kiwisoap · 6 months
How did you get your bird?
When you said legally trapped, do you mean you like... caught him and then trained him to catch stuff? Do you just repeat with a new bird every hunting season? This whole premise is incredibly funny
Yeah LMAO basically! In the USA, falconers are legally allowed to trap a juvenile, aka "passage" bird to use for falconry. Actually for a long time, the law REQUIRED apprentices to trap their first bird from the wild (as opposed to purchasing one from a captive breeding program). The government really said "you WILL get a fucking bird from the side of the road".
Most falconers will keep a passage hawk for a season or two before releasing it back into the wild and starting the process over again with a new bird. For me personally, that's a big part of the appeal! You get to develop a relationship with a new bird and get to know their personality and quirks etc, and also the more birds you train, the better you get at training.
It really is a pretty fucking hilarious premise, but it's also really faithful to the way falconry was originally practiced in the middle east/central asia for centuries, where people would trap a migrating juvenile bird to help feed themselves during the lean months, then release it when food was plentiful again.
Falconry in the USA is incredibly tightly regulated which is why wild trapping is allowed - it's also allowed because the vast majority of juvenile raptors (75-80%) die before they reach breeding age, usually during their first winter, so taking them doesn't impact the breeding population whatsoever. In fact, it can actually BENEFIT the raptor population, because taking one from the wild and giving it food and medical care and a safe place to live gives it a much higher chance of surviving to breeding age.
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escuerzoresucitado · 2 months
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bizarre-art · 3 months
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Ghost & Soap based off of hurraaid on twitter’s amazing falconry AU
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Owl Intelligence, and Respecting Their Way of Thought
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For those of you who have followed my (original) blog for some time, my stance on owl intelligence should be clear. I am of the mind that owls are just as intelligent as a hawk or a falcon, and the pervasive reputation of these birds as being “lazy” and “stupid” animals is one of my biggest pet peeves.
The Myth of Owl Stupidity
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In a cruel twist of fate, this mischaracterization of owls as being “slow” often comes from those who work with owls professionally because owls do not respond to the same training as their diurnal counterparts, but if you are constantly trying to shove a square peg in a triangular hole, it may not be the peg that’s unintelligent.
Diurnal raptors are only distantly related to owls, so it should not be a shock the two groups have more differences than similarities. A hawk is straightforward; they react to visual stimuli much like humans do, and they are at their peak confidence during the daylight. A hawk will look around, see no danger, and feel perfectly content to preen or eat from the glove. They burn off a lot more energy than owls as well since they capture prey by chase and have to be very active in searching for visual queues. A hawk will enter a dark room or have a hood slipped over its head and become almost catatonic because a lack of visual stimulus queues the hawk to feel calmed and stay in place much like they would to roost.
Owls see with their ears, not their eyes. An owl is also an ambush hunter rather than pursuit, every part of their instinctual wiring is geared to ensure they are not seen. If they are not seen and if they are not heard, they are safe, and they can be fed and they can relax in their invisibility. Because of their desires to remain unnoticed, they rarely show the same dramatic flight response of their diurnal cousins. Unlike the hawk, a frightened owl will not attempt relentlessly to take flight, a frightened owl sits as still as possible.
If you’re training a hawk and find it standing in place and looking at its surroundings without apparent urgency, it is a sign the hawk is confident; it needn’t watch you as you aren’t a threat, and it needn’t flee because it is safe and you will provide it food sufficiently. It can take time to look around at other things.
If you’re training an owl and it exhibits a similar behavior of standing firm on the glove and turning its head away from you to look at something else, this is a sign the owl is uncomfortable and worried, it’s not looking around out of curiosity, but to find an exit or a better hiding spot since it feels very visible on fist in the open.
Point of View of the Owl
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When training hawks, the mutual relationship between man and bird is obvious. You are providing the hawk a secure roost, food, water, and freedom from disease. The hawk is more than willing to humor you in standing on your glove as though it were a tree limb and take time to look curiously upon whatever new sights you have to offer it, or to chase game you flush for it in the field.
Owls are more complex because the idea of being paraded in front of a crowd of humans or hunting game your noisy feet will scare away are very disagreeable to the owl for good reason. As I said, an owl is comfortable when it is not observed. Owls have a slower metabolism as well, meaning they do not hold food in the same esteem as the hawk. There is little urgency in an owl’s need to eat if all it has to feed is itself and it’s finished growing. Therefore, the only benefit a human can provide an owl is security. If you are not keeping the owl safe from scenarios that frighten it, you are not meeting your end of the bargain, and the owl views it as a betrayal because to be seen and to feel unsafe is torturous to these birds.
Owls find being companionship to be disagreeable as well, and do not enjoy physical touch or constantly being around a human or other animals. They only spend a few months of the year with their mate and owlets, the exception being burrowing owls who are more tolerant of company, but do not particularly crave it either in many cases. They simply hold it with indifference rather than displeasure.
Because of the strictly solitary nature of owls, they may become disagreeable in turn if you don’t give them their space. An owl prefers to be alone in its enclosure for most of the day and night undisturbed, and the only parts of the owl that should be touched are the keel (to determine body condition) and the talons (to ensure anklets can be placed in a way that will minimize stress). The face of the adult owl should never be touched unless it’s to briefly help it get something off, like residue from food or dirt that would be more irritating if left caked on the bird. Any touch at all to the bird should only be done for clinical reasons.
All of this is what makes owls incredibly unethical to keep as pets. Invariably, videos of pet owls show the birds being relentlessly stroked like dogs, forced to interact with humans or other pets, and taken to noisy places like a living room with the TV on or a store. Some even go as far as dressing them up in costumes.
Owl behavior and cognition in terms of how they see their world are complex enough that I can’t fully cover it in a tumblr post, but if you take away nothing else understand this much: owls are not cats, they are not dolls, they are not pets. An owl is a wild animal misunderstood even by self-proclaimed experts and many of us in the field are only just recently actually seeing them. There are so many misconceptions about owls that lead to them being abused and traumatized by being treated by something they aren’t.
In many ways, an owl is very much a wise animal because they devote all their time to silently observing. What people mistake as the bird simply “zoning out” is actually the bird analyzing everything it’s hearing and seeing. They don’t need to look around to observe, their ears see even more than their very keen eyes. They make silent note of everything you do in their presence, and if you misstep and cross them, they will remember it.
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Owls may not have a “complex” language humans can quantify, and they may not use tools, but they also don’t need to. These should not be the end all be all of how we measure intelligence in animals. In solitary animals, there is no push for them to develop a language, and in animals as well adapted as an owl, there is no push to learn to use tools. They have every tool they need attached to their bodies as is.
Their way of thinking is alien to humans, as we are diurnal animals which require socialization to survive, but this in no way means they are not intelligent. They are simply different. An owl is very smart at being an owl after all.
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todaysbird · 5 months
thoughts on falconry?
So, upfront, I’m going to say that this is not my area of expertise and what I DO know is largely US-based, so some falconry practices in different locations may differ. I have only personally worked with parrots, finches, and other common (unregulated) birds in a professional capacity, and while I have done independent research for fun, I do not have any hands-on experience with raptors.
My opinion on falconry growing up was mostly concern beyond the ‘cool’ factor, because I thought the birds were ‘kidnapped’ from their families and then kept lifelong. This went against everything I knew about handling and treating wildlife, so it initially seemed pretty messed up to do to a native bird.
However, beyond the initial shock value, and as I learned more, I found that falconry has actually shown to be very beneficial to birds. Falconers were largely behind the ongoing Peregrine Falcon restoration after the species was almost wiped out. Also, raptors have a VERY high mortality rate in their first year. Falconers keep young raptors taken from the wild in safe enclosed mews for their vulnerable years, while providing them with food while they hone their hunting skills. When the raptors are released (it’s very rare for a falconry bird to be kept permanently), they have a better set of skills to navigate the world. Temporarily captive birds = more healthy adult birds. With most raptor species on the decline due to habitat loss, climate change, introduced species and other impacts, this is a good thing.
Falconers also may use their birds to hunt for invasive species by taking them to areas where they are common. This is not a surefire thing, as raptors do not recognize species-specific commands - they will take down any rodent regardless if it is a squirrel or rat, for example. But some falconers have been successful in decreasing numbers of problematic species like starlings, Norway rats, and others (at least on a local level).
The downside is, like with any animal caretaker, bad falconers exist. It is possible to not give a bird enough free flight and let them actually become a poor hunter. It’s possible to provide improper nutrition in captivity and make your bird sick or fail to thrive. Injuries and accidents happen. But again, this is more on the shoulders of individuals than falconry as a whole.
With that being said, falconers DO have to complete licensing programs, so a bad/uninformed falconer is less common than most domestic animal owners, because you can’t legally go out and get a kestrel on a whim because it’s cute.
Overall, tldr: when performed by knowledgeable individuals, falconry can really benefit the birds and the environment.
(For a great beginner’s resource on falconry, read this - I also recommend checking out @raptorsandpoultry and @ordinaryredtail)
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featheredcritter · 2 months
you can train my white ass by calling me with small pieces of raw meat
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theraptorcage · 2 years
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Harris's Hawk
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hawk-feathers · 4 months
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Getting a late start for the season but here’s my new bird!!! She’s a dark morph western red tail. I got an out of state trapping permit and shipped her home. No name yet, still working on that one.
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ordinaryredtail · 2 years
For today’s wigglin wtuesday, have a more unsuccessful kestrel wiggle. he’s doing his best.
Source: American Kestrel Partnership
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knuttydraws · 10 months
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I think king Alistair really needs a hobby to keep him going, so why not falconry?
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kiwisoap · 8 months
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Everyone look at how beautiful my fucking boy is
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myulk · 11 months
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02.07.2022 | Saturday
Ok but learning about these little ladies right here and not only getting the chance to see them training and doing their activities in real life, but also being part of it??? Tell me a cooler way to spend your saturday morning, I'll wait.
Fumaça (falcon) and Flora (owl) <3
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awkward-red-tail · 8 months
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Season begins tomorrow!
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is-the-owl-video-cute · 3 months
I don't quite understand why it's ethical to trap wild birds of prey for falconing, especially as on his YouTube, Woodruff talks about re-releasing them to the wild after a couple years. Don't we NOT want wild animals to associate people with food, or to feel comfortable around people?
Unlike mammals, birds of prey don’t remain habituated unless raised from a hatchling and imprinted. Give them two weeks without any direct food association and release away from people and the bird is wild again.
The reason falconers can trap juvenile raptors is that simply put 75-85% of raptors do not survive their first winter. It does not affect the population, and it generally is believed to give these birds a better chance by giving them a season or two to learn to hunt and such without consequence and safely make mistakes to learn from. It isn’t well researched but a released falconry bird that was not imprinted will not generally approach strangers.
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todaysbird · 11 months
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the shikra is a small hawk species found in asia and africa; it is currently under debate if the african population is a seperate species or subspecies. males and females of the species are easily distinguishable; apart from the male’s smaller size, they also feature darker red irises as compared to the female’s yellow or orange irises, and heavier barring on the chest as opposed to the female’s soft brown. they are often found as single birds or in pairs. they feed on a variety of prey, such as small mammals, insects, reptiles, and birds, and have even been known to take carrion at times. they were once used as a popular falconry bird due to their high trainability.
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stinkybrowndogs · 4 days
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