to bring him down slowly, about half a gram at a time, but I am starting to think it's too slow now. On the lure he is getting wary and flinches if a dog barks somewhere in the neighborhood or a car goes by. When I opened the door to come in he went bat poop crazy bating, first time I've seen him show fear of anything. He is just acting like a heavy accipiter.


We are at pretty close to the same point as far as weight loss and response.

jeffandheidi
07-20-2013, 11:13 PM
Hey Wes, yeah it sounds like they are coming along at about the same pace.

Last night at 102g he was too distracted outside to come to the lure so I put him back on his perch for half anout hour and tried again, he was down to 101.5 then. After one close flight to the lure I was able to back up a little at a time and ended up about 25 feet away. He is still slow to respond, but he isn't trying to get away either. Bugs still interesting
After the training session last night a sparrow was in the trap so I saved it for this morning.

At 8am he was back at 101.5g and I only called him a couple times to see how he would act. I had an assistant release the sparrow about 10 feet away with him on my hand. At first he watched it for a few seconds then went after it. He landed next to it first, then when it flew away from him in an arc at the end of the string he caught it in the air about five feet away. He didn't try to carry but he cacked at me once before he started eating. Afterwards he was fine, and transferred easily to the lure.

This evening he was at 102g and storms were moving in so I went ahead and repeated this mornings training session but with a muzzled starling. He flew to it right away and landed next to it. After a few seconds he jumped up and bound to it from above.

The next few days we have storms forecast, so I'm not sure what that will mean for trapping sparrows. All I'm really looking for before hunting is good lure response at some different locations, hopefully by the end of the week? Also the evening bating is still an issue. He isn't fearful at all, anyone can still touch and handle him, but he won't sit still, even with a full crop.

wesleyc6
07-21-2013, 12:23 AM
Hey Wes, yeah it sounds like they are coming along at about the same pace.

Last night at 102g he was too distracted outside to come to the lure so I put him back on his perch for half anout hour and tried again, he was down to 101.5 then. After one close flight to the lure I was able to back up a little at a time and ended up about 25 feet away. He is still slow to respond, but he isn't trying to get away either. Bugs still interesting
After the training session last night a sparrow was in the trap so I saved it for this morning.

At 8am he was back at 101.5g and I only called him a couple times to see how he would act. I had an assistant release the sparrow about 10 feet away with him on my hand. At first he watched it for a few seconds then went after it. He landed next to it first, then when it flew away from him in an arc at the end of the string he caught it in the air about five feet away. He didn't try to carry but he cacked at me once before he started eating. Afterwards he was fine, and transferred easily to the lure.

This evening he was at 102g and storms were moving in so I went ahead and repeated this mornings training session but with a muzzled starling. He flew to it right away and landed next to it. After a few seconds he jumped up and bound to it from above.

The next few days we have storms forecast, so I'm not sure what that will mean for trapping sparrows. All I'm really looking for before hunting is good lure response at some different locations, hopefully by the end of the week? Also the evening bating is still an issue. He isn't fearful at all, anyone can still touch and handle him, but he won't sit still, even with a full crop.

Man the rain is just killing us here, wow! Sounds like mostly the same things I see with Finn again. I am looking for the same thing as you. I don't really want to just have him hot as a firecracker, but I can tell right now if I turn him loose it wouldn't be a good thing:eek: I would love him to be ready to go by the weekend. I am sure he could be. Obviously they are both tame, it just a matter of hitting a weight where we are more important to them than the bugs are:D

HGlider
07-21-2013, 02:21 AM
Just something I have worked more on lately then just weight, is making things more common and less of a distraction. In a lot of these post I see the weights bantered about as the main control of the bird. With the occasional mention that the bird was distracted and slow to the lure. And the ever popular time frame with the "weight should be right in a week and should be good to hunt." I am not wanting to sound critical but I personally feel more time to get the bird accustomed to any new surroundings so it's not distracted is almost as important as weight control and doesn't get the attention it should. It takes the whole season to really get the bird used to everything with maybe an extra week or two in the beginning and maybe some extra time handling per day goes along with it. But it's well worth the extra time. Just my 2 cents.

jeffandheidi
07-21-2013, 10:08 AM
Hey John, I appreciate the feedback, thank you!
I didn't mean to imply I'd take him out he'll or high water, just making a hopeful guess. Once I see a good lure response at home I will move the creance sessions to the high school field, church parking lot, school playground.

101g this morning and similar response. In the house he squeaks and bates toward me. Outside he comes a few feet then turns his head upside down and looks at everything. I'll have him at the same weight this evening and for comparison ill take him up the street to the high school field and see if he will come leash length once or twice.

Skyslug
07-21-2013, 05:40 PM
Look at your private message.

Tracy

jeffandheidi
07-22-2013, 05:53 PM
He has been more active the past couple days. This afternoon at 4pm he was down to 100g. Losing weight faater than I had predicted.
Even though the heat and humidity are smothering I went ahead and tried a lure session away from home. He was very nervous despite all the traveling he did as a chick. Also the heat was a big problem. After a few minutes he settled down enough to hop from my hand to the lure a few times and eat his ration. When he had finished he let me pick him up with no trouble and stepped into his giant hood easily.

Will do it again tomorrow, in fact I don't plan to have any more creance sessions at home

wesleyc6
07-22-2013, 06:06 PM
He has been more active the past couple days. This afternoon at 4pm he was down to 100g. Losing weight faater than I had predicted.
Even though the heat and humidity are smothering I went ahead and tried a lure session away from home. He was very nervous despite all the traveling he did as a chick. Also the heat was a big problem. After a few minutes he settled down enough to hop from my hand to the lure a few times and eat his ration. When he had finished he let me pick him up with no trouble and stepped into his giant hood easily.

Will do it again tomorrow, in fact I don't plan to have any more creance sessions at home

99g for me Jeff. I got one immediate flight(15ft probably) to the glove from a different place and perch, but still part of the church campus. After that, slow to the lure and finally came down. I decided to end on that note and went ahead and fed him the rest of his daily ration on the lure. I am still feeding him the 5g every morning and don't count it in my measurements at all since I never vary it.

jeffandheidi
07-23-2013, 12:09 AM
I am aiming for 99.5 tomorrow. The fear he showed today at the new location bothers me and I really need to get him past it. Fear in my imprint bothers me a lot. He is also bating a lot in the evenings an it doesn't seem to matter where or how high his perch is, he still bates constantly. There isnt any scale damage yet but I am sure it will happen eventually if this problem isn't fixed. Right now the only thing that quiets him down is the giant hood but that's not a good solution. Frustrating day.

jeffandheidi
07-23-2013, 06:09 PM
My wife and I are teaching at our church Vacation bible school this week, so my training sessions for the next few days are a couple hous earlier than I would prefer. It's too hot!

Anyway, today at 99g we came back to the high school. The freshman team was having a practice nearby so there was some extra distraction but it was all good. I called him three time to the lure, starting up close and made it back to 15 feet with pretty good response. It took him a little longer to come to the sparrow baggie but when he did he was very aggressive with it, footing and biting. As I knelt down next to him he tried to carry it to some trees. Since I was holding the creance he only moved about a foot to the side but I was disappointed (not surprised) that he did. I sat where I was and let him break in and start eating. Then I noticed te ants. On my arms, legs, shirt and on his sparrow. He had already broken in so I left him alone and let him eat. He didn't seem to notice them somehow, there were a lot.

Compared to yesterday he was much better. Still nervous, still fearful and bated some at first but I get the feeling that moving the training sessions to later and cooler part of the evening will help. Also the slow weight drop and repetition will help. We won't be hawking until he's clearly ready to be free, and that may still be a while.

Thank you Tracy for the sparrows, things would e progressing much slower if not for your help!

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-62.jpg

BestBeagler
07-23-2013, 07:34 PM
I am aiming for 99.5 tomorrow. The fear he showed today at the new location bothers me and I really need to get him past it. Fear in my imprint bothers me a lot. He is also bating a lot in the evenings an it doesn't seem to matter where or how high his perch is, he still bates constantly. There isnt any scale damage yet but I am sure it will happen eventually if this problem isn't fixed. Right now the only thing that quiets him down is the giant hood but that's not a good solution. Frustrating day.

Jeff, go with the flow, so he's a little fearful of a new location, big deal, it's natural, when his weight comes down and he's chasing and killing things it will all be good and he'll take new things in without much fear (my opinion of course). He's the lowest on the totem pole don't forget that it's hardwired in him to be cautious. Once he's focused in time and exposure things will smooth out.

My bird bates a lot to in the evenings. Guess what? I put him in the giant hood. He finds comfort in there and enjoys it. It doesn't bother me. Why isn't it a good solution? Go with what works. Don't get into "I command you" falconry. Go with the flow. Don't get into the "should's" i.e. he should sit quietly on his perch or he shouldn't show fear. Be flexible enjoy the ride my friend.

jeffandheidi
07-24-2013, 10:42 AM
Hey Isaac, thank you for the words of encouragement. We will get there eventually, even with the random weirdness that comes up. This morning I took him into the back yard and by his behavior you would think he'd never been there before. Even though he spent hours every day as a chick and brancher. He finally calmed down enough to eat his 5 grams after I carried him around for a few minutes. Right now he is back on the living room perch sleeping. Goofy bird!

This afternoon he will be at 98.5g.

mainefalconer
07-24-2013, 02:00 PM
Jeff,
It's interesting to read your descriptions of your birds behavior thus far. I'm raising an imprint shin this year as well, and some of what you're saying is similar to what I'm seeing with mine. Up until a few days ago, she had only bated a total of 2 times, but during the last few days she has started to be a bit fearful of things that didn't bother her a bit last week. She rides on a tall block perch in the car, and can see out the windows on the way to work each morning, and this morning, she bated at the sight of a school bus and again at a couple of motorcycles.

Also,... you suggested that you might get better response from your little guy later on in the day, and I've found that to be true for sure. I've been out hawking with mine for a while now, and we do two sessions a day (one in the morning before work, and one between 5 and 6 each evening, on my dinner break) She's much more into the hunt during the evening sessions. This morning, she actually blinked a couple of close slips, but the last few nights, she has had great flights at wild birds. It's fun trying to figure out these little birds, isn't it?

jeffandheidi
07-24-2013, 10:48 PM
Hey Scott. Hawking already, that's great! Have you had any problems with lure response or issues on the kill? I would love to see a picture of the car perch if you don't mind.

This evening he was at 98.5g and had spent about half an hour bating toward me unless I was sitting near his bow perch, then he was settled and preening. And vocal. We went back to the high school field again for the third time. This time there was no fear, he did bate once stepping out of the car but I expected that one. His lure response is STILL very slow at about 10-15 feet. He comes when he's ready and then mantles until he gets his tidbit or gets the first bite if its something bigger like a starling thigh, after that he's fine.

Tomorrow I will have him at the same weight and will probably go to the same place one more time before I pick another training location. All I'm still looking for is solid and consistent lure response. For now I'm still putting him into the giant hood around 7or 8 until around 10 when he starts bating constantly. I hate that he is sitting in the box for so long, but as others have pointed out he hops right in and doesn't make a sound, and it is better than scale or feather damage. I hope that after we do get to field hawking he will come home tired and not need the box. My wife asked today how this is any different from putting a larger hawk into the mews after a hunt in the winter when gets dark by 5pm. By that comparison I guess it's no different at all.

mainefalconer
07-25-2013, 02:55 PM
Jeff,

Yes indeed, I've had trouble with lure response. Luckily, she zips back to the fist after a missed flight for just a tid-bit, so I'm not worrying too much about the lure. It'll come with time (or it won't). And as far as trouble on kills is concerned, I only bagged her 3 times early on, and she was great with all three, but when she made her first kill (at 44 days of age) she carried it up into a pine tree and ate half of it up there before dropping it and coming down to my glove. We're just figuring it out as we go. I need to start paying more attention to weight control.... some days, I don't even weigh her, so I haven't been able to start making sound assessments of her field response (to me - OR - the quarry). I'm happy to be hawking her so early in the game, because I want her to have opportunities at birds that are still very young, and just coming off of nests, so that she can learn and progress naturally, as she would in the wild. Thus... I skipped doing any creance work, and just left it up to fate that I'd be able to get her back after each session. (I figured that she didn't have the stamina to fly any great distances yet, and couldn't catch her own food anyway, so would need to eventually come down and pester me for lunch) :D

Here's a picture of the perch she's been riding on in the car. Nothing special.... just an old Arab block that I brought back from overseas back in 1995. As you can see, it could use a scrub. I just like it because it sits her up high enough to be able to see out all of the car windows. (and the base is seriously heavy, so it stays put, with cardboard underneath) As she matures, I may end up having to use something else.
http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0042_zpsf4850b7f.jpg (http://s824.photobucket.com/user/scottmcneff/media/DSC_0042_zpsf4850b7f.jpg.html)

mainefalconer
07-25-2013, 03:03 PM
Hey Jeff,

One more photo for you, so that you can actually see what she looks like. (this was the most recent bagged HOSP) She's watching a plane fly overhead. I just like the picture, and thought you would too. It's fun looking at everyone else's shins! (thanks for keeping up the diary of your bird)
http://i824.photobucket.com/albums/zz163/scottmcneff/DSC_0010_zpsd3714450.jpg (http://s824.photobucket.com/user/scottmcneff/media/DSC_0010_zpsd3714450.jpg.html)

jeffandheidi
07-25-2013, 07:46 PM
Scott, those are great pictures! Thank you. I can't wait to get my male into field, but for now I'm positive he would be spending at least one night out on his own. As his weight has come down this week it seems like his interest has decreased as well. This morning he was afraid of coffee cups, the microwave and anything red.

Today Spaz was at 98.5 again and has definitely gotten used to this weight. At home he is vocal and bates toward me, but back at the high school he was very distracted, but not afraid anymore. Someone walked a black lab past us about 40 feet away and he just watched, but was ready to bate. He was slicked down with his wings half out. Once that passed I dropped the lure a few feet away and he just watched, then bated for the trees. Since he was on my hand he didn't get far, this time instead of regaining the fist he decided to hang. Go figure that one out.

Eventually I convinced him to fly a few feet to the lure but none of the flights were in a hurry, just a nice glide to a snack. I had a sparrow baggie which he refused! After his lure response I wasn't surprised but he was completely not interested. I'm thinking a gram lower tomorrow. Maybe only a half, it's going to depend on his interest tomorrow morning what pm weight I feed for him for. Here's what a bored hawk looks like in proximity to his lure:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-63.jpg

mainefalconer
07-25-2013, 10:45 PM
Jeff,
I totally understand your hesitation. I've been much too laid back about my little 'shin, and it kind of bit me in the butt tonight. Our evening session (in an area VERY rich in small bird life) turned into a female shin flying all over the place, with yours truly in tow - climbing fences and pushing through thick hedgerows to keep her in view (no transmitter or bell, and haven't weighed her today). For over an hour she chased, watched, and got mobbed by all sorts of birds, and ignored the fist and lure until it started pouring rain... at which point, she zipped down to my fist, and happily fed up during the lengthy walk back to the car. A bit more field control would be nice. :D So that's the flip-side that comes with the early success I've enjoyed with her. Tomorrow is another day, right?

Hoosierhawker
07-26-2013, 09:35 PM
Glad to see everyone having fun with the sharpies from the Indiana pull. It makes all the nest hunting worth while.
Joe Katterhenry

keitht
07-26-2013, 09:53 PM
Welcome aboard Joe!

wesleyc6
07-26-2013, 10:15 PM
Glad to see everyone having fun with the sharpies from the Indiana pull. It makes all the nest hunting worth while.
Joe Katterhenry

Thanks again Joe for all the work you did to make my first sharpie a reality!

wesleyc6
07-26-2013, 10:16 PM
Jeff,
I totally understand your hesitation. I've been much too laid back about my little 'shin, and it kind of bit me in the butt tonight. Our evening session (in an area VERY rich in small bird life) turned into a female shin flying all over the place, with yours truly in tow - climbing fences and pushing through thick hedgerows to keep her in view (no transmitter or bell, and haven't weighed her today). For over an hour she chased, watched, and got mobbed by all sorts of birds, and ignored the fist and lure until it started pouring rain... at which point, she zipped down to my fist, and happily fed up during the lengthy walk back to the car. A bit more field control would be nice. :D So that's the flip-side that comes with the early success I've enjoyed with her. Tomorrow is another day, right?
Sounds kinda scary. Glad you got her home safely!

jeffandheidi
07-27-2013, 03:20 PM
Hey Scott, that sounds exciting, glad she came home safely!

Joe, it's great to see you on here. Thank you again for all of your time and work in making that Saturday in June so great!

Still steady progress with my bird. Yesterday at 98 grams we went to a new location. He is now leaning toward the giant hood an hops in as soon as its open. Lure response is still slow, last night he came pretty fast for the first call to a starling heart on the lure. After I picked him up he went through this dead-foot routine for a few minutes. Long enough for me to dig out my phone and get a picture:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-68.jpg

He eventually got over it and came one more time about 10-15 feet very slowly. This time I was able to pick him up normally and just went ahead with the evening sparrow. It had about 6 feet of string but only made it about three feet away before he had it. It's encouraging that he doesn't hesitate to chase birds, which of course the whole point of flying him, but I'm still not convinced he would come back to me after a missed flight.

Same routine planned for the next several days. Incidentally, his battiness has gotten a lot better, he has been bathing and preening more instead. Mid afternoon is a little more active. I think that's when he has pushed his breakfast through and is hungry but not completely empty. Still easy to handle and weigh, but can't sit still. Not necessarily bating, just busy.

jeffandheidi
07-27-2013, 03:25 PM
A couple more pictures from yesterday morning, I carried him outside in some light rain, I think he liked it:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-64.jpg

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-65.jpg

After his shower he took a bath, splashed water everywhere:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-67.jpg

50% tail, 45% wings, 5% body

Im all soul
07-27-2013, 11:53 PM
i've been watching this thread for a bit now and i have to say its been really cool to watch this little guys progress. i do have one question though in a lot of these pics you don't have a glove on. Are imprints less likely to foot you? either way keep up the great work and keep us posted i can't wait to see some pics from when he is hunting!

jeffandheidi
07-28-2013, 01:11 PM
Hey Austin, thanks for following his progress and for the question. I haven't been using a glove with him only because he is so tiny and I don't really need one to protect my hand. I would certainly use a glove for anything bigger. Also the jesses are so thin I feel like I can better hold them with a bare hand.

I've also chosen to only feed him on his kills or on the lure and not on the fist at all. It's really a personal preference thing and I may end up changing my mind later. If I do start feeding on the fist I think I would use a very thin glove and cut some fingers out, again mainly just so I can feel that I really do have a good hold on his tiny jesses. To answer your question about imprints I have to say that imprints are more likely to foot you and display aggressive tendencies. Skill and patience with early lure training and baggie kills is very important. If the handling is rough or sloppy then the falconer is teaching their bird to be possessive and that the lure or kill needs to be protected, either by footing or by carrying. Having said all that, my experience with imprints is very limited. I've had two tame hacked coopers hawks that were footy on the lure once or twice only while their weight was still very high. This shin is my third imprint, I'm no expert, just learning as we go.

Maybe someone with more imprint experience will share their thoughts?

Im all soul
07-28-2013, 03:44 PM
Thank for the information I've been fascinated with the process of imprinting but I never knew where to look for information on the subject but since I've started looking around here recently I've found a lot of helpful information on the subject. It may be somthing I want to try at some point.

jeffandheidi
07-28-2013, 11:11 PM
Today we were at a new weight (97.2g) and a new location on the opposite side of the high school.

At home before we left I was worried he may be getting too low. He would not sit still, bating to the end of his leash and squeaking, then back to his perch, then to the bath pan to bite at the water, then back to the end of his leash. I finally just put him in the box to quiet him down while I weighed and prepared his meat. He always goes into the box easily, he leans forward and hops in as soon as the door opens, both at home and in the car.

Here's where he gets fun. We got to the new spot, took him out of the box, attached the creance, stepped out of the car and walked about 10 feet when he bated and hung there, I helped him back up and he started the dead foot routine again. This went on for several minutes before he regained foot control and then it was over. He looked like this: great right?http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-69.jpg

Once it was over it was over and he was his normal self again. I only got him to come about 10 feet to the lure a few times and like usual he lost interest very quickly. 97 grams is obviously still too high.

Here's what it looks like:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/341e7885-0f6a-4ff1-a872-b874d045dc3b.jpg
Look familiar?

No sparrows today, but I did have a starling so I gave it a try. He watched and leaned forward a couple times but wouldn't jump, basically what I expected after his lure performance. I knelt down on one knee, perched him on the other and had him watch while I dispatched the starling and tossed it away from us. Then he was mildly interested enough to hop down and run over to it and start plucking. I let him eat half of the breast before transferring him to the lure and then coming home.

Except for the dead foot routine today his attitude is wonderful. I just don't have a clue what to think of it.

FredFogg
07-28-2013, 11:51 PM
Jeff, it looks to me like the dead foot routine is because he bates and gets a hold of the jess and when he recovers, he thinks he has a hold of something. Does he ever hold his foot like that and not have a hold of the jess? All the pictures you show and mention it has him holding the jess.

jeffandheidi
07-29-2013, 12:02 AM
Hey Fred that's a good idea. Today was the first time he did it before we started a session, but it makes sense. It only has happened these few times in the evening at training time.

jeffandheidi
07-29-2013, 10:56 PM
Same weight today but an hour earlier due to family plans and rain moving in. He did great, no hanging bate, no dead foot, and no hesitation to the lure for the first two calls. The third lure call was probably about 25 feet and he bobbed his head once before coming. I've stopped trying to pick him up from the lure until the meat is completely gone and he steps back, so far it's working ok. While he was still eating, a line of minivans started pulling into the parking lot and I realized that today's training spot was about to become a football practice. I was able to pick him up before anyone got close but he did bate a couple times while I was answering their questions. At least he didn't hang upside down this time.

I still had the sparrow baggie in the car and he rode the fist fine while I drove around to a different field. It took him a few seconds to fly it down but he did, about 15 feet away grabbing it on the ground. He killed it himself and once he broke in he folded his wings, kept his tail tight, and didn't try to carry or drag it anywhere. The feathers under his tail stayed puffed out though, today's pics:
http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-72.jpg

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-71.jpg

jeffandheidi
08-03-2013, 11:00 AM
The past couple days have basically been repeats of each other, nothing very special to report other than slowly reducing weight. Two days ago I had him fly about 50 feet twice and then set up kind of a mock hunt with another tethered baggie sparrow. We were within ten feet before he flew at it, grabbed it a few feet above the ground and dropped straight down. He plucked slowly, ate slowly and hopped on my hand before I had reached down for him. Sweet bird http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-73.jpg

Yesterday behind the high school greenhouse I got greedy for more distance. We had a small audience watching and in tall grass when he lost sight of the lure he kind of butterfly flapped around and found it. His last flight was probably over 60 feet. By the time my wife pulled out the baggie he had eaten around 6 grams, too much for a micro hawk. He still flew to it, kneaded the heck out of it plucked some but by the time I knelt down beside him he stepped off and walked over to me. I fed the rest if his daily ration a little later by flashlight at home

This morning when I weighed him he kept his right eye closed the entire time and has been shaking his head quite a bit. When he hopped up to the scale he almost missed. To make his evening weight I fed him a gram and a half this morning on the lure and it seemed like he was having a hard time finding it. Also yesterday and today he has been sleeping a lot more. I think the eye thing is just from being in tall grass yesterday and maybe getting scratched? My Cooper's hawk also started sleeping more in the morning as we approached hunting weight. I hope that's it.

We should be at 96.5g this evening and if the eye is any better it may involve a free flight at some field birds.

http://i1012.photobucket.com/albums/af247/bugsmasher7/null-74.jpg

falcondoc
08-03-2013, 11:40 AM
Jeff, be sure to keep an eye in him closely. If he seems unsteady on his feet or has any unusual head positions/movements, call me right away. In fact give me a call today after 2 PM if you get a minute.

jeffandheidi
08-03-2013, 12:00 PM
Will do Tim, talk to you then. Thanks!

northwindmerlins
08-04-2013, 05:39 PM
Jeff,
I hope your little guy is alright? 96.5 g is low, the eyes are one of the first signs of a small accipiter getting into the low sugar range. I had a male that i had to take to 96 for a one day push, but then he was bumped back up and ended up flying consistantly at 99g. With imprints there is a learning curve, the weight pushes accipiters to the end you want, but they do have to learn something as well. You may need to bump this guys weight back up slowly for a week, feed him warm fresh sparrow in small amounts throughout the day. Not a full crop just keep it moving through. in a few days when he's feeling better, you can place him in a mews and through live sparrows in for a few days in a row, then take him out and bag him on a few in the lawn, and then out of your car window, and then he will be on his way. Dont worry about lure responce, just carry a live sparrow on a string for emergency, or go pick him up if he not secessful. I use the lure to trade my shinn of what shes caught, she just returns to the fist if she misses, and if she goes up to high, I flash the sparrow under a bush, and she comes right down to look for it. i do hope he is alright.
Best,
Connie

jeffandheidi
08-04-2013, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the reply Connie! That pic was taken around 8 yesterday morning and his weight at the time was about 105g. At 6pm he was at 97.5 even though his evening fed weight was a gram lower. We walked a field that had a few sparrows ans larks flying over 50 yards away from us. He bobbed his head but I didn't expect him to even try. We walked back to the car, put drove around a bit but couldn't find any on the ground to slip him. I drove back to the original field, boxes him, planted a tethered starling and walked around with him until he saw the starling and caught it.

Adter a good conversation with Dr. Tim Sullivan. Spaz is still closing the right eye at times, but not as much as yesterday morning. He is also standing on one foot when he sleeps, not showing any problems with balance today. I'm still watching closely for anything strange, but west nile doesn't seem likely.

He will be at 97.5 again in an hour so we will walk another field.

wesleyc6
08-04-2013, 09:01 PM
Jeff,
I hope your little guy is alright? 96.5 g is low, the eyes are one of the first signs of a small accipiter getting into the low sugar range. I had a male that i had to take to 96 for a one day push, but then he was bumped back up and ended up flying consistantly at 99g. With imprints there is a learning curve, the weight pushes accipiters to the end you want, but they do have to learn something as well. You may need to bump this guys weight back up slowly for a week, feed him warm fresh sparrow in small amounts throughout the day. Not a full crop just keep it moving through. in a few days when he's feeling better, you can place him in a mews and through live sparrows in for a few days in a row, then take him out and bag him on a few in the lawn, and then out of your car window, and then he will be on his way. Dont worry about lure responce, just carry a live sparrow on a string for emergency, or go pick him up if he not secessful. I use the lure to trade my shinn of what shes caught, she just returns to the fist if she misses, and if she goes up to high, I flash the sparrow under a bush, and she comes right down to look for it. i do hope he is alright.
Best,
Connie

I am curious as to other's weights with the males? I thought I remember in McD's first book, he stated that every or nearly every successful musket he ever saw flew at around 84g? Anyone have the book that would be willing to scan it for the weights he experienced on males?

BestBeagler
08-05-2013, 08:07 AM
I am curious as to other's weights with the males? I thought I remember in McD's first book, he stated that every or nearly every successful musket he ever saw flew at around 84g? Anyone have the book that would be willing to scan it for the weights he experienced on males?

I remember Barry Ollette saying the weight ranges for six male sharpies he flew were between 94.7 and 101.1gms.

jeffandheidi
08-05-2013, 09:24 AM
It's over.

Yesterday afternoon we went to a nearby field that was full of little field birds. Many we're flying past us less than 20 feet away. He finally gave one a half hearted chase, landed on a bush and let me pick him up. A few minutes longer he chased another and this time ended up in a medium tree about 50 yards away. While I was walking over and pulling the lure, a pair of crows landed in the top of his tree makings lot of noise. As I got to the tree the crows flew one direction and Spaz flew the other. The next 45 minutes was me tracking down his signal and watching him bump to another group of trees or dense blackberry bush. He was staying low in cover and wouldn't let me get within 50 feet. The only times I saw him was when he flew. It was starting to get dark, so I made my best triangulation guess of where he was and came back at 10 pm to try and call him down with the flashlight and lure. His flashlight lure response was great at home, but last night he didn't come down.

Back up at 5 am his signal hadn't moved. He wasn't calling either, which concerned me. It took about an hour spiraling my way into heavy cover before I located his body under the same group of small trees. Other than some body feathers scattered on the ground he didn't appear to be badly damaged at first. When I picked him up I realized that something had eaten his head and left him there. I spent quite a while sitting there under those trees watching the sunrise with him on my lap. I apologized to him a lot.

He was a really sweet, tiny bird and I will miss him. My first sharpy, and most likely my last. Thank you to everyone who commented on this thread with their thoughts and experiences.

Saluqi
08-05-2013, 09:53 AM
That's a real heartbreak, sorry for your loss Jeff.

Im all soul
08-05-2013, 11:02 AM
I am so sorry.

JeffNH
08-05-2013, 11:27 AM
Sorry to hear this Jeff.

zx2run
08-05-2013, 11:49 AM
My heart sank while reading that. Very sorry to hear this.

northwindmerlins
08-05-2013, 12:49 PM
Sorry to hear it Jeff.
~Connie

wesleyc6
08-05-2013, 03:31 PM
Man so sorry for ya. Nothing to apologize to him for. You have to let them loose to hunt and it is dangerous every time.

BestBeagler
08-05-2013, 03:46 PM
Jeff, sorry to here this but that's the life of a small accipiter. Don't say he'll be your last sharpie. Like McDermott says their candles burn bright and quick. At least, he died in a predation setting instead of hitting a ceiling fan or something that you could have avoided. Small conciliation but that's how I would feel about it.

kimmerar
08-05-2013, 04:20 PM
Im sorry for your loss Jeff. You did a great job with him. I hope you change your mind on "last".

Take care

kurt
08-05-2013, 06:30 PM
Sorry for the loss of your bird Jeff. Don't beat yourself up about an act of predation. Kurt

steveo_uk
08-05-2013, 09:22 PM
I know how you feel jeff. Thanks for the posts you have made. This so sucks

FredFogg
08-06-2013, 09:59 PM
Man, what a bummer Jeff! Sorry to hear this! Falconry has its highs and definitely has its lows!

jeffandheidi
08-07-2013, 04:30 PM
Thanks everyone.
I thought he had an excellent lure response and was ready for field hawking. I can't fault the crows for doing what they do, or the owl or whatever it was for killing him. I'm the one who put him in that situation in my rush to get into the field when he wasn't ready. That part is my fault.

He got scared and instinct to hide was stronger than training to come to me.

I'm not done with falconry, but do need to reevaluate whether I'm ready for something so small and delicate in the future.

Leather
08-08-2013, 03:03 PM
Jeff,
Like I already told you, Iím very sorry man- this sucks for sure, but as the others stated donít beat yourself up over it- I know itís easy for us to say though, but stuff happens as you know, if itís doable, get back in the saddle man. I hope to meet up with you this season, take care.

Breeze
08-08-2013, 07:13 PM
Reading and catching up on threads today. SO SORRY to hear of the untimely end to your wonderful little imprint. We all know things happen, but this still sucks. It's just too sad, Jeff.

hcmcelroy
08-09-2013, 10:23 AM
Jeff,

Sorry about the loss. It is never easy!

It is difficult to fly any of the small hawks here in some of the long flights even the raven catch and pull feathers before we can reach them on horseback.

Harry.

vlp
09-27-2013, 09:07 AM
Jeff

Had an overnight experience with my hen sharpie last week and did not get her back till late the next evening. A Cooper's came in on us late afternoon and spooked her in the woods. Could have easily ended the same way as your experience. However, better to be out hunting and doing falconry than just keeping them as pets. Still, it would have bummed me terribly too.

carlosR
10-01-2013, 04:26 PM
I'm terribly sorry to hear about this and something you said made me think very highly of you as an austringer. That was when you held him in your hands and apologized as the sun rose. You're a good man and a good austringer. It's unfortunate that we lose birds and heart breaking but better to lose a bird in the field than to watch one die of illness.

jeffandheidi
10-11-2013, 11:35 PM
Thank you for the kind words Carlos.

I have thought about that goofy little bird a lot lately. It's tough not to get attached to our birds, especially an eyas, so when something eventually happens it's crushing. The best thing to do of course is move on. I hope you're having a great season so far.