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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New assignment, pepper farm, south florida

It is the specialty peppers being damaged by grackles.  The typical eating one hole in a ripe pepper rendering it useless for market.  After going to the fields (way out in the middle of nowhere).  I brought the hawks out mid-day.  My husband left at 10:30 to head back home after helping me set up.  I flew 2 harris hawk to see how the grackles react.  The challenge here is not perches in the fields for the hawks to land on and intimidate the grackles.   I have told the grower that putting up 15 foot high telephone poles in the fields would also bring in the wild hawks to help with the bird issue.  The grackles sit on the stakes and pick the peppers, and socialize.  I flew two of the Harris' hawks.  For they are easy to fly.  The falcons weight are still too high in weight.  With the warm spell we had last month, it was hard to get them back to flying weight.   Also, I will need access to a 4x4 to get around the fields more efficiently.  My 2wd truck got stuck 4 times.  So I will have to remain parked between the two fields in the equipment area, the truck is a 7.3 diesel and is very front heavy.  But great milage, 23 driving 16 towing.     The equipment has places where I can stick the T posts and move the hawks around.  One hawk made a pass at the grackles and scattered them further down the rows.  So, I walked on foot with her on the perch.  She did very well and stuck with me.  I did not get a chance to weather the hawks at all.  So, I will weather pre-dawn in the morning and get them out as early as I can.  If I don't offer them water in the morning and a bath.  They take off looking for water to bathe and drink from.  I prefer to control how the quality of the water they come in contact with.

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