Monday, September 22, 2008

News

Sorry for light posting. Still haven't found the bird. Realistically I am not sure what to expect. Of the longwings I have flown in the last 15 years or so, all but one were out at least overnight, and all but one of those eventually returned. Also, in one of the more notorious cases in the southwest, a peregrine- prairie tiercel from Arizona stayed out two years and was recaptured, and became an even better bird!

But the situation still has me a bit down. A breeder friend has offered me a similar bird but my feelings are mixed. Somehow it seems funny to try the same thing twice in a row (disloyal?!) Also these hybrids are both big- going and personable hawks, which means they are both easier to lose and it hurts more if you do. I am also considering trapping a hawk rather than a falcon-- Cooper's, redtail. They do work a lot closer. Any thoughts?

It has been that kind of month. I also tried to operate on an injured pigeon, an important breeder. She survived the first one well, but burst some of her stitches so I had to do her up again. Then she developed "sour crop". I thought I cured that but went out one morning (on the way to search for the hawk) and found her dead.

Then one night, as I was nodding off from exhaustion from this and work (more below), the dogs went berserk in the back yard. I went out dressed only in my jeans to find a huge black cat in the pigeon loft. I chased it around, knocking pigeons sideways in the dark (no yard lights, just my Maglite) until it shot up vertically into the "trap", the cage on the roof pigeons enter through. I locked it from the bottom and went back for shoes and my .410. I returned with Libby and the gun. The tazis were leaping up the walls of the loft like coonhounds on a tree-- I thought that Lashyn would achieve the roof-- howling and baying. Little Larissa just stood and howled like a coyote. When I climbed on the roof I opened the trap with my left hand, holding the gun with my right.

The cat slipped out and vanished like smoke, too quickly for me to even swing the gun. I guess black cats and clouded black nights mix well. Even the dogs didn't help. I hope for everyone's sake he doesn't come back.

Meanwhile...

I finished two more chapters for the book I have been negotiating about since April, bringing the total wordage (without compensation of course) to 14,500. That one I actually have some hope for. The other, the one I spent most of last year on, just got rejected for being too international in scope (previous rejection? "Too American.")

I NEED TO GET AWAY FROM COMPUTERS!

I had hoped to be hawking but just chasing a rabbit with the hounds or shooting a dove with the hammergun or even walking up to the crest of the Magdalenas will be just fine. I hope to return refreshed.

7 comments:

mdmnm said...

Good luck on the lost bird. Time out tramping in the early fall weather will no doubt help with the rest.

Matt Mullenix said...

Did you give the goshawk back?

Max Inclined said...

Sorry to hear you haven't found the falcon yet. If you want a bird you're not too likely to lose -- a RT. No surprises there. But if it was me I would try the Coops :)

Nagrom said...

Best of luck with the bird - thats got to be tough.
This is the time of year when a lot of us start going mad from our daily efforts and failures, and just need to get out. Fortunately, it is the perfect time for satisfying such madness with just that.

Rebecca K. O'Connor said...

Holy cow, what a time. I do hope the falcon turns up. I'll be thinking good thoughts.

cpbvk said...

Sorry to hear that you haven't found your bird. I hope you get her back. I love flying Cooper's Hawks because of their versatility and because the austringer is so much more of a participant than with a big longwing. One of these years I want to import a CB Aplomado Falcon, which I think would be a spectacular compromise between the two. Whaddya think of that?

Steve Bodio said...

Matt- I passed on the Gos because I wasn't sure I had enough time. Now I think I should have waited.

Max-- if I can get one I incline toward the Coop too.

Nagrom-- agree entirely!

Carel-- I have two friends with breeding or about to- be breeding Aplos, one nearby, one down in El Paso. I am eager to try one too, and I think you would too. (the El P breeder also has Red- headed falcons!)