Observation date: 17 August 2014
You may remember in previous articles around the solstice a young married couple, both licensed falconers, that had brought a live Great Horned Owl to the Native American festivities on both winter and summer solstices. On Sunday, showed up with a new bird which caught the attention of most everyone including the resident male and female falcons on the south side of Morro Rock.
The bird that you see here is an eight year old hybrid falcon, a cross between a peregrine and a gyrfalcon.
From 200 yards the resident female took notice as the falcon’s hood came off. Nothing happened for the first six or seven minutes until the tethered bird bated* from Carl’s fist.
Then the resident female vocalized and launched off her perch circling over us and screaming. Descending lower, she landed on a rock 70 yards off and 30 feet above the parking lot. Now everyone was making noise. The resident tiercel, all this time, is racing across the face of Morro Rock landing here and there for a few seconds.
Twitterpated would be a good description of him. There were no close calls with the resident birds. However, if the trained falcon were weathered* and a few feet away from human activity, one or both birds could be severely injured.
Happy trails, Bob
Item: We hope to have Carl and Bebot Lea at the winter Bird Festival in January maybe with some feathered livestock.
*bated – beat the wings in an attempt to escape from the perch or gauntlet: The hawks bated when the breeze got in their feathers.
*weathered – To put a bird out into the open air and sometimes sunshine. This is generally done in a weathering yard where she is protected from any other raptors, dogs, or cats, has the opportunity to bathe or drink, and can spread her wings and soak up the sun or pull up her foot in the shade. Her weathering yard is typically watched by the falconer whenever she is there.
A falconry glossary will soon be posted.