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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Stubborn and smart birds

I arrived a bit earlier today.  It was cloudy with a threat of rain, 60"s.  My favorite kind of weather.  The blackbirds were greater in numbers today. Many animals increase foraging activity prior to stormy weather.    I flew my second oldest harris hawk first.  A nice Ford 4WD arrived and it can old two hawks.  I drove it around to get the 'feel'. and learn it's limitations, and I even got it stuck. We got it loose with digging and rocking it back and forth.  Thanks guys.  The muddy areas are really muddy and I have to stay on the drier ground, even with 4WD.  My harris' hawks did move the blackbirds around and they move but it takes time.   The blackbirds see the hawk and eventually realize it's not going away and they move on.  But I need a more immediate response of them to flee. I discussed with the farm manager that having the 15 foot poles for the hawks to fly back and forth with would really help.  For when the hawks fly and land on the ground due to not having a perch to land on.  The effectiveness greatly diminishes.   I was very, very tempted to fly the falcons, but they are still just a bit to heavy.  Also they were acting non-ready for flying.   I took time to see what the attraction of the damage to the peppers was.  They break into the top, around the seed crown.  They pick the seeds out and move on to another pepper.  As the rains started, I stayed and walked around with the falcons on the glove.  For them to get familiar with the area. I went down to where the coots/moorhens hung and and the gyr hybrid showed great interest in chasing them.  Rains started to get steady, a light farmers rain.  And I was forced to leave to make sure I can get my truck out.  I described driving in on the mud and soft sand as driving in the snow.  I keep a steady speed of 20-25mph leaving to keep from getting it stuck.  Wildlife seen on the way in:  Caracaras, bald eagle, were the highlights and the resident kestrel on the farm is always a joy to watch.  

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