Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Birds and Dogs on YouTube

Walter Hingley sent an interesting if rather relentless clip of a 40 ounce white gyr tiercel taking down a 15 pound Canada goose. The tenacity of the "little" falcon shows why eastern cultures, who appreciate a good fight as much as they do a good flight, prefer gyrs and sakers to peregrines.

Browsing in the sidebar revealed two clips, one delightful, the other exciting, of "relatives". The first shows a gyr feeding a saluki; Daniela confirmed the place is Alberto's in California, the dog her Blaze's 8- month old sister Gigi. Commenters express amazement; folks, ALL our dogs and birds interact like that, as proper teams have for thousands of years! Some pix will follow...

The other clip is of Terence Wright who often appears here, with the late lamented mostly peregrine tiercel Zhel, the classic lurcher Percy, and longdog Gobi (bred by us). It is the best look at our style of hawking I know. I never tire of watching Terence's perfect team; look how the falcon tosses up into the air in full flight to gain energy for his stoop. Bravo!

UPDATE: Paul reminds us the first flight is a falconry bird-- clear at the end but not before, as it is wearing no jesses; birds with human partners take larger game-- herons, cranes-- because they have backup. He suggests this amazing video of wintering gyrs, prairie falcons, and bald eagles preying on wintering ducks in Alberta, with wild birds doing stunning stoops; if anyone is skeptical about stoops that knock quarry from the air, dead or dying, watch this! Lots of other interesting behavior too.Watch the falcon let a rough legged hawk, a tiny- footed mouser, bluff it off a kill-- for a moment. I suspected the next act before the buzzard started to cringe-- the falcon left so she could strafe her tormentor from the air. Remember, these can kill herons in a single strike or kill hares in mid- leap.

A few characters-- click or double click to enlarge as always. First, Blaze in the window, Cog (next photo) on the roof, by Daniela:
Dog and bird rolling on quarry (a later Terence team)
Zhel and Percy, hot pursuit:
Tuuli and Kyran feeding


Paul said...

Hi Steve,
The gyr video is of someone's falconry bird, I believe in CO. A better one is by Jon Groves:

If you haven't already seen it.

Josh said...

Awesome, awesome stuff. I just got a springer spaniel (mix?) two weeks ago, and also stumbled upon a wonderful YouTube video of a springer and harris hawk teaming up. Makes me want to go get my falconry license.

Perhaps after my stint volunteering at the UC Davis Raptor Center...

Darrell said...

Wow, just wow!

Daniela said...

Great clips. Small correction though Gigi is Blazes full sister and is going to be 2 years old. I have a picture of her as a 10 week old puppy pulling on the lead of that same Gyr, while the rest of her(all male) siblings just sit politely waiting their turn...something about being a true red bitch.

ras said...

this blog is simply excellent.
Querencia is one of my all-time favorite novels from any period.
have been following your writing since you first began appearing in print. i have a stilted view of the world which includes fine guns,racing pigeons, fine bird dogs and coursing dogs,raptors,early man, all things biological, anything with wings,fly fishing,wood boats,insects, shooting, hunting,stalking, cooking,poetry, and too many others to list. from a hide in NE. wisconsin where woodcock still dance and Ruffed Grouse still cause confounded misses.

Steve Bodio said...

Thanks, Ras. Email me sometime at "ebodio- at- gilanet- dot- com"-- sounds like we share plenty of interests!

No ruffed grouse (or woodcock) down here-- would love to hunt them, even miss them, again.