Friday, and Saturday, April 17, 18, 2015: Hot, high 80’s and sunny. I am into the routine of walking hawks and falcons on the glove during morning dining. Then, flying after meals are served outside. It was calm early , then breezes pick up. I am also making sure that I fly at the south condo area. Although the hawks do have to fight and deal with the strong winds on the point. The hawks move into less windy areas such as the railings and even the furniture. I was concerned that residents would not appreciate hawks in such areas, but keeping the grackles away is the more important goal. I also make sure I stay in my favorite breezy and shady spot in the center beach of the area for maximum comfort for me and the hawks. Plus it is the most effective area for the hawks to be located for maximum effect.
Sunday, April 19, 2015. Again having the hawks and falcons out for walkabout patrols in the morning. I was asked to go over to the golf club to look into the goose (Egyptian) situation there. From what I have read, escaped Egyptian geese are establishing feral colonies all over Florida and other areas. They are smaller than Canada geese. But issues are the same, many birds, droppings, noise, etc. In the afternoon, the hawks were taken over to the course. Geese are very difficult to deter, they have two factors in their favor. Safety in numbers, for they will gang up on a predator, pinch with their bills and wing whip adversaries. And they just take refuge in the water, where few predators can follow them (except alligators). The two largest females were put up. And flown back and forth. The geese would move about, but they were not going to leave the area. They just move into the water when threatened. One hawk plays a ‘game’ by landing on the ground, then flying in ‘jump ups’ to the T post. Geese would surround her. And she would lash out at them, but no contact was made. It was definitely a stand off, with geese just dealing with another predator in their typical fashion. I will have to do more research on working with the geese. I think that birds of prey would be part of the management plan, but other techniques will need to be use to deter the geese.
Monday, Apri. 20, 2015. Last Day. I slept in a bit, for I was very tired. Got up just before 6:00, set the hawks out. Then got ready for the day. I walked around with one falcon, then after lunch, I tried to fly 2 hawks. Winds were picking up, rain was predicted later in the day. So, I went to flying the youngest hawk. She stays very close to me and is very reliable. I relaxed at a table, making phone calls and catching up while she moved about from the T post, railings, roof, etc. She did well. There were few grackles at the breakfast buffet, maybe about 2. And with the storm coming in, few grackles were out an about. I kept the hawk up until staff started closing the beach and pool area due to the incoming storm. I though it a good time to start getting ready to return home. Organizing my things, getting the truck ready to be packed, cleaning the perches, patio and hosing down the golf cart. Rain started and I got wet, but no big deal. I got every thing in the truck ready to go, organized my clothes for Tuesday’s departure. I will have engineering help me move the camper with the tractor to a position where I can hook up the truck and easily leave the parking lot.