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    Default Ringing flights through O/C

    Quote Originally Posted by barbedraptor View Post
    I use shaping and chaining techniques for all my falconry training. I used to think that the Kings, Queens, and Emperors flights were the hardest to train. By using these techniques any falcon can be taught to mount or ring its quarry (houbara, crane, heron, crow, seagull, and skylark) with simple backyard training!
    I, and indeed others would appreciate your starting a thread on this.

    All of my ringing flights have very much been dictated by fitness, geography, point of slip and most important... limited quarry!
    obviously made possible with some basic target recognition training,
    I would love to hear more about what your comment alluded too.
    Marcus Lloyd-Parker

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    Default ringing flights

    Let me organize my thoughts and post details tomorrow. Tonight I just want to set the stage. How to Teach Animals by Skinner in the 1951 December Scientific America and The Art of Falconry by Fredrick II tell most of the story. I simply teach the falcon to put quarry to ground. Merlins will loss their quarry in prairie dog holes or cover most of the time. But of course they are rewarded for ringing high beside their quarry and forcing it to stoop to cover. More about training technique tomorrow. Jim Fustos
    Jim Fustos

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    Default Ringing flights

    Ringing Flights-- Falcons can physically easily out fly all the traditionally pursued quarry such as houbara, crane, heron, crow, rook, seagull and skylark. It is the falconer's job to completely WED the falcon to the quarry and HABITUATE the desired flight. When chaining behaviors together remember to train and shape the last behavior first. Training Sequence: 1. Thoroughly wed falcon to quarry. Merlin plucks and eats about 10 dead English sparrows. 2. Whistle(CR) means fly back to fist. Train falcon to come to fist for food. 3. Habituate mini flights "to ground" in the backyard. Emperor Fredrick II used shaping and chaining techniques 750 years ago. Many teaching methods have hidden built-in CR's present in them. But now we know to make them obvious and instant. You can probably think of better backyard "to ground" methods then I have. Here are 3 of mine. 3 Mini Training Flights: I. Merlin-- Tie dead English sparrow lure to a circular string that runs through a 2 inch diameter PVC pipe. Stand about 10 feet away from the lure, unhood merlin, twitch lure, merlin catches lure, transfer to fist meal and feed up. Fast Forward: the next day merlin chases lure as you pull it into the pipe "to ground" and loses it. After each "to ground" whistle(CR), falcon flies to fist, pull lure out of pipe and she chases it again. Do 3 to 5 "to ground" each day for about 20 days. That is over 60 "to grounds". I will finish post tomorrow.
    Jim Fustos

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    II. Crow Hawking(mini): Using a dead frozen crow lure, suspend it about 10 feet off the ground. From about 100 feet away unhood the falcon and let her fly and bind to the frozen lure. Whistle(CR) and lower the falcon and lure to the ground. The falcon gives up the frozen lure and flies to the fist for food. Hood her and do it again. Do 3 to 5 "to ground" for 10 days. That is over 30 "to ground". III. Continue Backyard Training: Have an assistant twirl the frozen crow lure as you unhood the falcon from about 300 feet away. The assistant stoops the falcon once to the lure and then hides it under her coat. Whistle(CR) and have the falcon fly back to the fist for a tidbit. Hood and do again 3 to 5 times per session/day for about 10 days. Now the crow falcon has experienced over a total of 60 "to ground" trials. 4. Exercise: The merlin is trained in the morning and stooped to lure or jump-ups in the evening. Every third training day the crow falcon is stooped to the tennis ball lure up to 100 times or 100 to 200 jump-ups. 5. Crow falcon--Fly progressively able bagged game for about 6 more days with only 1 catch per day. Merlin--Is it E.B. Michell's hawking book or Mavrogato's or Lascelles' that says to first hunt molting adults because they don't ring and just fly to thicker cover? Whistle(CR) each put in "to ground" and feed up. After about 10 "to ground" go fly the ringing singing young of the year with your clumsy unhacked merlin. Using the CR is key. Jim Fustos
    Jim Fustos

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbedraptor View Post
    Ringing Flights-- Falcons can physically easily out fly all the traditionally pursued quarry such as houbara, crane, heron, crow, rook, seagull and skylark. It is the falconer's job to completely WED the falcon to the quarry and HABITUATE the desired flight. When chaining behaviors together remember to train and shape the last behavior first. Training Sequence: 1. Thoroughly wed falcon to quarry. Merlin plucks and eats about 10 dead English sparrows. 2. Whistle(CR) means fly back to fist. Train falcon to come to fist for food. 3. Habituate mini flights "to ground" in the backyard. Emperor Fredrick II used shaping and chaining techniques 750 years ago. Many teaching methods have hidden built-in CR's present in them. But now we know to make them obvious and instant. You can probably think of better backyard "to ground" methods then I have. Here are 3 of mine. 3 Mini Training Flights: I. Merlin-- Tie dead English sparrow lure to a circular string that runs through a 2 inch diameter PVC pipe. Stand about 10 feet away from the lure, unhood merlin, twitch lure, merlin catches lure, transfer to fist meal and feed up. Fast Forward: the next day merlin chases lure as you pull it into the pipe "to ground" and loses it. After each "to ground" whistle(CR), falcon flies to fist, pull lure out of pipe and she chases it again. Do 3 to 5 "to ground" each day for about 20 days. That is over 60 "to grounds". I will finish post tomorrow.

    Dear Jim,

    it's always fascinating to see different ideas put forward, as it is with yours, but I'm perhaps a little old fashioned and I don't really understand what some of the modern terms mean, even though I might well be doing some of what they're describing, and I often find myself wondering about the thinking behind them.
    One thing that seems common to many new 'training methods', is that they take an awful lot longer than more traditional methods, and rarely produce as good a hawk.
    The 20 days devoted to 'to ground' training, in my experience, is more than enough time to enter a merlin, and achieve the most spectacular ringing flights.
    There's nothing especially clever or complicated about it (assuming the falconer manages his hawk well), but it requires an appropriate quarry, and suitably open ground.

    For any falcon to show good ringing flights at a well matched quarry, nothing is more important than confidence.
    With the right mental attitude, borne of good management and success at increasingly difficult slips, the best flights are possible. If that attitude is missing, and the hawk doubts her abilities, the spiral is more likely to be downwards rather than upwards.

    I wish you well in your quest,

    Tony.

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    Well stated Tony!
    Allen Gardner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunner View Post
    Well stated Tony!
    Thanks Allen,

    although I must say I'm feeling slightly embarrassed at sounding like an old grump!

    Best wishes,

    Tony.

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    Jim, I'm thoroughly enjoying this thread, please continue. It gives me some great new ideas for training. I do find the posts a bit difficult to follow in some spots, I'm assuming you are jumping back and forth between two birds here, so it seems?

    Are these birds you are currently working on, or is everything past tense?
    -Oliver Connor
    "Live a life uncommon."

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    Sorry about the back and forth. The hiding the dead lure in the PVC pipe works so easily for the merlins that I wanted to show how that is done. I used the mini backyard frozen lure stuff for bigger quarry. Seagulls and crows training during pest bird abatement. I could call off (CR whistle) the falcons after one or two or three stoops after they had ringed the seagull keeping them from killing or binding and bringing them to ground so they wouldn't get killed by the local bald eagles or resident redtails. The training sequence just explains how to shape each stage of the entering to the ringing flight. Habituating the falcons to chasing their quarry to ground is what I wanted to explain. It is quit simple. Jim Fustos
    Jim Fustos

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    That makes sense, thanks~!
    -Oliver Connor
    "Live a life uncommon."

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    The beauty of the CR allows you to train a behavior that is not usually common in the wild. Merlins don't ring quarry in the wild because the quarry just gets away in the bushes most of the time. So to be able to CR and reward rare behavior enables you to practice that particular style flight. Example: I remember the article of the passage ferruginous hawk that quit flying jack rabbits after several days of coming up empty. All you would of needed to do is CR the misses until the hawk started to catch them regularly. The CR and reward would have encouraged those long beauty flights until the hawk learned how to finish them.
    Jim Fustos

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbedraptor View Post
    The beauty of the CR allows you to train a behavior that is not usually common in the wild. Merlins don't ring quarry in the wild because the quarry just gets away in the bushes most of the time. So to be able to CR and reward rare behavior enables you to practice that particular style flight. Example: I remember the article of the passage ferruginous hawk that quit flying jack rabbits after several days of coming up empty. All you would of needed to do is CR the misses until the hawk started to catch them regularly. The CR and reward would have encouraged those long beauty flights until the hawk learned how to finish them.
    Wild Merlins of all races do ring quarry until the energy efficient & survival learning curve kicks in..

    Motivation is offset by more efficient survival techniques.

    Ringing flights are only possible for as long as the bird over flows with confidence, fitness and easier opportunities are not present.

    What you describe is quite similar to how I train game falcons to be in a position of dominance, and is not how I would shape the necessary mind set for ringing pursuit.

    A ringing flight is a very natural behaviour, as is the willingness for the bird to continue to do it..

    The longevity of this style of hawking is down to the falconer and his skills in preventing the natural progression to more efficient techniques as seen in wild birds.. (hence your suggestion that wild birds DONT ring) they probably did, but learnt that such a high level of input both draws attention and is less effective than sneak attacks at low level

    In the case of the Passage Ferru, I would suggest that additional disheartening factors took the bird away from its natural confidence and ceased the desired behaviour.. to maintain the positive motivation of ALMOST all other elements must be in place.

    I've had birds try incredibly hard all season to catch things they have never caught or eaten before..
    For this you need to work birds in a mind category that does not pressure them in to coming up with a solution fast to better their situation.
    Effectively the bird is suspended in a serious play mode..


    The natural learning of birds is simple, but is based on multiple aspects..
    its influenced by confidence, fitness and recognition of suitable opportunities.
    Marcus Lloyd-Parker

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    I can't overstate the fact of the dead lure and PVC pipe with 60 "to ground" trials accomplishes the exact mindset for the merlin that you describe. Besides ringing flights my unhacked eyass merlins easily force small flocks (5 to 20) of English Sparrows, starlings or wild pigeons out of the air and into the ground. The setups are very similar to the classic rook hawking into the wind. The pigeon flights are just setup at their roosting and nesting sites at bridges or buildings. Pigeons aren't very afraid of a young merlin until about the third shallow stoop at the high circling flock and then a young bird will be picked out and forced out of the air into the ground. Beware that gyrfalcons, prairie falcons, redtails and great horned owls like to kill and eat the merlin on quarry. Jim Fustos
    Jim Fustos

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    Correct, you are just reinforcing approximations at that point. If the individual cannot perform the entire behavior, you have to reward the approximations to the end result.
    -Oliver Connor
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    I'm more than a little confused here Jim, maybe it's just me. How does training a bird to go from your fist to the dead sparrow lure on the ground /into the PVC pipe, transition to a bird that will energetically pursue ringing flights? The two behaviors aren't similar at all.
    Ray Gilbertson-Montana

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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon56 View Post
    The two behaviors aren't similar at all.
    I wonder if it might boil down to the personal interpretation of what a ringing flight actually is.. and what is required to maintain that behaviour?

    I have to admit to reading his post & often skipping a lot of it as indigestible binary code.
    Maybe its just me but the approach seems both over complicated without much explanation.. and certainly not much runs parallel to natural behaviour shaping
    And I would consider myself one of the more complicated types & still didn't take much of it in.
    Marcus Lloyd-Parker

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    Marcus,
    My interpretation of a ringing flight is a merlin pursuing quarry, whether starlings, horned larks, pigeons or whatever, up high in an attempt to get in a superior position above the quarry, then either stooping to the ground on the tail of the prey, slashing thru the flock to separate a "weaker hearted" individual and binding to it, or just following the prey up and snagging it out of the air.
    Ray Gilbertson-Montana

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by falcon56 View Post
    Marcus,
    My interpretation of a ringing flight is a merlin pursuing quarry, whether starlings, horned larks, pigeons or whatever, up high in an attempt to get in a superior position above the quarry, then either stooping to the ground on the tail of the prey, slashing thru the flock to separate a "weaker hearted" individual and binding to it, or just following the prey up and snagging it out of the air.
    Whew!! I was hoping things hadn't changed! Ringing is ringing is ringing! With the edge going to the larks.
    Allen Gardner

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunner View Post


    Whew!! I was hoping things hadn't changed! Ringing is ringing is ringing! With the edge going to the larks.
    Glad you chimed in here Al. Just to set the record straight, explain to us how easy and lazy the ringing flights you and Szabo and Snider were having with those eyass merlins back in the 70's. Maybe things have changed!
    Ray Gilbertson-Montana

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    I remember Jim Fustos had posted this to the Hawk-l list server and I had copied
    and saved it on my hard drive, it had a date of May 1999. Maybe this sheds a little
    more light on his method. Sorry it's not formatted better.


    How to Teach an Unhacked Eyas Merlin To Ring Birds
    by Jimmy Fustos

    It has long been assumed that to teach merlins to ring birds out of
    sight took exceptional falcons and careful entering. The falcons had to be
    hacked for up to three weeks to become strong flyers and exceptional
    footers. They had to be carefully entered and trained in a precise gradual
    manner with no mistakes, and even then many didn't make the grade because
    they started to bag-off their quarry. That was one way. I will describe another
    way that will enliven an unhacked clumsy eyas to easily ring birds out of sight
    using shaping and chaining techniques.

    After flying merlins for over six years with some successes, some
    failures and always confusion, I started applying shaping techniques. While
    analyzing ringing flights I heard an offhand comment from an English
    falconer and it all became clear. The English falconer reminded me of an
    overlooked important point: That eyas merlins rarely catch their quarry in
    the air, it usually is caught on the ground. It was that step in the
    chaining process that I needed to focus on. All I needed was to shape my
    merlins to put quarry to ground. It didn't take incredible stamina, extreme
    confidence or haggard style footing to force ringing quarry to the ground.
    A young eyas with little flying experience can mount up as fast
    as the smaller quarry because of their weight and wing-loading
    differences. Once the naive eyas learns that all she needs to do is force
    the quarry to ground she rings rather lazily as if she can take the time to
    manicure her talons on the way up. The rudiments of forcing quarry to
    ground is what I can teach her in the backyard before she is even
    hard-pinned.
    The backyard training apparatus consists of two one foot long,
    two inch diameter plastic pipes laid on the ground about six feet apart.
    Secure the pipes so they won't move because they act as a safe refuge for
    the sparrows. A nylon string is put through the two pipes and the two ends
    are tied together. On the string between the two pipes I attach an English
    sparrow with a string harness attached to its wings. I can stand about ten
    feet away from the pipes and move the sparrow between them by pulling the
    string either way. Block off one end of both pipes, so it is dark inside the
    pipes and the sparrow can't be accidentally pulled out of the back end.
    To condition the eyas there are three main behaviors I need to
    shape to specific objectives. First, she needs to learn to put the same
    bird repeatedly into cover during several reflushes. Secondly, she needs to
    learn to stay on "point" (stay near the put in and hiding quarry) for three
    minutes until I call her to the fist for a reflush. Three minutes is just
    an estimated appropriate length of time based on my field experience. Later
    in the field she may put quarry in several hundred feet away and she needs
    to "point" the quarry until I am able to run up there. It she would leave
    the place before I am close enough to identify the exact hiding place, we
    may lose the quarry. Landmarks are hard to pick out on the monotonous
    prairie. Thirdly, she needs to learn to ride the fist for five minutes
    waiting for a flush. Later in the field she may be shaped to ride on the
    fist for a much longer time before a flush.
    In chaining behaviors together, start teaching the last thing that
    happens in the flight first, working backwards.
    Teaching sequence:
    A. Merlin eats sparrow.
    B. Merlin launched from fist and captures sparrow.
    C. Merlin comes to fist only on command.
    D. Merlin launches from fist and forces quarry to cover(pipe).
    E. Repeat C and D three times.
    F. Merlin comes to fist only on command.
    G. Merlin "points" to hiding place for three minutes.
    H. Merlin launches from the fist and puts quarry into pipe the first
    time.
    I. Merlin rides on fist for five minutes before first flush(being pulled
    out of a pipe).
    J. Take off hood.
    K. Beginning
    I did two training sessions a day, one in the morning and one in
    the evening. Chain the behaviors together by adding each new behavior after
    the previous one is mastered. Reaching the goal behaviors will take less
    than a week, but don't rush it, the merlin needs several dozen put ins on
    the harnessed sparrow to reinforce that behavior.
    A. Before backyard training begins she has eaten several whole
    sparrows. I condition her with anti-carrying strategies used for Accipiters
    (McElroy,1977). I walk up and around the feeding eyas. At this time I also
    condition her to the use of the quarry stick, a proven several hundred year
    old anti-carrying technique. It is a 2 and 1/2 feet long 1/2 inch diameter
    dowel with a blunted 3/4 inch nail sticking out of the side of one end. I
    secure a freshly caught quarry by rolling the nail into the body of the dead
    bird from a "safe" distance of about three feet away.
    A&B Easy.
    AB&C Don't tidbit the merlin when she comes to the fist. Shape
    her to learn she only gets the sparrow flushed when she comes to a signal
    (whistle) to ride on the fist.
    ABC&D Easy
    ABCD&E Easy. The merlin may start coming to the fist before the
    come whistle is sounded. This is a bad behavior and should never be
    reinforced I make sure I only continue the reflushes when she comes to the
    fist only on command.
    ABCDE&F Easy, nothing new, go to G&H
    ABCDEFGH Shape "pointing" on all put-ins now. Shape the length of
    the "point" from, let's say, 15 seconds to three minutes by 30 second
    intervals. After each intermediate objective is reached about 50% of the
    trials start shaping the next intermediate objective until the goal
    objective of three minutes is reached. Once she will "point" the first
    put-in for three minutes, the reflushes can be made with very short
    "pointing" times.
    ABCDEFGHI During the whole teaching sequence I have been
    inadvertently shaping riding on the fist for longer periods.
    The eyas may be doing five minutes already. If not, shape riding on the
    fist at this time. One merlin became so wedded to the fist that once she
    did catch a bird in the air she flew back to the fist to eat.
    All objectives are met. She will ride on the fist for five
    minutes, point the first put-in for 3 minutes and try hard on 3 reflushes.
    Let's go
    hawking. I hunted my merlins in the cool quiet mornings of August and
    September. In the evenings I stooped them to the lure in my backyard.
    Fly molting adults or young quarry that can barely fly in places
    with good cover to entice the quarry to put-in. I fly the merlin with a
    transmitter on one leg and a bell on the other leg to deliberately hinder
    her from footing the quarry in the air. I want 2 or 3 reflushes before the
    quarry is captured. Often after several reflushes the falcon and quarry
    will be found sitting on the ground a couple of feet apart, panting. When
    the quarry is forced to ground after the first ringing effort it becomes
    intimidated and usually never tries to ring again, but only flies a short
    distance looking for better cover. If the quarry escapes for good, such as
    down a prairie dog burrow, reward the eyas with a dead sparrow pulled out of
    the hole. She will be wedded to her quarry after taking about 7 head in 7
    days and can now be taken to open ground to hunt high flying young of the
    year.
    It is stormy when I release the clumsy eyas on a huge flock of autumn
    birds. They all ring up out of sight of 7x binoculars and birds start
    raining down on me. The quarry is stooping down to nearby bushes or holes
    desperately searching for cover. It sobers me to realize that the
    individual organism has only a brief glorious existence.
    To understand some of the directions on shaping and chaining
    techniques study "How to Teach Animals" by B.F. Skinner from Scientific
    America, Dec.1951, pp26-29.
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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    That article is from California Hawking, Vol. 21, #3, Dec. 1991. The funny thing is that it took me about 20 years to realize that it worked for all King's flights (heron, crane, rook) also. I want to highlight two important teaching tools. Remember when chaining different parts of the overall behavior together, start by shaping the last behavior in the sequence first. When bridging those behaviors together use distinctly different CR's for shaping each different behavior. Later each CR can be paired with a sign or signal that means that behavior is completed and the next one needs to be done. An instant use of the CR is the magic teaching tool. Many falconry books fail to teach the sequences backward. Now I just take every observed or read about behavior and put it in the operant conditioning model for clarity and ease of replicating the behaviors. My claim to fame is that I can teach a tired crying baby to go to sleep by themselves and I can potty train a 2 year old in half a day( It is a book by two of Skinner's students). Jim Fustos
    Jim Fustos

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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon56 View Post
    Marcus,
    My interpretation of a ringing flight
    Is the same as mine

    The question was directed at Jim to see if we are all following the same picture.
    Marcus Lloyd-Parker

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    I found after years of failures and a few successes I needed to put the ringing flight into a teaching model. It turned out shaping the "to ground" behavior to a high repeatable rate was all that was required of what I thought was complicated behaviors. The merlin easily and lazily will ring quarry up into the sky out of sight of the naked eye. It doesn't get any easier than that.
    Jim Fustos

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbedraptor View Post
    I found after years of failures and a few successes I needed to put the ringing flight into a teaching model. It turned out shaping the "to ground" behavior to a high repeatable rate was all that was required of what I thought was complicated behaviors. The merlin easily and lazily will ring quarry up into the sky out of sight of the naked eye. It doesn't get any easier than that.
    uh?
    -Jeff
    "You live more for five minutes going fast on a bike like that, than other people do in all of their life." --Marco Simoncelli

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    Quote Originally Posted by barbedraptor View Post
    I found after years of failures and a few successes I needed to put the ringing flight into a teaching model. It turned out shaping the "to ground" behavior to a high repeatable rate was all that was required of what I thought was complicated behaviors. The merlin easily and lazily will ring quarry up into the sky out of sight of the naked eye. It doesn't get any easier than that.
    I don't know what you've experienced with ringing flights, but there is nothing easy or lazy when it comes to a focused merlin ringing quarry up out of sight, if the merlin was lazy, it would be left in the dust and never be successful.
    Ray Gilbertson-Montana

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    In America, haggard merlins do ring quarry as part of their repertoire. Furthermore, as Ray points out- many catches are made in the air during ringing flights, either at a high pitch or on the way down as both are stooping back to the ground. That is true for wild merlins as well as falconry birds.

    My experiences with eyas merlins and high ringing flights in open country do not jive with what Jim is saying. Young merlins pursuing that quarry will engage in high ringing flights within a few attempts, naturally, without any "training". The young merlins have to be flying hard and learning how to foot that quarry very early in the year - and if they are going to be successful, they have to develop in lock-step with the quarry as it becomes tougher by the day in early fall (youngsters maturing and adults becoming full-summed in their flight feathers). Taking that much time (any time for that matter) away from actually flying at quarry at that time of year will put the young merlin behind, developmentally, and the game will be up. That's my experience anyway. Of course I am talking about house sparrows out in the open desert grasslands.

    But who knows, I'm not much of a bird trainer in any respect.
    Tanner

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    To Audry's original post - Audry if you find your kestrel hood shy, you can try putting a small piece of meat on the tip of your pinky finger. Put that through the beak opening of the hood so your finger tip and the meat are inside the hood. When she reaches forward and takes the meat, slip the hood on. That makes a no-brainer out of a dodgy small bird that isn't too enthusiastic about the hood.
    Tanner

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    Alrighty then.
    Tanner

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    My brain now hurts..... not sure if it's the complicated dialog or the margaritas I'm drinking lol! I have found that if a merlin is reluctant to ring up with said quarry then teaching it to wait on is the answer. I have had a nice jack reluctant to ring up said quarry from the fist. I backed up a bit and over the course of 5 day had him waiting around d 500 feet. When said quarry was flushed he completely dominated them at this point. His throw ups were epic and the quarry lost its mind due to his complete dominance of the flight. I will be trying this again with a couple of new jacks this next season. It's natural for merlins to ring however they know when they are out matched physically. The advantage of height from a waiting on post on gives them all the confidence they need to ring up and dominant their quarry.
    Jeremy Roselle

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Montana
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    Double "uh".
    Ray Gilbertson-Montana

  31. #31
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    Athens
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    For me the maths don't add up.
    Lets examine the learning curve and its partnership with the motivation to happily apply a work load %

    Juvenile birds already have the workload set far beyond the fitness level..

    Its only when they hit the fitness boundary does the bird recalculate itself.. the onset of the economic learning curve.. natural learning of tactics..

    Thus... the need to Teach a bird to ring is redundant.. yet the need to provide sufficient fitness is essential to subdue the onset of learning (combined with suitable slips & an absence of easier targets)

    I Personally have rung game off the fist with a captive bred hack penned falcon with little more than a few out the hood exorcises to a dragged lure..
    The fitness retained from the hack pen was sufficient enough to back up the target recognition and the bird continued all the while it had power..

    The ringing flight is entirely down to the terrain, and if game is caught on the ground or attempting to enter cover you have entirely failed at achieving a traditional ringing flight..


    I fail to believe that your ringing flights represent the traditional meaning of the term
    Marcus Lloyd-Parker

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Nampa, Idaho
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    The two main obstacles for encouraging a ringing flight are: 1. quarry goes to cover and doesn't get caught. The CR "to ground" solves that problem. 2. Ringing quarry often employ flying at the clumsy merlin and zigzagging around them causing the merlin to stall out as it is trying to grab the quarry. After several of these failed grabs the merlin sets her wings and bags off the flight rejected and tired. After several days of this the merlin doesn't even hunt that species anymore. I site this observation because I don't know why or how my "to ground" trained merlins never get sucked into that tactic, they just ring up as high as it takes for the quarry to get nervous, panic and stoop to the ground.
    Jim Fustos

  33. #33
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    Jan 2013
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    Nampa, Idaho
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    The classic King's flight is an attack on quarry on passage. So the key to the set up is to release your falcon from down wind of the quarry who is flying to a distant destination over open ground. A classic starling set up: I find a group of about 10 starlings sitting about 60 feet up in a lone tree with farmyard cover about 1000 feet up wind of the tree over a bare field. I drive to a position about 500 feet straight down wind of the tree, get out and unhood the merlin. The starlings recognize the merlin and take off into the light breeze heading toward the farmyard. About 600 feet passed the tree and 100 feet off the ground the merlin catches up to the small group. They panic and split up (each starling for itself) or as they say "9 of them just have to fly a little faster than the 10th one".
    Jim Fustos

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
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    I think what Tony said was right as well, as there are many ways to train. They always say the only things two trainers can agree on, is what the third is doing wrong.

    As Tony stated, with his methods there are a lot of what seem to be, requirements. Appropriate quarry, suitable open ground, confidence, mental attitude, born of good management, success at difficult slips, and so on, are all necessary for a individual to certain things on it's own accord, and do it well. I think the reasoning behind some of the new methods is trying to take any individual and do the same thing, even if it is lacking some or all of those things.
    -Oliver Connor
    "Live a life uncommon."

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Athens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandragen View Post
    I think the reasoning behind some of the new methods is trying to take any individual and do the same thing, even if it is lacking some or all of those things.
    The problem with theses so termed "new methods" is that they are not new, but they are suggested by people who might be "new" to falconry or at least do not have a grasp of its many different styles.

    Thus the interpretation of the relevance is lost to those who are already great falconers, and will quickly see through the science & write the whole lot off as garbage.

    The fault is not in the modern approach, but in the connection between it and those that can apply it species specifically..

    I think a lot of these dead ends come from the geeks trying to apply the science in a broad spectrum fashion.. in some cases to try & fit in to groups when they lack any real hands on.
    Marcus Lloyd-Parker

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