Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Year's Hawking

I want to thank Isaac Nichols, my neighbor and proprietor of Another Falconry Blog, and his colleagues of the Colorado Hawking Club for letting Connie and me come along with them on New Year's Day. Though I've been hanging out with this crowd for the last three years or so, this was my first time out to watch the birds hunt.

We met at an office park outside of Boulder, and got set up to let three female Harris hawks (Roxane, Lolita and MJ) go to work.

The plan was for us beaters to scare cottontails out of the bushes so the hawks could get after them.

As you can see in these pictures, the hawks spent most of the time perched on light standards, roofs or signs waiting for us to do our job so they could do theirs.

And it was look out when the rabbits broke out.


Isaac's kestrel, Dulcinea, didn't fly that day and I regret that I didn't get a chance to get her picture. One of the other folks brought this merlin along, who we were told is almost ready to hunt.

This young lady is new to the falconry business, but was an enthusiastic participant.

After spending a few hours at this, I can see why you all are addicted. Again thanks to Isaac and big congratulations to him on his new baby daughter!


Cat Urbigkit said...

That looked like great fun, with great photos as well.

Matt Mullenix said...

Great pictures Reid! Did you yell, "Ho! Ho! Hoooo!" ?

Chas S. Clifton said...

The campus of Colorado State University-Pueblo also offers lots of cottontails. And you could claim that it was public land (hee hee).

There are always red-tails and the occasional great horned owl hanging around, but maybe they wold share.

Isaac Nichols said...

It was great to have you along Reid, we'll have to do it again sometime. Thanks for the congrats.

Chas, I actually know of a falconer down in Pueblo that has mentioned hunting "on campus" several times. I wonder if its CSU-Pueblo...

Brenda L. said...

Incredible! I've heard very few things about city falconry. This was a very interesting read (especially with the photos!)