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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Riley212 View Post
sucks that the government makes it hard to do, i guess it isn't for everyone and some one needs to make sure idiots aren't mistreating the birds.

this is really cool though, props for having such a neat hobby.

do you develop relationships with the birds? are they smart like domesticated birds? i.e. parrots and cockatoos and cockatiels
They aren't domesticated by any means, they are always wild. The easy answer is that you develop a food relationship with them. You, the falconer, are always giving them a bigger advantage. A raptor can sit all day and wait for prey to run, but with you, game is flushed faster for them, and you are setting them up to be successful, like if you put a falcon over a duck pond, and went in to flush the ducks for it. It's much more complicated than this, but it's the gist.
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 08:54 PM
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Very cool. I saw a falconer put on a demonstration once, which was absolutely incredible. When he first popped the hood off the falcon, it took off probably a mile away, very high and long past where you could see it. I quietly thought the bird had taken off for good, while the speaker casually went on about how he traps and trains them. After a few minutes, he showed how he practiced with the falcon, swinging a bird's wing on the end of a 6' rope. The falcon was nowhere in sight, but quickly saw it and screamed in for the kill.
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:16 PM
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I have a nature reserve half a lock from my house, a decent sized river behind my alley, and a city park in front of my house, so i get to see hawks, eagles , deer, and all other animals daily and I have to say that the birds are the most interesting to watch. my most memorable experience was taking a walk ing the Nature Reserve( Technically a Bird Sanctuary) and a gopher ran in front of me. about ten feet away from me a red-tailed hawk flies out and grabs the gopher and then drops it about two feet away from me.


On a different not, not that I'm going to get one, or even try to get the permits, but how much does it cost to purchase a falcon?
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Very cool. I saw a falconer put on a demonstration once, which was absolutely incredible. When he first popped the hood off the falcon, it took off probably a mile away, very high and long past where you could see it. I quietly thought the bird had taken off for good, while the speaker casually went on about how he traps and trains them. After a few minutes, he showed how he practiced with the falcon, swinging a bird's wing on the end of a 6' rope. The falcon was nowhere in sight, but quickly saw it and screamed in for the kill.
You definitely need a lot of space to fly a falcon, since they are so aerial. Most/many falconers use telemetry on their birds (you can see in my first picture on the falcon) so that if they end up tail chasing something over the hills, you can track them down. Falcons love their lures, in your case, the wing on the rope. They are pretty dialed into them, which is good, because sometimes you really need to get them back in a hurry...golden eagles are pretty fond of falcons, for example.

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I have a nature reserve half a lock from my house, a decent sized river behind my alley, and a city park in front of my house, so i get to see hawks, eagles , deer, and all other animals daily and I have to say that the birds are the most interesting to watch. my most memorable experience was taking a walk ing the Nature Reserve( Technically a Bird Sanctuary) and a gopher ran in front of me. about ten feet away from me a red-tailed hawk flies out and grabs the gopher and then drops it about two feet away from me.


On a different not, not that I'm going to get one, or even try to get the permits, but how much does it cost to purchase a falcon?
When you become a falconer, you have to start out as an apprentice. This means that you have passed your test, had your facilities (where you plan to keep your bird) and equipment inspected by a DNR (division of natural resources) agent, and have found a sponsor (someone with a considerable amount of experience as a falconer). You are an apprentice for 2 years. Many states require that you trap your bird from the wild. These birds have to be first year, or passage birds. This is, among other things, primarily because of the extremely high mortality rate for young birds...you trapping one, does not affect the population. In some states, the regs just changed that you can buy a captive bred bird. Depending on what it is, it can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The bird is the cheapest part. The housing, equipment, food, time, gas money to get to hunting grounds, permits, etc are what really gets you. I've been a falconer for 7 years now, and have easily spent thousands so far, even with making a lot of my own equipment. It's a very expensive sport!

I should also mention that possessing any migratory bird, raptors included, is illegal without proper permits in the US.

Last edited by forestfalcon; 01-09-2012 at 09:38 PM.
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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:38 PM
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Incredible pics, forestfalcon!! Your birds are stunning!

I was out running several years ago on a section of road between two horse farms, lined with pasture fencing on each side. On the left, I noticed a red-tailed hawk as I approached. It was perched on the top fence board clutching something dark in its talons. I continued running, since I wasn't super close.

Well. Suddenly, the hawk flies off the fence and begins quickly flying towards me, at head level. So now I'm in a game of chicken or something with this hawk and in the rapidly passing seconds, I slowed my pace but continued forward. I really didn't know what to do as we closed in on each other (I figured the hawk had the advantage) but for whatever reason I didn't think I should completely stop. When the hawk was approx 4 feet away from my face, it banked left (my right) and flew to the top of a telephone pole.

It was so close I could clearly see the mouse it was (still) clutching in its talons! It was awesome.
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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Geez! That would be pretty crazy! I've never seen anything like that before! Usually it's hikers and mountain climbers that figure out if they're in a bird's territory. I know a mountain climber that was repeatedly strafed by a peregrine. People that hike in deep woods in the spring have been known to be accosted by angry momma Goshawks. It's funny to hear of people minding their own business, on a nice leisurely stroll, to suddenly be layed out from a goshawk smacking them from behind...
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 09:48 PM
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awesome. i love birds of prey. more pics please.
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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 10:05 PM
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Geez! That would be pretty crazy! I've never seen anything like that before! Usually it's hikers and mountain climbers that figure out if they're in a bird's territory. I know a mountain climber that was repeatedly strafed by a peregrine. People that hike in deep woods in the spring have been known to be accosted by angry momma Goshawks. It's funny to hear of people minding their own business, on a nice leisurely stroll, to suddenly be layed out from a goshawk smacking them from behind...
Good to know it's not that common on a road! Haha. I thought hawks (and owls, for that matter) were usually around horse farms and barns because horses eat grain; song birds and rodents eat the grain horses drop; hawks and owls eat song birds and rodents (?)


I couldn't imagine being strafed or layed out from behind by a peregrine or goshawk! Yikes. At least I saw this one coming
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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 10:10 PM
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When you become a falconer, you have to start out as an apprentice. This means that you have passed your test, had your facilities (where you plan to keep your bird) and equipment inspected by a DNR (division of natural resources) agent, and have found a sponsor (someone with a considerable amount of experience as a falconer). You are an apprentice for 2 years. Many states require that you trap your bird from the wild. These birds have to be first year, or passage birds. This is, among other things, primarily because of the extremely high mortality rate for young birds...you trapping one, does not affect the population. In some states, the regs just changed that you can buy a captive bred bird. Depending on what it is, it can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. The bird is the cheapest part. The housing, equipment, food, time, gas money to get to hunting grounds, permits, etc are what really gets you. I've been a falconer for 7 years now, and have easily spent thousands so far, even with making a lot of my own equipment. It's a very expensive sport!

I should also mention that possessing any migratory bird, raptors included, is illegal without proper permits in the US.
That's what I gathered; that it's a pretty hefty commitment to keep a bird of prey, well above that for a common "pet". Thanks for the pics.

My understanding is that it's also illegal to even own raptor feathers without the right paperwork. I build and hunt with primitive archery gear and would love to fletch my wooden arrows with hawk feathers I find, but have to leave them lay. So goose and turkey feathers it is.

Last edited by AAA; 01-09-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know it's not that common on a road! Haha. I thought hawks (and owls, for that matter) were usually around horse farms and barns because horses eat grain; song birds and rodents eat the grain horses drop; hawks and owls eat song birds and rodents (?)


I couldn't imagine being strafed or layed out from behind by a peregrine or goshawk! Yikes. At least I saw this one coming
Anything that eats birds will gather around bird hotspots. Farms, pigeon lofts, bird feeders, etc, and you'll find "someone" nearby to exploit.

AAA, yes, you're right, raptor feathers, along with any other migratory bird that doesn't hold hunting season, are illegal. That's why turkey and pheasant feathers are on EVERYTHING!
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