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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Back home in Live Oak

 Back Home in Live Oak.  Got the crib set up and said hello to the hawks owls and Macaw.   She did the baby parrot call and wing flick when she saw me.  Indicating she was hurt.   They are so intelligent.  The crib is set up and I will get some no-tip food and water dishes for her.  Photos to follow.  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Final Day, October 19, 2014

Beautiful, warm, sunny, lowered humidity.  Hawks were placed in the Cabana before sunrise.  I then go ready to work at the restaurant and beach areas.   At the restaurant steps, I saw a small all black kitten (estimated age about 12 weeks) start walking out of the shrubbery on the side of the stairs on the bay-walk to the restaurant.  I had heard that there was a second cat/kitten on the spotted grounds around the hotel. I even saw a cat by the hotel exit walkway last week.  I assumed it was the community cat and did not think to much of it then.  I reached for the kitten but it ducked into the shrubs by the stairs.  A closer look with my flashlight showed that there are open areas and tunnels under the stairs, and the kitten can easily hide there  I also saw some discarded trash (water bottles and plastic cups).  But I also saw two containers, an aluminum bake pan type container and a sealed top (rubbermaid) type container.  I can only conclude that someone is secretly feeding the kitten.  I took photos of the area where the kitten was seen (3rd step down from top)  and reported it to security.  I showed them the area where I saw the kitten and the containers likely are used to give it food and water. They asked me what to do about it.  I answered that I do not make that decision, it is up to the hotel and the island association.
There was a big wedding was last night at the beach and pool area.    It was less busy at the restaurant today, I stayed until lunch at the restaurant, but the beach and pool had guests out all day.    I kept one hawk up while the others took a break bathing and preening.  She stayed around in the park.  I also kept the T posts extended.  I think it gives a 'signal' to the pest birds that the hawks are still around.  Grackle activity was lower today.  It was a beautiful, sunny, and many guests are out on the beach.  There is a late rush of guests and I am still on call if the grackles show up and become a problem with the food.   Otherwise, the island is greatly reduced in grackle numbers.  I've been keeping an ear out to hear of excessive activity of grackles and I am happy to say that they are down over 95% in numbers in the evening roost, practically non-existent at this time.  This is the first wave of migration of grackles from up north.   When the cold fronts get more severe, I anticipate possibly a second round of grackles moving into the area in late fall/early winter.  We will see.   As in the past, the hotel staff has been more than cooperative  and helpful in working with me and the special needs of the birds.  I thank them greatly for making me comfortable, rested, and able to do my work more efficiently.  I will send a note and photos of the macaw as she gets settled in her crib.  Thank you again.  

Great day for another wedding

Again, got up early to get the hawks situated in the cabana before dawn.  Got out early to the restaurant with two hawks to deter the birds for the dining guests.  Flew and kept the hawks up at the restaurant until lunch set up.  Then took a very quick lunch break and started again at the pool area.  A guest who is there for the wedding is also a bird trainer in Florida.  It was nice to chat with a fellow bird trainer for a while.  She also came over later after the hawks were set up in the weathering area.     Mid-afternoon, the hawks started heading towards the cabana.  That is then break time for them.  Set them out in the weathering area with misters.  The bird trainer guest also came over after the hawks were set up in the weathering area.    All of the hawks took a misting bath in the bath pans and relaxed for a while.  There was a big wedding that evening in both the pool and beach area.  I kept a couple of hawks up for a while after their break.   I needed to clear everything out for wedding set up.   I am anticipating another busy day Sunday and also will be packing up for my departure Monday.   I took time to get to bed early (8:30) for another busy day.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Great weather staying around

Got the hawks out before dawn at the cabana.  Got ready and took the red-tail over the restaurant until about lunch time.  The grackles and sparrows were busy, and I worked the area with the hawk on the fist and stayed until the lunch settings were out.   The hawks were weathered and misted in the afternoon, then the pool and beach area got busy later.   I put one hawk up, the gentle one and I the grackles needed the intimidation of the more acrobatic one so I put that hawk up as well.  The grackles moved on.  It was busy friday.  Thee is a proposal dinner at the beach, a wedding at the park.  Hawks were brought into their enclosures to prevent any disturbance to either event.  Waited until the wedding at the park was over and then put the hawks up for the night.  It scheduled to be a busy saturday and I am getting out early to be ready for both the restaurant and beach.  As I was waiting for the wedding to end, I saw a beautiful peregrine falcon (maybe 3) that day, a bald eagle, vultures.  I did not bring my binos and wished I had.   

Friday, October 17, 2014

Beautiful Day,

October 16, 2014.  A beautiful, clear day, lowered humidity and temperatures.  Got up a bit early today, prior to my alarm and moved the hawks to the cabana before dawn.  I set up their perches and bath pans, then went to the restaurant for morning buffet to chase away birds.  I brought one hawk (the red-tailed hawk) on the fist.  He is calm and loves just sitting with me.  I noted some birds, grackles and sparrows in the area.  Fewer than yesterday.  There were guests but I think none of them were feeding the birds at the table.  But I saw some bread crumbs on the walkway below.  It is very hard to not be tempted to feed the birds if you like wildlife.   Sparrows usually forage after guests leave for crumbs on the patio floor.  The grackles though are all over the tables.  I stayed in the corner discretely with the hawk on the fist.  It was breezy and sunny (high 70's) so I felt that alternating between flying hawks and hawk on the fist works well.  I moved the hawk around.  And when he opened his wings, the grackles were moved about, making their alarm calls.  I also noted that more sugar dispensers were covered with a glass, an excellent, inexpensive way to keep the grackles from taking the sugar packets.  Yet, looks pleasing on the table.  When guests had departed.  I would take the hawk on the fist to the vacant, yet uncleared table, cover the plates with remaining food with the cloth napkins until staff could clear the table.  This worked very well at keeping the grackles away during that most crucial time where there are no people at the table after a meal.  You could nearly see the puzzlement in their body language.  But they are smart and may figure out a way to fly down and take off the napkins.  We will see if they really do figure it out.  I stayed until the lunch settings were being placed and took a lunch.

There is an event on the beach tonight (wedding I'm told) and I clear out the cabana of hawks and equipment for them to use.  Set up started around 2:00.  This is a perfect weather day for a wedding.

When the hawks were to be put away in the truck, excessive exhaust fumes were noticed.  So two of the hawks were moved to the room balcony as a precaution.  Then when the other hawks were brought over, the exhaust had subsided.  I can only conclude that a car had sad at the exit running for a while which we just arrived afterwards and noted the fumes in the air.  Many thanks to security for inspecting the entire garage for any running engines or vehicles to make sure the birds are safe.  I will bring down the two hawks in the morning.  It is beautiful outside now with low humidity, and I am thankful for that.

Now, back to the Macaw, Scully.  She is lying on her good side and she is sleeping on our couch during the day, her sleeping travel cage at night which now has a shelf perch.  I saw the cribs being used in the pool area for guests with infants.  I thought, good for a convalescing parrot with a broken leg too.    I asked housekeeping if I could purchase a used one, that is functional yet, not guest ready.  They donated a used one that was no longer guest ready (with a bit of rust on it, but perfectly functional) out of their surplus storage for me to use.  THANK YOU to management for letting me have the crib.   I will send photos of her in her new 'bed' when I get home on Monday.

  Scullys’ Story:
Scully was captive bred in 1999.  As she grew, it was found that she has scoliosis, a crooked spine.  She was unable to stand and stay out of her feces.  This was a real concern by the breeder who had considered putting her down due to her unable to stand.  It was then ingeniously thought to hang her in a diaper apparatus to encourage her spine to grow straighter.  The technique worked.  She grew in strength and coordination to be able perch, stand, and climb like any normal parrot.    Flying is very difficult for her. After a year of age, Scully was then given to us as a special needs parrot.  If you look closely at her back you will notice a hump and she walks with an uneven gait.   She loves to talk and converse with you and has been with us since the year 2000.  We have enjoyed her company ever since.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

More good news about our injured Macaw (Scully the Scarlet Macaw) parrot.  Todays xrays show the bones in her leg to be aligned perfectly for healing.  She will need 6 weeks of rest and finish her round of antibiotics.  She also has bites on her foot and legs.  Likely the culprit is a raccoon.  She has a shelf perch in her sleeping/travel cage and she can sit/lay on our couch during the day.

Today was calmer, but stressful for me, waiting for the results of our Parrots xrays to make sure she will heal correctly.   The hawks were again put in the cabana prior to dawn.  I flew two a first at the restaurant.  The grackles were out early for some reason, I anticipate with the coming cool front and weather this weekend.  They know and can sense weather patterns hours and days ahead of time.  They seemed to be 'carb loading' just boldy taking sugar with the hawks above me and me standing right there.  I rushed to help remove and cover the sugar packets along with staff.  Then I waited for the breakfast to be converted into lunch.  After lunch, hawks were set out to weather and misted.   I flew two on a regular basis by the pool and park to keep their presence known.  I watched the weather patterns, anticipating a thunderstorm, putting the hawks away at dinner break.  It poured and poured for about an hour.  Cleaning everything up with the heavy rains.   Then the hawks were put away for the evening in the truck.   Now, with the macaw injury experience, I am very glad that I am diligent with the hawks safety as well.  It only takes a short time, a few seconds for a raccoon, opossum, cat or dog to wreak havoc on our hawks and parrot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Winds and a vet visit in N. Florida.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014.   Good news about our parrot (Scully the Scarlet Macaw).  She is sitting on her perch but favoring (hanging) her right leg.  We will see after the visit to Dr. Cesar Mena our vet in Lake City, FL.  She does have a broken leg, with bites on the leg. I still think the culprit is a stray dog.  Although we have raccoons and opossums too.  But they are usually out after dark.  She was found hurt in her cage at sundown as my husband was putting her away.   Xrays will occur tomorrow to see details of  the break is involved.  She is splinted and on antibiotics, and seems to understand her situation, not picking at the bandages and being a good patient.  My husband and I hope she makes a full recovery.  She is a delight to have around and we love her very much.

Today started with winds again.   The hawks were set in the cabana early again in preparation for the abatement.  And at the grackles were again at the resturant.  Too windy to fly, so I brought the red-tailed hawk up on the glove.  Just his presence helped to make a difference.  But I noted that when customers were served their beverages.  The grackles make their moves.  The tables are vacant while guests visit the buffet and I walked around with the hawk to deter them.  That was working,  As I was waiting, suddenly a bunch of grackles came in.  I wondered why, a family with a toddler were feeding bread and tossing it at the end of the table.  I discretely told the server and later management about it.  They say they do enforce the no feeding the birds policy, so I will make a point to let them know if I see it again.   I also asked if they could ask guests when finished to cover their plates with the cloth napkins until the tables can cleared.   I do think that would help out as well.  They do manage the sugar packet situation by simply inverting an empty glass over the sugar packets.   I sat the hawks out to weather, misted them and during the day I was dealing with getting vet appointments for the parrot and also being on call for the restraunt and pool and beach area when needed.  It was busy since I am still quite worried about the injured parrot back home.  I tried to just take a hawk on the fist, but I have too few hands for all of the gear,.  So the bell cart works best.  Especially with the hawk boxes readily available to secure the hawks when done. Evening patrols and flights started to the north end where grackles were seen the prior night.  The difference is that when the entire gear and pole perches come around, the grackles don't stay and they leave when already there.  At sundown and dusk, the hawks were then put away for the evening in the truck.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Not so quiet Monday

The hawks were set out in the cabana early again, pre dawn.  The days started breezy.  I then got ready for the day with me getting some delayed paperwork done and in the mail.  I got a call from the restraunt that I was needed there, got out and flew the Harris hawks for a while.  One went straight down the baywalk to the beach area. So I had to get him back.  Then the other also moved down to the same area, winds were affecting them.  I then just let one up and she sat on the building above the dining guests and she flew up into as soar, carried by the winds.  I was talking to some residents and immediately had to end the conversation and follow her around the hotel.  I was worried that she may cross over to the mainland in the wind.  Telemetry signal indicated she was in the area behind the hotel, by the exit and pool, but I could not see her.  I was also concerned that the signal I was getting was the same frequency of a car or hotel security system.  I have encountered that before.  I followed the signal, which can be difficult, due to buildings and structures reflecting the signal.  Then in the wind, I saw her soar around.  It was difficult to multitask, holding a receiver, pushing the cart with her box, and dealing with my hat constantly blowing off my head from the wind.  I put the cart in a safe place and concluded that she was on the roof of the hotel.  I still called for her and then after about an hour or so,  contacted security to see if their radio security signal was in the band range as my telemetry, it is not, so maybe a car at valet parking was so.  But not so.   Security went up to the roof to see if the hawk was sitting there.  And I went to the cabana to set up her perches to attract her it.  Then the signal got stronger and wavered in the receiver.  I looked up and she was following me to the cabana.  I got her on her t post, then safe in her enclosure.  Relieved I got lunch and called to let everyone know that she is home safe.  It was so windy, that beach umbrellas were not opened for guests in the pool area.  So the hawks were kept in their enclosures safe from excessive winds.   Evening patrols then started with falcons on the fist, assessing the areas where any grackles may be.  The one closest corner (to the mainland)  on the north side had a few, less than a dozen grackles in the trees.  A place that will have hawks there the next day at dusk.  This is where they cross, with the minimum distance across the water.  Then the falcons were walked by the bridge and bus stop where the iguanas hang out (nick named Jurassic Park by one resident).   There were about a dozen pigeons there on the ground feeding.  As the falcons were spotted on the fist, the pigeons took flight in an escape mode.  It was an day that falconers deal with many times, soaring, and situations where the weather just makes things challenging.  As I was putting the hawks away.  I got a call from home that our scarlet macaw has been injured, with a hurt leg.  She is a scarlet macaw and it happened just prior to her being put away at sunset.  The culprit is not found, but her one leg is injured, sprained and some tail feathers are missing.  Likely a dog or an early evening raccoon. She is going to the vet tomorrow for an examination.  Wish us luck.  We have had her for 15 years and she is part of our family.  

Calmer day

Breezy warm, sunny.  A calmer and quieter day.  Still got up early to get ready for the breakfast crowd.  And I had the hawks out until lunch.   The rest of the day was setting up for misting the other hawks, flying the hawks periodically around the pool.  One time a bird was scolding the hawk in the tree,  It is a loggerhead shrike, mocking bird appearance and mannerisms, but with a raspy call and the distinctive black cap and mark of it's eye.  I flew the hawks until they moved back to the cabana.  Usually meaning they want a bath.  I set them down and sure enough, they hopped right into their bathpans.  The evening flights were done around the pool until sundown (and winds got a bit too strong).  Then a walk was done across the river to the areas where the backbirds had moved to last year.  No sign of them roosting there either, likely they have moved inland or further south.  Cold fronts up north have not really started, to push birds south, so another group may show up in the later weeks ahead.  The walk was pleasant on a breezy warm night.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Warm and busy

Hawks were placed in the cabana early again.  I expected a busy saturday morning and I was right.  I got them over to the resturant early, for breakfast and I stayed there until just prior to lunch break.  The hawks sat in the palm trees and were keeping the birds away from sugar packets and food.  Right after lunch break. I returned to the beach area and  I was talking to a resident.  Pool management called over and said we need hawks here.  We quickly ended our conversation, and I let two hawks out immediately to get them in the air, while I got my gear on for walking around.  It was lunch and the pool was very busy as well as the beach.  I kept the hawks out for a couple of hours until the noon rush was over and I put all of the hawks out for the day in the weathering area. Misted them and let them bathe .  I then off and on flew the hawks in the pool and beach area.  After dinner break, I put the oldest and youngest females up.  They hung around as normal and the oldest followed me around faithfully.  The youngest flew towards the banyon tree at the exit.   She usually follows me faithfully as well.  I could not see or hear her.  So, I called the oldest, put her in and looked with telemetry for the youngest. She was behind a hedges, next to the building where equipment and supplies are kept.  She was sitting low in a bush, right by the road.  What has be concerned is the bait box for rodents right there.  I looked at her crop to see if she had eaten anything, such as a poisoned rodent which can kill her with secondary poisoning.  I saw no evidence, so I am hoping she was chasing one of the hatchling iguanas I have seen in the area.   I started to get them ready to take back to the truck and the exit was blocked by a tour bus. So I went to my room to cool off a bit and wait for the bus to finish loading up.  When I went back with a load of hawks to put in the truck, I saw that the garage was full to overflowing with cars.  I was concerned about exhaust fumes from all of the cars entering and exiting the garage and decided that having them sleep in their enclosures in the cabana would be safer for them (and more sleep for me).  I told security and they kindly said that they would help keep an eye out on the hawks the cabana on their rounds.  I turned the front of the boxes around so the curiosity would be less and went to bed.   The next day starts.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wind, wind

I got the hawks in the cabana pre dawn again.  It was windy even early in the morning.  I got ready then it rained early, so the breakfast outside at the resturant was not happening.  I walked there and saw grackles, in the rush to get guests out of the rain,  the staff left some sugar packets on tables.  The birds were having a party with them.  So, I took the sugar packets and picked up around the tables.  Then went to the cabana to let the hawks out.  It was windy so, I had to make sure the hawks were comfortable all day with misting.  I had quite a few guests and residents visit the area and learned of a fireworks show at the hotel across the way.  The fireworks producers convention was going on that week.  I saw the initial fireworks earlier this week, wondering what was going on.  I found a good nickname from a staffer for the iguana colony:  Jurassic Park.  The iguanas are ever hungry, watching for food and drinks to be served to guests and not deterred at all when they are chased away.  I've decided to lure them towards me instead with a few pieces of fruit, to keep them away from guests who do not appreciate them.  I like them and they are very intelligent and sly about getting food from people.  Evening flights started behind the office building.  Two hawks were put up and they were pushed around by the wind quite a bit,  I was concerned for their safety, being so close to the glass windows of the building, for one hit a window last saturday, but was unharmed, she braked just before hitting.   They both flew around and the oldest one started into a soar, not an issue, except I am surrounded by water and did not want her to soar inland, for a marathon telemetry search.   So she was called down immediately, she responded promptly and she was put into her box, as well as the youngest one.  It was  just too windy to safely fly, but the soaring around gives a good signal to the grackles that the hawks are still about.  So the day ended at sundown.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Windy, early start

Got the hawks staged in the cabana early again in the morning.  Then got ready for the day.  As I was finishing up, I got a call from the resturant about birds taking sugar packets and guest meals.  I quickly finished getting ready and got two hawks out for flying.  It was calm out and they sat in the trees until the meals were over to keep the grackles at bay.  When a hawk landed in one of the palm trees on the walkway, a young iguana bailed out of the palm and landed in the plants below.  They do not like the hawks near them.  I flew the hawks back and forth to the T post until the breakfast rush was over, around 10:30, then got the weathering area ready.  Winds were picking up so I was cautious about flying during the day, winds were quite strong.  Few birds were about the pool and beach that day.  I waited for winds to slow down for afternoon/evening flights.  And at sunset the some light rains came in, so it was an early end to the day.   

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Another warm day

Typical Miami fall weather, humid, mid 80's.  Got hawks set up in cabana prior to dawn. just in case I'm asked to deter birds at breakfast.   I enjoyed watching the lunar eclipse while I was walking the hawks out.  Then got ready for the day.    Then proceeded to get fresh batteries in their transmitters, and get equipment ready for flights.  They were placed in the weathering area and misted.  Breakfast at the resturant had to grackles so I just waited to see if they showed, up They really enjoyed it and I noted that few grackles were in the area, mugginess also makes the grackles and other birds lethargic too.  As I prepared for evening patrols and flights, got a call from the resturant that guests were seated and to be ready for when the order arrives.  Hawks were put up and sat in the palm trees and were called back and forth.  One went to the roof, perfect positioning for keeping birds at bay.   After a while winds picked up and she had moved towards the guard house.  I know her favorite places to stay so I kept with the guests until they were done, then looked for the wayward hawk using telemetry.    Sure enough she was found behind the office building parking garage and came back promptly.  Winds were higher so patrols were limited to bird on fist patrols, which ended fairly early this past evening.   I feel that the moon phases (full moon cycle just going on now) does make the winds stronger.  I assume that studies have be done to confirm my hunches.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Getting steamy again outside

Tuesday, October 7, 2014.   Got the hawks in the cabana early. I like doing that, I avoid the dogs being walked.  With the curiosity, the dog walkers just don't understand the hawks fear any unfamiliar dog and I have to move quickly to keep the hawks from jumping around in their boxes.  Plus and I can get them settled and ready early.  I did some paperwork waiting for the rains to end.  I did research on the web the heron I saw last night is a black crowned night heron.   Then it rained for a while before I could set them out.  They ended up staying in their boxes due to being on call dining guests.   Off and on rain until after noon.  I flew the Harris hawks on call around the pool, did some checks for outside dining guests outside but none were there on such a hot day.  I flew the two oldest females together and the oldest still is being a bully towards her younger partner.  It is all over the light post as to gets to sit there and be the queen of the light post.  I then flew the youngest female and both of them started sparring on the light post too.  So the oldest was put away and she was flown later.  The grackles were fewer.  Until, dinner break, when I got back there were about a dozen grackles at the pool.  One employee brought me an injured sparrow (from the grackles picking on it).    I let it rest a few hours and let it go.  Management told me it was a guest that was feeding the grackles and that is what brought in so many after the dinner break.    Otherwise they stay away with the hawks out.  I also feel that a request for dining outside guests to cover their plates with their cloth napkin will assist in keeping grackles from being attracted to the food after a meal.   The weather was warm, in the afternoon and guests were  showing up after the rains.  Some  saw the hawks, were fascinated by them, and wanted to hold the hawks, and hold the T posts, but I politely told them that my insurance policy does not allow that.   The hawks were flown a pair at time, until sundown and put to bed that evening.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Warming up again

Still a lovely, breezy day but warmer.  I got the hawks out at the cabana early again.  Then got ready for my day and any abatement work early in the morning.  I went to the resturant, with each of the hawks, but few grackles were there.   Then as I was in the lunchroom (I try to eat early before guests are eating their lunches).  I got a call to be out at the resturant for lunch abatement.  I quickly finished my meal and took a hawk over to stop the grackles.  I waited with her until the guests were done eating.  I went back, set out all of the hawks.  And cleaned their enclosures.   It was a quiet afternoon, and guests were few on the beach.  I flew off and on the hawks, back and forth.   Did some paperwork, and organized supplies and stock.  Evening came and I again was sure to be ready if called up again.  But, it was warm and no guest were out.  I flew again in the evening hours, but the winds were getting stronger, so the hawks were put away.  I got a call from Brickell security regarding a white owl spotted in a tree by one of the residences.  I am always curious and walked over.  It turned out to be a crowned night heron.   Just using the tree as a roost.   I was delayed putting the hawks away in the truck that evening.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

A break from the heat

Sunday, October 5, 2014.  A huge difference in the weather as the front moved through.  It was very pleasant getting up extra early for such a gorgeous day.   I set the hawks in the cabana by 6:00.  Then got ready for the day.  I took one of the hawks by the resturant for breakfast abatement, early, but few patrons were there and no birds.   So, I flew them around the beach and especially the park.  When one landed in a palm tree on the way back to the beach from the restruant, I saw something green fall out of the tree hard onto the seawall.  It was a young iguana, not liking a hawk landing right near it's sleeping quarters.  It was cool so it was sluggish and I picked it up and observed it.  Then let it go, it was fine, they jump out of trees all of the time.  I then flew around the park with all hawks, the other two oldest still were having a grudge match, to the oldest was put away for a while.  I then got word that patrons were eating breakfast and I was needed there.  I immediately took one hawk over, my youngest, she stays close.  There are few perches there, so she sat on the T post, then the slippery railing.]  Then down the seawall back to the beach.  I met the breakfast manager and discussed having an unused beach umbrella stand on the patio so I may have a second T post for the hawk to land on.  The hawks do not like to sit in the palm trees, they prefer branches.   I met the morning manager and discussed having an unused beach umbrella stand at the patio area to for me to have a second T post there for the hawk.   I flew off and on all day, with all of the hawks rotating them out to get all of them flown.  I then went behind the office building with the two that stick close to me, the oldest and youngest.  They did well.  But the oldest flew into a window but was able to slow down to prevent injury.  I was surprised at that, she is an experienced hawk.  I flew until sundown, to get ready for another early day on Monday.  I also saw the peregrine right at sundown land on the fifth highest railing of the residence by the beach.   I also met a couple who lives at the condo on the top floor and they got to see the hawks fly.  I met a woman who was from Germany and mentioned the peregrine (Wanderfalke) in German to her.  There is always great interest when I mention the resident peregrine falcon in downtown Miami.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday, Oct. 4. 2014

Another hot one, eagerly waiting for cooler weather.  I got the hawks out into the cabana and on their perches to start misting.  I just let 3 out while I set up.    To keep their presence in the trees to keep birds at bay. On saturday, the beach and pool both had guests, so I wanted to make sure the hawks were out an up.  Chased some iguanas away from dining guests a couple of times too.   I called the hawks around the park for a couple of hours, put the falcons and red-tail away and flew all four.  The two oldest ones (females) had a spat over the tall light post in the park growling, pushing each other off  at each other and footing at each other.  I went over to break it up and they continued to spat and argue in the trees.  I  put them all in their boxes, due to rains coming in.  Then let them all out again.  The two females continued to argue, taking the argument to the base of the light post.  It took be a while to get their feet unlocked.   I held the oldest and finally she let go of the other one's feet.  I then decided to put them all away for the night.   I walked towards front of the hotel, due to hearing grackles making their food announcement.  Staff told me that the grackles are their at breakfast, so I will be out early in the a.m. with my oldest hawk, she will be a good choice there.  

Come on cool front

Hot again, 91 sunny, puffy clouds, the high for today, October 4, 2014.  Got the hawks out early.  And misted them in the cabana while in their enclosures.   I wore shorts the first part of the day rather than long pants, I only have 1 pair of tropical weight pants, the others are great, except they are a tight weave  cotton that keeps them from breathing in this summer heat.  I changed into the long pants after I realized I would get sunburned on my legs.  I don't really tan.   The hawks and falcons were misted all day long.  I flew 2 of them by the pool and park area for several hours.  One just stayed back at the sabal palm.  Just keeping cool, near the misting water.  Then a rain came in and I kept the hawks out in the rain. for it was a light rain and the really enjoyed it.  The hawks took what I call a rain bath.  They jump in their bath pans and roll around in them getting soaked in the rain.  After they dried enough to fly, I flew two of them again.   The grackles at the pool are now quiet when guests are brought food.  For they have learned that when the call their 'food call' I appear with the hawks.  So, I stand by the pool and park with two hawks in the banyon trees.  Later, around 4:00 all of the hawks were flown, and the others were put in their enclosures.  Large, dark clouds came in, with lighting meaning a second heavy rain on the way, so the hawks were put in their enclosures, and I just waited out the rain.   Then after sunset, the falcons were walked around the key on the fist.   This is important as well, to keep hawks presence all around the key.  A heron flushed from the tree announcing the predator in vicinity call.  So even a raptor on the glove is important.  Hawks were then put away around 7:30 that evening and some supplies had arrived, some additional flashlights, and a TYVEK fabric rain poncho.  I would think that TYVEK would be a great poncho/rain cape fabric, tough, waterproof, lightweight, folds up very compactly, yet breathable.  I will be using it when it rains.   With the flashlight, I will be illuminating the hawk enclosures after dark.   (I am attempting to train the hawks to fly into their enclosures from a distance after dark).  They already do so in daylight.  The rain cooled things off so it was great to get a walk in after the flying was finished.  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another warm day

Got the hawks out early, then started the misting right away.   They were misted then I had my lunch break early, to get the hawks on the wing to deter any grackles at the pool and beach area.  Then I put all of the hawks up for several hours around the park.   Guests stopped by to talk about the birds, the husband has done work rehabilitating birds at a center in New York.  I explained the concept of organic to another guest where natural cycles are used for pest control, rather than chemicals or poisons.  Later around 4:00 rains started, I got the hawks in their enclosures and took a short dinner break.  The rains were a short one and the hawks were back in the air around the pool.   Until the next threat of rain at sunset.   

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Weather is changing

Set the hawks out with the misting system nearly all day long.  The weather started very muggy, then started drying out during the very sunny day.  The sun was very warm so I had to make sure the hawks were well cooled with misting them.   The groundskeeper makes sure that the cabana where I place the hawk boxes is always cleaned out with his blower.  I wait for him to finish using the blower in the area to avoid any dust that the hawks can breathe.  Then flights started with 2 hawks at a time.  Few residents were in the park so I let the hawks sit for hours in the trees.  It makes a big difference in keeping the grackles at bay.  Guests on the beach and pool were attracting the iguanas and I assisted chasing away the iguanas when they got too bold and started climbing up to get guest's meals.  The hawks do not deter the large iguanas, but the smaller ones make themselves very scarce when the hawks are up.    The hawks weigh about 3 lbs each.  The hawks especially like the banyon trees and the sabal palm above their weathering area and sit there for hours.  Evening flights were again done in the park with all 4 hawks flying about. One loves to sit on the T post and stays close, the other are great in flying about, being periodically called to the T posts for treats.   They stayed out until sundown, as the sky was watched and I listened for any grackles trying to roost in front of the hotel or office building.  Everyone was put away safely and I am seeking to rent a cart of some sort to make the setting out and putting away of the birds more efficient.   

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flew well today.  Got the hawks out early enough to avoid the first set of rain storms on the beach.  Set up the misting system where they can keep cool and comfy.   Then I finished setting up the enclosures, and carts.  Got some equipment straightened out.  Then the afternoon/evening flights started, when guests were feeding the birds at the pool.   Got two hawks up and they flew over to their favorite trees at the pool.  I let them sit out until dinner break and the evening flights.  The park was relatively empty, so all of the hawks were put up for exercise and 'presence' flights to let the birds know that the hawks are still around.     Security told me that a count of around 50 birds are at the condo closest to the mainland.  So, we went there to make sure the birds area aware that the hawks are still around.  One resident who lives on the island told me a hawk sits on his balcony all of the time.  With further discussion, I knew it was the peregrine that lives here.  He says he sees the falcon year round.  The hawks were put up at dusk with a risk of rain coming in.  Then a walk around the island was done with falcons on the fist. To keep a raptor presence on the island.  Always good day when I can get all of the hawks up in the air.