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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

We are now a Raptor Awards International Member

The Hawk Board of the UK is now implementing the Raptor-Awards program.  This is an international development course is for aspiring falconers and anyone who works with raptors.   We are happy to announce that we are now their first International Member.   www.raptorawards.co.uk.  It will cover all aspects of raptor housing, husbandry, biology, management and training.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Bathpan and water management for raptors

That raptors require little water is a big lie in old falconry texts  My raptors enjoy a fresh clean bath pan and jump right in it when offered.  The Harris hawks especially love to bathe between shows.  I also offer them water during flights on the T post. I put a short cup held with velcro (4 inches) high on the T post and the willingly come in and take a drink during hot flying sessions.  Especially on abatement work where they need to be up in nearly all day long.

Now to bath pans.  I keep a special cheap, 'swishy' broom for cleaning the gunk out of the pans.  Once a week or so I bleach them (not to often, for bleach makes plastics brittle).  Just enough to break the 'slime'.  Hydrogen peroxide is gentler for this too.

We have 'limey' water so I get lime build up in the pans.  So I took time to really clean them today:
Took time to clean, I mean REALLY clean my bath pans. Had some lime/scuz buildup that scrubbing would not remove. So, out came the Lysol Toilet Bowl cleaner that removes lime and rust. Let it set for a few minutes, then swished with the broom and let it sit again (7 large bath pans here). One was extra stubborn and required a scouring with a stainless scrubber to get that stuck on lime out. But now they all new fresh and new after this. I have heavy duty bath pans at home that are from Lowes. They are the round 'goldfish pool' ones. Lightweight with rim but very durable in the intense Florida sun. 
Shop maccourt 9-gallon black high density polyethylene pond liner in the pond liners section of Lowes.com.
LOWES.COM

Monday, June 27, 2016

Falconry and raptor encounters at Bienville Plantation: http://bienville.com/raptor-encounters/

Eleven thousand acres of managed wildlife habitat.  Lodging, meals and a complete luxury experience await you.  http://bienville.com/raptor-encounters.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Bienville Plantation

We are teaming up with Bienville Plantation to offer our courses, workshops and classes.  This is eleven thousand acres of managed wildlife habitat.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gt9x0usw86d72h1/FalconryRegistrationForm2016A.docx?dl=0

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter/fall is course time in Florida

The weather is perfect for a falconry introduction.   The cool fall like weather in North Florida is perfect for the hawks to be responsive and comfortable.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hide boxes for owls and other raptors

I provide my owls with a hide box during the day for presentations.  The owls are visible to the public, yet they are comfortable, because they can hide and look out.  The comments from the public for this has always been positive.  They can see the owls, yet the owls are not stressed by being in view.

The hide boxes are two plastic flower pots, a PVC perch covered with astroturf.  I cut an arch in each flower pot with game shears.   I then sand the rough edges.  I put the PVC perch in the middle (with caps on the end) for the owls to perch on.  I then paint the exterior with plastic paint in camo colors.  I use local leaves and ferns as stencils to make the boxes appear more 'woodsy'.   I also put a heavy rock or brick at the base to stop the boxes from tipping easily.

Materials list:  Pair of matched plastic flower pots,  PVC pipe, (I use 1 inch inside diamter).  Flat caps for end of PVC.  Camo plastic paint, screws, astroturf.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Soft lure vs hard lure





Here are photos of the lure system I use for all of the birds I fly. Note the 'sliding' system for fastening the meat to the lure line. It consists of two cable ties (I chose red) and the food fastens on the cord.  In June of 2011. I have just started training a male wild                                                                                   peregrine that is am educational  bird.  He definately likes the lure.   I left him by himself one afternoon with one of the lures next to him. He started playing with an picking at the red part of the tuna tails.  So, I'm convinced (as the late Jack Postlewaite noted) that lure color DOES make a difference in interest and response.