Winter Hunt

by The Falconer's Wife on February 2, 2014

A beautiful day in January with the hawks! Oz, a male Red-Tailed Hawk and Sadie, a large female both were lucky and caught a squirrel.

Oz on the GloveThe Great and Poweful OzCatch of the DayOz - Male Red Tail HawkOz on a tree

Sadie Hawkins

Coming in for a landing

 

{ 1 comment }

Annual Falconry Event in Dahlonega, GA

by The Falconer's Wife on August 24, 2013

 red-tailed hawk

It was a beautiful annual Georgia Falconry Association’s fall picnic in Dahlonega, Georgia.

To see some beautiful red-tailed hawks and other birds of prey, be sure to stop by and meet the falconers and other visitors.  It’s a great opportunity to learn about falconry!

http://www.georgiafalconryassociation.com

 

{ 0 comments }

Fly, Fly, Gracie

by The Falconer's Wife on April 20, 2012

My husband recently decided to let Gracie, his first red-tailed hawk, fly free. Only 20% of most hawks in the wild make it to maturity (due to many reasons including disease and poisoning from eating tainted rodents). A hawk that has an opportunity to be with a falconer has a greater chance of surviving when it is released, as it will be stronger and healthier than if it were in the wild.  I had a chance to take a few photos before he released her:

Gracie about to eat her last easy meal. Gracie after eating that mouse. She has such beautiful color and angles. Argos waiting patiently. Gracie (her beautiful red tail) and Theo A Profile of Gracie Just about to be released. Gracie sits in the tree, unsure of her new found freedom. My husband, saying a final farewell to Gracie. Gracie finally flies away after about 15 minutes. Can you find her flying in the trees?

My husband has a new hawk now, a male, whose name is Oz. Stay tuned for photos and news about this new addition to our family!

{ 1 comment }

The Windhover (Falco Tinnunculus)

by The Falconer's Wife on April 16, 2011

The Kestrel (photo by deoroller)

I came across this beautiful poem about the Kestrel, which is a small falcon only a little bigger than a Robin. It’s distinctly colorful and when it hunts, it “hovers” in the currents of the wind.

It was written by Gerard Hopkins and published in 1918. He admires this remarkable bird of prey alluding that it controls the wind as a man might control a horse. The kestrel then suddenly swoops downwards and “rebuffs the big wind”.

The Windhover

I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin,
dapple-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! Then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend; the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird–the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valor and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! And the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it; sheer plod makes plow down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Now that you’ve felt his immense delight for this bird’s prowess and design, watch this video of the kestrel floating on the currents of the wind with its eye to the ground for a tasty morsel.

I loved how Hopkin’s described the Kestrel as “daylight’s dauphin, dapple-drawn Falcon.” You can see in this video the beautiful dapple coloring in its wings. The Kestrel is also known as the “Windhover” as it requires a slight headwind in order to hover.

{ 21 comments }

Red-Tail Hawk Spring Photo Shoot

by The Falconer's Wife on April 7, 2011

Enjoying a beautiful moment on a cool yet sunny spring day with my husband, two dogs and Gracie. I took a bunch of photos and here are the best of the bunch.

Pretty Girl

Pretty Girl

Gracie has such an intense stare with those golden eyes.

Beautiful Profile

I thought this shot had interesting angles and colors.

More intensity from a few steps back!

I'm continually in awe of her - just stunning!

This was a defensive stance to make herself look larger as our Golden Retriever approached.

A stately pose!

The sky is so blue here. I love the shadow under her wings and sun on her breast feathers

There's a turkey vulture (top right) that kept circling above us

Again - pooch coming a little too close!

Do you ever feel like you're being watched?

Yikes! It's more than a feeling!

Ok, think exit strategy...that tree looks good up there.

The film on her eyes is the nictitating membrane which protects their eyes when hunting, flying at fast speeds or feeding their chicks, keeping their most precious asset clean.

Can you feel any mice or squirrels in there? Falconers regularly check the keel feeling the musculature and level of fat on the bird.

{ 16 comments }

Hawks on the Hunt – A Photographic Story

by The Falconer's Wife on March 31, 2011

On a recent hunting trip in South Georgia, these falconers and their hawks hunted together for squirrels, a common prey for the Red-tailed Hawk. The photos illustrate three different hawks (Gracie, an immature female, Scout, an immature male and Heath). If you look closely at the photos, you will be able to tell a difference in the appearance  – their size and coloring (you also might see a squirrel, racoon and armadillo!).

Click on the “expand” button on the bottom right corner to view larger images, then sit back, watch, relax and imagine  you were there…

Many thanks go out to Bart, the photographer who braved the forests and took these photos.

 South Georgia Hunting Trip
I couldn’t resist adding this one by itself – my Husband (above) running after Gracie who has a squirrel in her talons…

{ 2 comments }

Falcons, Friesians and Fashion – How Sublime!

March 16, 2011
Thumbnail image for Falcons, Friesians and Fashion – How Sublime!

It’s well-known in historical texts and artifacts that falconry has been practiced for over 3,000 years and possibly even longer as it pre-dates written records.  Places such as Arabia, China, Mongolia, Japan, Germany and Europe (to name a few), are rich in tales of falconry for sport and hunting.  Even during the time of Marco Polo, there were more than 10,000 falconers […]

Read the full article →

I Glimpsed P.E. Joy

March 4, 2011
Thumbnail image for I Glimpsed P.E. Joy

You may have been one of those people who excelled at sports (and if you were, I really do admire you), however, I was never among that elite group of fit, perky, energetic individuals that could kick &@!$% in their chosen field. For me, it was a series of painful, embarrassing, awkward moments and Sysyphean tasks. Phys […]

Read the full article →

Props for the ‘Possum

February 21, 2011

Props: proper respect, recognition – Urban Dictionary I’ve never given the opossum a second thought unless it happened to scurry across my path in the approaching dusk. Ghostly, ghastly, pallid and grotesque, there were so many more colorful things in life to give my attention to. Until now. If Gracie hadn’t caught one, I’d still […]

Read the full article →

Finessing the Quill

January 29, 2011
Thumbnail image for Finessing the Quill

Once again, the Outdoor Blogger Network has put forth a writer’s prompt: Lets see where the Outdoor blog ‘work’ gets done. I love a challenge, especially an easy one (does that still qualify as a challenge?).  Most of the time, when I ponder about which word to use and if I have to look it up […]

Read the full article →
UA-20670524-1