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threetoe
11-19-2008, 02:12 PM
For an apprentice, I sure have had a learning curve. As most know, I fired my first sponsor.

This year after SEVERAL knowledgeable Master Falconers have watched my bird fly and seen the interaction between myself and my 1X Intermewed RT, they have come to the conclusion that I did NOT obtain a BRANCHER from the Rehab center but actually took transfer of an IMPRINT.
The rehab center took this Female from Animal Control (along with her brother) and were "told" that they were found on the ground and fully feathered. (bull) What happened to her before they got her is a mystery.

These Falconers have ALL raised, trained and flown imprints and they all agreed that the behavior exibited by this bird is NOT THAT OF A BRANCHER. She acts and reacts EXACTLY like an Imprint.

This answers SEVERAL nagging questions of mine in regards to why she acts like she does.
: She flies so hard but doesn't connect. She resumes chases.
: Her flight window is a country MILE wide. (not easy for an apprentice because the "window" of a passage bird is tiny compared to that of an imprint)
: She chases, crashes the brush like a warrior but can't seem to catch one.
: She checks off game at the same weight she crashed the brush at the other day.
: She attacks me at times.
: Her constant screaming when she sees me.


So....
Im now attempting to "teach" her to hunt and make success her normal thing. I am using the advise of a REAL Falconer.

(All the "advise" I got from my former sponsor and all the training was bubkus)

I'm trying to trap some bunnies but all I seem to catch is opossums and skunks.

I'm told that I need to put her on several "Bags" (in a row) to build her lagging confidence, teach her that when she gets one of her own that she eats till full and make her crazy to take game. In between Bags I'm flying her for exercise with a weighted leash.

Is there any tid-bits you guys can add? I appreciate constructive input.

Jimmy
11-19-2008, 02:19 PM
: She flies so hard but doesn't connect. She resumes chases.
: Her flight window is a country MILE wide. (not easy for an apprentice because the "window" of a passage bird is tiny compared to that of an imprint)
: She chases, crashes the brush like a warrior but can't seem to catch one.
: She checks off game at the same weight she crashed the brush at the other day.
: She attacks me at times.
: Her constant screaming when she sees me.



Sounds like a bird that isn't at the right weight to me. Imprint, brancher, passage or otherwise.

outhawkn
11-19-2008, 02:19 PM
I appreciate constructive input.

Well heck,that leaves me out.........................toungeout


I'd lower the weight and get her on a couple baggies for sure. Then I'd keep close track of her weight (not starving, but hungry enough that she is serious)and hunt her.

Raptorick
11-19-2008, 02:30 PM
Sounds like you now have some good help, so I don't want to be redundent. A few things to do...

I would not feed her on the fist anymore if you are. Have her look for her own food off your glove directed away from you.

Baggies will be needed and or take her to easy hunting areas that have cotton rats etc....anything that directs food away from you.

If she always gets an easy meal from you, she won't try so hard. If your feeding her on the fist all the time then she will get aggressive and want more.

Drop her wieght some and don't feed her on the fist. Make her work for It! I don't like that attacking thing. Shes frustrated and wants you to feed her.

or get a new one!

Good luck!

Saluqi
11-19-2008, 02:31 PM
Hi Bill,

What I've heard about imprint redtails is that they tend to be fearless when it comes to slaying game, so from what you are describing she doesn't really sound like a "typical", whatever that is, imprint redtail. Keep in mind that all birds can develop imprint like behaviors as you describe your bird having. I've heard of plenty early taken passage RTs that scream and food beg and are somewhat aggressive. These bigger birds (redtails, ferrugs, etc.) remain parent dependent well into the fall of their first year.

One of things that I've found with falconry birds is that life is too short to be wasting your time on mediocre birds. There are lots of redtails out there who love catching rabbits and all sorts of other game, why not cut your losses and trap a new bird. It's one thing for a very experienced falconer to take on a "project" bird, but when you are learning it's best, for you and the project bird, to fly a bird that behaves more typically.

goshawks00
11-19-2008, 02:46 PM
I am kind of the same mind set as Paul....BUT... I would like to know first, has she EVER killed any thing?

You might get some bags from all the experts around you, and toss her a bag in the mews and just leave her alone to figure it out. Short of that give her some mice and make sure she can at least kill game, then dump her and get a real hunting hawk not someone elses problem.
Imprint attitudes in Rts can be bad news.
.02
Barry

wesleyc6
11-19-2008, 02:54 PM
I agree with what I have read. If you feel like you just have to make this bird hunt, then fly the "bottom" of that country mile wide weight window. On most passage birds, this is where you should start anyway IMHO.

Bag the bird on some game. Once it gets to killing some bags and has some skill and you are at weight, she should start catching game. I always though of bags as a way to train to chase and give confidence, not really to teach "how to catch" as much. If she is chasing game sometimes and not others, then you are playing on HER terms. I always like to be on MY terms when I can.

Regardless, I wouldn't have ever started with a brancher or imprint unless I had a great sponsor that perfered them.

Jimmy
11-19-2008, 02:55 PM
If I recall correctly, she killed on her own while she was lost once...... So to me, that points to a falconer error why she won't catch now. Impossible slips, wrong weight, etc, come to mind.

outhawkn
11-19-2008, 02:58 PM
One of things that I've found with falconry birds is that life is too short to be wasting your time on mediocre birds. There are lots of redtails out there who love catching rabbits and all sorts of other game, why not cut your losses and trap a new bird. It's one thing for a very experienced falconer to take on a "project" bird, but when you are learning it's best, for you and the project bird, to fly a bird that behaves more typically.

This would be my first choice for sure. But I mentioned that in another thread.............................thier isnt anything to be gained from keeping this bird,except ....frus

goshawks00
11-19-2008, 03:21 PM
If she knows to kill as Jimmy says... then cut her or toss her..life is to short for this type of headache... unless you really....REALLY.... want/need the challenge
.02
Barry

virdz
11-19-2008, 05:22 PM
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I get mad when I read comments from falconers advising you to just "give away" this great opportunity to fly an imprint RT. I have trained a couple including an eyass male, and by far, this eyass surpassed in tenacity, fearlesness and endurance any of the passages. I would FIRST see if the bird already knows how to kill and if it knows what is all about. Itīs not the same to kill a rat than a full grown rabbit (the big species). So, first things first and just let him kill a rabbit in the most naturall way possible (in a field), at this time it doesnīt matter much if it runs a lot or not, you are just evaluating her and leting her loose all doubts. Many times Iīve had birds that would "chase hard but not connect" and WITHOUT dropping a gram, Iīve had these same birds killing in no time, itīs just a matter of confidence and eliminating fear, they might chase by instinct but still be a little afraid of connecting or holding. If you burn out this few grams now, later on you might not have more to burn when something else arises. I donīt like to resolve everything with just dropping weight, that is the easy way out and not always the best. When given the baggies, let her have a good crop (but not really full) and DONīT excersise her to glove or lure in between baggies or you WILL loose the momentum gained, just wait 1-2 days for her actual weight to come back, then go out to find reall quarry and if nothing caught, get the baggie prepared( it is important to have the baggie at hand, if for example she flyes a bunny into a bush and she crashes and the bunny escapes, pretend you are wacking the bush to erflush (even if you know the bunny is lost) and without her seeing, plant the bunny so she thinks its the same one she chased, this teaches her to be persistent, to expect reflushes, to build confidence and hunting bond with the falconer. If you wait all day for her to get discouraged at failed attempts and THEn you plant an easy baggie for her to kill, you are teaching your bird all the wrong things.
I hpe I have explained myself, although I learnt English since very young, it is not my first language so sometimes I feel i donīt transmit exactly what I want. I think most of the advices given from experienced falconers are good and sound, just donīt rush the weight issue and KEEP the bird and next season remember this post ;)

outhawkn
11-19-2008, 05:28 PM
WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, I get mad when I read comments from falconers advising you to just "give away" this great opportunity to fly an imprint RT. I have trained a couple including an eyass male, and by far, this eyass surpassed in tenacity, fearlesness and endurance any of the passages. I would FIRST see if the bird already knows how to kill and if it knows what is all about. Itīs not the same to kill a rat than a full grown rabbit (the big species). So, first things first and just let him kill a rabbit in the most naturall way possible (in a field), at this time it doesnīt matter much if it runs a lot or not, you are just evaluating her and leting her loose all doubts. Many times Iīve had birds that would "chase hard but not connect" and WITHOUT dropping a gram, Iīve had these same birds killing in no time, itīs just a matter of confidence and eliminating fear, they might chase by instinct but still be a little afraid of connecting or holding. If you burn out this few grams now, later on you might not have more to burn when something else arises. I donīt like to resolve everything with just dropping weight, that is the easy way out and not always the best. When given the baggies, let her have a good crop (but not really full) and DONīT excersise her to glove or lure in between baggies or you WILL loose the momentum gained, just wait 1-2 days for her actual weight to come back, then go out to find reall quarry and if nothing caught, get the baggie prepared( it is important to have the baggie at hand, if for example she flyes a bunny into a bush and she crashes and the bunny escapes, pretend you are wacking the bush to erflush (even if you know the bunny is lost) and without her seeing, plant the bunny so she thinks its the same one she chased, this teaches her to be persistent, to expect reflushes, to build confidence and hunting bond with the falconer. If you wait all day for her to get discouraged at failed attempts and THEn you plant an easy baggie for her to kill, you are teaching your bird all the wrong things.
I hpe I have explained myself, although I learnt English since very young, it is not my first language so sometimes I feel i donīt transmit exactly what I want. I think most of the advices given from experienced falconers are good and sound, just donīt rush the weight issue and KEEP the bird and next season remember this post ;)
Your english is fine.Better than minetoungeout
But I diagree, why bother with a messed up bird. Give it to an educator ,trap one and go have fun..............

goshawks00
11-19-2008, 05:36 PM
Virdz remember there are two things at work here... neither in his favor... One and most important ..he is an apprentice..which by it's self is a big learning curve....even when working with 'experienced birds in passage. Secondly and just about as important if not more is the fact that he is not working with a true passage... There will most likely be some real issues that need resolving... aggression being the biggest one... maybe not right away but from all accounts I've read about this type of bird, it is sure to happen... That and his inexperience together sound like a dangerous situation not only for him but other nonsuspecting bystanders..
Can it be done...sure ...but at what price?
Being that you seem to know some about this type of hawk , why not tell us the down side of his possible misfortune...what are issues you've had to work through?
BTW I hope you didn't miss the part about 'she attacks me sometimes.... it will only get worse and once of age ( mature) and territorial attitude kicks in..... Oh Man what fun that will be ~!!
.02
Barry

Jimmy
11-19-2008, 05:57 PM
Not to mention that he's been fooling with this bird for 2 years. Sometimes it's better to just move on. The sad part is he'll end up upgrading in permit having never been as successfull as he should have been.

h-bob
11-19-2008, 06:57 PM
You asked for tidbits of information and opinions, now it is up to you to decide what you are going to do with this bird.

Two things that I would like to point out, firstly, you mentioned letting her eat until she is full when she makes a kill. THIS IS A MISTAKE, let her eat from it definately, but only a little more than her normal daily rations, this way she is ready to hunt again soon. Also, you do not risk her digesting the food too slowly and possibly getting sour crop. Secondly, where I live, we do not have wild take so I had to get a chamber raised RT. I picked it up on July 31st and in the course of a couple months I was dealing with a lot of the issues that you now have. I had a couple advantages though, I had a ton of time and a solid sponsor it took a lot of work and two hospital visits before I got this bird working properly. I am now in my 5th year of falconry, looking back at all the errors I made, even under the supervision of my sponsor, I would say IN MY OPINION ONLY, listen to the advice on this thread and get rid of this bird, trap a nice passage bird and have fun.

russell
11-19-2008, 08:21 PM
I'am going to throw in my two cents, I use to do rehab I had an imprint Red tail that I used for educational programs. She was so calm and would set on my fist with kid's running everywhere. When I got into falconery two years later I thought "I'll just use this bird because she is manned and so calm", boy was I wrong. As soon as I started to bring her weight down she turned into a holly terror, insted of coming to me for food she came at me for food, She saw me as "the food". She would be find one minute, H--- the next. I would take all of the above advice, turn it loose and trap you a bird that will hunt for you, you'll be glade you did.
Ron

areal
11-20-2008, 06:09 AM
I'm currently flying a female Red and its a real pleasure to be able to invite people to come out with me.
My other bird as some of you know is an imprint Ferruginous and he is/does just about everything you and others have described. He doesnt so much recall towards me as AT me and if something goes wrong while hunting he's not above stooping me as if I were prey instead.
He foots, bites, mantles and if he's in a bad mood has no respect or love for any living thing.

I had all the same problems getting him hunting, he would chase stuff and at the last moment either break off the attack or worse, catch it, overpower it and then let it go.
Others have mentioned not letting such an imprint feed up too much on a kill. I can only re-iterate that, I made the same mistake, when he finally did hold on I let him eat as much as he wanted. Next kill he made was a nightmare getting him to trade. Any approach toward him and his kill would result in him coming off the kill straight at my face.
Eventually I resolved some of that agression by throwing lots of food (ferru's can swallow really fast) on the ground at my feet before he had a chance to break into the kill. If he has time to break in before I get there, I dont even bother to try and approach him till he steps off the kill of his own accord with a full crop.

I cant use baggies here, so to get him hunting and holding on to stuff I had to do the following;
Start out just throwing down a rabbit skin, let him "catch" it and as soon as he has hold of it I start ragging it about to simulate a fight with prey. At first he would hold on until the prey stopped fighting, as soon as it went still he would step off with both feet to admire his prize, so as soon as he let go I would rip the rabbit skin out of his reach.
Once I got him grabbing stuff and holding on, I tie the rabbit skin to a 50 meter length of rope, thread it through a ring on a metal spike which I drive into the ground.
I hide the rabbit skin under some cover and with the bird on the fist walk to the other end of the rope and tie it to my right ankle. Now I slowly step backward creating movement in the rabbit skin. As soon as the bird goes for the skin I run in the opposite direction, till he catches it and then again I jab at the rope to simulate the prey struggling.
Once its subdued and he starts to rip at the skin I make in and follow the same procedure I do when he's hunting for real, throw my glove down on the floor next to him and trow food about a meter away where he can clearly see it. When he jumps to the food I hide the skin and go and reposition for another try.
Once I get him chasing and catching stuff the most important rule is not to give him any easy meals. If I cant fly him on a particular day I put all his food down and then walk with him on the fist till he sees it and then let him fly to it.
Feeding him on the fist not only makes him seriously aggressive towards me, it undoes all the work I put into getting him to chase stuff. The next day he will stand on the fist, looking at me and completely blank even easy slips.
Only way to get him hunting again is to start from scratch, get a rabbit skin, make him fly a short distance to catch it, then get the rope and spike out and make him work for the skin.

I imprinted this bird myself because in my opinion, manning a chamber bred Harris doesnt teach you a fraction of what you should know about handling tricky birds. I did it knowing he could turn out completely wrong, even if I didnt know at the time exactly what wrong could mean. He's had me in the face 3 times, he's stuck talons right through my hands and arm, and if he cant get to you with a foot, he'll do you with his beak. But when I compare how easy I find handling the new (bigger more powerful) bird, I'm not one little bit sorry that I did things the way I did.
If you can stick with this bird she will teach you what NOT to do, she will "correct" you (the hard way) every time you do something wrong and on the 1 in 10 times that you do get everything right, the rewards will be without comparison.

Thing is you run a very real risk of getting badly (possibly even permanently) hurt in the process, if I didnt wear glasses the second kick I got in the face could have caught me in the eye (he ripped my glasses off and I had one cut above my eyebrow and another about 5mm below my eye.)
If you feel you have a need to learn to deal with such difficult birds then I would suggest sticking with it and just grin and bear it when things go wrong, but if youre just trying to learn the basics and get out there catching stuff then I would suggest passing the bird to a breeding program or tame hacking it (supplementing its food) until you know its feeding for itself (my ferru can even catch pigeons when he's loose at hack) and then turn it loose and trap a passage bird.
Its simply not an option for me to get rid of this bird where I live, he's a non native imprint who attacks people when he's hungry. If I ever meet someone with ambitions to fly an Eagle but would like to learn with a package that doesnt send you down the emergency room every time you make a mistake I would consider letting them fly him till they feel they are ready to risk more powerful birds.

One final thing, this may be unpleasant/cruel to even contemplate but if youre going to release the bird to the wild, I would consider doing something nasty to the bird before release, simply to try and teach it not to come near humans of its own accord. I have no idea what you could try with a bird, my only experience is with released/relocated Leopards in Africa where they put them in an overall that smells of human sweat and kick the **** out of the animal before releasing it. From then on, when it smells a human, its reminded of the kicking it got the last time it came in contact with them. Yes its cruel, but at the end of the day you are releasing a predator that could potentially turn around and attack a human if it was hungry.

PS: Hats off to you for persevering with an Imprint Red for so long, I've considered it many times and if/when my ferru starts donating semen I'll no doubt go through the same dilemma again, but right now, YOURE A BRAVER MAN THAN I AM, messing about with an imprint redtail.

sevristh
11-20-2008, 07:08 AM
Just for the record, I'd also like to add that I'm not convinced that this bird is an imprint. My passage male RT last year was trapped on Sept. 3rd, but by the start of his second season a couple months ago, he exhibited many of the same signs you have listed here. He would become vocal as I approached (food begging), he would launch at me as I stepped into the mew (again, food related). I think you can chalk both of those things up to improper food handling around the bird, feeding too much from the fist, etc. The blanking on game, as others have said, would tend to be more weight related in my opinion. Or, at worst, could just be the bird being lazy. It's always gotten food before for 'nearly' taking game, so why go the extra mile??

At the end of the day though, let it go. Again, my opinion. If it's able to kill on it's own, you're doing nothing but punishing yourself. You're not able to reap the rewards of falconry in this situation. You're not able to truly determine whether it's the bird, or you that has caused the problems. Get a fresh passage bird and start fresh.

Virg,
I have to also agree that it's not that people on here don't want him to mess with a problem bird. It's the fact that it's attacking him, it can evidently kill on it's own, and it's seemingly a progressively worsening situation for an apprentice falconer. None of these are good things.

Lastly, I would also say that after having done it, releasing your first bird is a good thing. It's hard to do, but if you don't, you might never do it. I think it teaches you to view them with a slightly more detatched frame of mind thereafter and be better suited to tell the bad ones from the good ones shortly after trapping.


If you ain't gettin' this: rtsqrlOr this: (dog)
It just ain't fun!

hawkstir
11-20-2008, 08:51 AM
I've just started catching up on this thread. I have to agree with replacing the bird. It's been said before, but I'll say it again. Not all Birds of Prey make good falconry birds.

virdz
11-20-2008, 08:21 PM
Sorry my mistake, I didnīt realize him being an apprentice and the 2 year period thing, and anyway if you have made all efforts to correct the visciousness without success, then by all means pass on to another bird.
Iīm no RT specialist and had a male imprint which once got my face and actually passed its nails through my cheek, but it was my handling mistake, he caught some squirrels, many rats, a few bunnies and even a domestic pigeon eating on the floor (I was 15 then and without a car, did a lot of suburban hawking) and grabbed my hand once or twice, but that was just about it. I remember he sometimes hit bunnies or squirrels so hard that he would kill them by impact, and donīt remember the passage birds being like that. It is important not to satanize eyass RTs (or any other eyass), some friends from Spain have good experience with them and also with eyass ferruginous although how you imprint and the "a posteriori" handling will have a big effect on the final resolution.
Best regards to all,

Jack
11-25-2008, 12:59 AM
For what it is worth, a brancher will eventually begin to display behaviors exactly like that of an imprint. Beatrice, my female goshawk, was said to be a brancher when taken, but she and I built nests and she laid eggs for me. She acted exactly like an imprint. I have seen a few other birds, several different species that were taken as branchers, and these birds, most of them anyway, acted like imprints. So it is completely possible that this RT might be a brancher.
I agree that it is an otherwise perfectly good hawk, but not so much for falconry. Not for an apprentice anyway. Get shed of her and get yourself a fresh passage hawk before it is too late for this season. Falconry should be fun, and I can pretty much garantee you that this one is not really going to be fun. Not a whole lot of it anyway.
Don't worry about her being able to hunt. They don't normally take rabbits and such anyway. They might live 30 years and never taste rabbit. They feed heavily on mice and voles. It takes no special skills to hunt and take these creatures.

Jack

redtailflyer
11-25-2008, 07:51 PM
I'm trying to trap some bunnies but all I seem to catch is opossums and skunks.You can probably find a rabbit farm nearby that would sell you a rabbit.

threetoe
11-26-2008, 02:19 PM
You can probably find a rabbit farm nearby that would sell you a rabbit.


We tried that but those bunnys just sit. It's no good.
I need wild ones. Thanks for the idea however. I'm setting three traps.

clapp

OK..
So thanks for the thoughts and advise. For the record I've had the bird for a year...not two.
I'm sticking with this bird. I'm very close to a huge victory and WAY to close to quit now. I'm not a quitter. I TOTALLY disagree that when I graduate to General that I'll be a failure. I know several "Masters" who don't know squat compaired to me.

That said..

The other day my "MisPrint" made the hardest, wildest, crazyest and most awesome chase on a Black Tail Jack Rabbit that I've ever seen. She flew over 150 yards in hot pursuit. This is the most powerful chase I've seen by ANY hawk in person. (even the Gos my friend flies)
It was off my glove.
She did her own Gos impression as she flew UPHILL chasing it for the third time. (for a long way) YES...UPHILL for over 20 yards.

On her first try the Jack shook free after she performed a wing-over. She reingaged the massive animal three different times. First after it broke free from her grip, then again down hill where she hit it again, then the Jack turned uphill and she chased it to the top. She missed it but what a chase!!
This bird has heart!! clapp
She'll get there..CONSISTANCY and PATIENCE will pay off in the end.

P.S. Immediatly after her making such a spirited display I pulled a bag cottontail out and let it loose. She IMMEDIATLY crushed it and was rewarded. I did not restrain the bag.

She's getting there.

That said.. I'm not moving.

hawkstir
11-26-2008, 03:36 PM
I'm wondering what type of trap your using. A box type works best for rabbits. The wire type need to have some form of cover over it to make it attractive to rabbits. As if it were in a tunnel of grass or pine boughs.

threetoe
11-26-2008, 10:08 PM
I'm wondering what type of trap your using. A box type works best for rabbits. The wire type need to have some form of cover over it to make it attractive to rabbits. As if it were in a tunnel of grass or pine boughs.

THANKS!! I'll try it.

I haven't put anything on top to make it like a tunnel. They are the wire "Hav-a-hart" type.
Fact is the bunnies seem to flip me the bird. We walked past one of my traps tonight just at dusk after we had set the other two. There were two cottontails within 3 feet of it. :eek: frus

wesleyc6
11-26-2008, 10:27 PM
THANKS!! I'll try it.

I haven't put anything on top to make it like a tunnel. They are the wire "Hav-a-hart" type.
Fact is the bunnies seem to flip me the bird. We walked past one of my traps tonight just at dusk after we had set the other two. There were two cottontails within 3 feet of it. :eek: frus

I catch them in irrigation pipes laying on the ground. Just work the cover around them and they will run in them. Then stand them up and shake them out. Presto!

chamokane
11-26-2008, 11:43 PM
What kind of bait are you using? I've had good luck with apple for rabbits.

robhawkyyz
11-27-2008, 12:23 AM
it all depends on your rabbits and the area they live in. they wont usually get in a trap unless it is placed on one of their paths in some stupid place and you will probably catch something else before you get one yet it still it needs to be consistant where you put it or you need a few more traps and do the same thing. "rabbit pathways"... are hidden under tall grass, briars or where ever they live in your area. for example, set a trap outside of a briar patch and you probably wont get a rabbit. didn't your hawk catch some game last season? if she did she is playin' you, if she did not catch game you have been trainned.