View Full Version : Operant Conditioning a Coops to Hood and Retrieve

12-29-2008, 09:49 PM
I am opening a new thread to ask advice about training "Bullet". Bullet is a tame-hacked imprint tiercel western coops. He flys at 260 grams. He caught 80 assorted small birds and over 40 "preserve" quail over pointing dogs before I put him up for a forced molt. He has been a great bird...tame as a Harris.
We had no aggression issues. He did carry a couple of times, but he instantly brought the kill to the lure for a trade off when presented. I plan to translate this into him bringing his kill to the fist sometime this season. I hope to have him ready to fly when the birds migrate back in late this spring.

I have only been calling this bird to the lure. He has Zero glove/food
association. I trade off his kills to the lure. I would like to be
able to hood train this bird. There are times when it would be very
advantageous to hood him until a dog went on point. Especially as we
will begin attempting some woodcock this next fall. I am new to OC
techniques. I have used some OC techniques to shape puppy behavior,
but I am no expert. I have searched this forum and can't find a good explanation or layout of hood training an imprint accipiter and the
best method of offering the reward.

Can anyone offer advice on:

1) Using operant conditioning techniques to hood train a cooper's hawk?
2) Using operant conditioning (or other techniques) to train a cooper's hawk to retrieve his small bird kills to the fist

12-29-2008, 10:12 PM
Hi Jeff,

Yes to both of your questions, join this yahoo group and ask there - it's strictly for OPC with raptors.


12-29-2008, 10:16 PM
I joined the forum and have posted there. I wasn't sure how active the OPC forum was so I posted here as well...

12-30-2008, 12:13 AM
Anybody know if there's a way to get ahold of the videos Steve Layman made?

01-02-2009, 01:14 PM
Hi I am interested in what you are going to do. My imprint gos was sent back to basic training for a month and now we are getting ready to go back to the field. I have been using OC to get past a couple of hurdles where I took shortcuts in training. I really think that hood training an accipiter with OC will be easy. Just get that food association going and don't rush the popping it on the head. I watched some videos of Mongolian falconers and they seemed to sneak it on their eagles. I have been working with my gos and the transmitter. I got so tired of repeated attempts to get it on or resorting to bribing with a wing or tiring. Interesting how these guys train us if we are not careful. One hint, use a video camera of your efforts. It's amazing what you see.

01-02-2009, 01:26 PM
Salugi wiil come to your house and get you going with OC...he charges $1,000.00 per day plus expenses:D Just kidding!!! You should get on that Yahoo list that Paul mentioned.....Tim