View Full Version : Withadrawal of an imprint goshawk: OC ideas?

08-20-2017, 02:32 PM
Hello guys!

I've had the chance to imprint my first goshawk this summer and lucky as I am, he started showing more and more signs of fear in the last weeks until he totally withdraw from me yesterday as I went to pick him up from his trolley. Totally terrified, full-blown panic mode.

I was so surprised by his change in attitude that I did not react fast enough to avoid this panic scene. I let him some food and left him there for the night (very safe weathering area).

This morning I thought hunger would have turned around but no. Not at all. So I did 3 short sessions of R- (using the removal of my presence as a reward for calm behavior), but I'm really in the dark as to what to do now. I'm looking for anyone experienced with this situation, what has been done, how did it turn out in the short and long term, etc.

Thanks to all who want to help!

08-20-2017, 02:50 PM
He's just fat. The trickiest thing with imprints IMO is learning when to slowly reduce weight right when subtle signs of imminent withdrawal is about to occur. I would just avoid picking him up until he stops showing escape-avoidance behavior and walk by tossing small tidbits.

08-20-2017, 04:23 PM
I believe we would need some history on how the bird was imprinted to date. How old was he when you received him, how socialcialization, etc. In my experience, I've never had a bird "withdraw" this early in the process.

08-20-2017, 05:48 PM
In the book imprinting accipiters he concluded that if you drop the weight prior to hard penning you can avoid this which really does work with the one bird I worked with. Really not doing this does nothing but just set you back a week or two.

but tidbitting the bird as you walk by goes a long way in making the bird look forward to you walking up instead of worried about you coming close.

09-18-2017, 03:12 PM
Thanks guys!

I regained my bird's trust by tidbitting and moving away from him when he was not acting fearful. It took me 3 days to have him back on the fist, and 4 days back in the house. Slight weight reduction but not too much as he is vocal and mantles a lot on the fist when reduced too much.

So it worked! :)