Well, I have finally decided to give up on the hospital roof site for the Peregrine falcon nesting box. This is very disappointing but we were never allows to place the box. We have missed a second breeding season. I have an alternate site in mind, not as good as the old one but still with some potential. This site is about one and a half miles from the Mississippi and the building is not as tall as the hospital but I am starting to work for this site anyway. I will keep you posted.
Since this site is up and running I am thinking about changing this site to be one of sharing hawking information and photos.
The word Hawking when used as a noun to describes the sport of hunting with a hawk of other bird of prey. When used as a verb without an object it means to to fly, or hunt on the wing, like a hawk or other birds of prey.
The origin of the word Hawk:
Middle English hauk ( e ),
Old English hafoc;
Old Frisian havek,
Old Saxon habuc
Old High German habuh,
Old Norse haukr hawk,
Hawking is the sport of hunting with a trained bird of prey. It is also know as Falconry and the hunter is known as the Falconer. The terms Hawking and Falconry are used interchangeably. To keep thing easier to understand, the pronoun “He” refers to the Falconer, and the term “She” refers to the bird. It’s not sexist, it is just easier. The term Hawk is correct for hawks and falcons alike, it is a generic term referring to the Faulkner’s BOP
The training of the bird of prey (BOP) is key. While a BOP is never a pet, a bond is developed between the bird and the Falconer. It is a food/hunting bond. The bird with appropriate training realizes the falconer, dog or ferret is a good way to be assured of consistant successful hunting and the ability to have a steady supply of food. It is a unique sport in that it is not the falconer who is in charge of the hunt but rather the BOP. Tom Cade an ornithologist and falconer was reported to call falconry as a special form of bird-watching. Once the BOP leaves the glove or perch, it is on its own, there is little the falconer can do at this point. All the hours of training together pays off as the falconer/BOP bond is tested during the hunt. If the training was good and the bond strong the bird will hunt, kill and return to the glove. After the bird leaves the glove, until it returns to the glove, there is not much the falconer can do but watch and listen for his BOP.
This is Adele, the Sharp-shinned Owl her falconer is Dennis Samnee.
The Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) is a small hawk. In fact, “sharp-shins” or “sharpies” are the smallest to reside in USA and Canada. There are three Accipiters the largest is the Goshawk, the Cooper hawk and the Sharp-shinned hawk. The Cooper hawk and the Sharp-shinned hawk look very similar except for their size the Cooper hawk being the larger of the two. The appearance of the Sharp-shinned hawk has a short and curved bill with a small yellow cere.
There size range between 9-13 inches long with 23-inch wingspan, very thin pencil like legs. Their color can be from light and dark gray, blue gray, white, rusty red, or brown. As far as markings the genders are similar. The head and back are medium to dark gray, white breast is thickly streaked with rusty red or brown streaks, long squared-off tail has darker gray horizontal strips and a thin white stripe on the tip. Adults have red eyes while juvenile birds have yellow eyes with a faint white streak along the eyebrow.
The Sharp-shinned hawks occur in a wide range of woodland and forest types, both dominated by conifers and by various types of broad-leaved trees like oaks.. These birds surprise and capture all their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They are adept at navigating dense thickets and many attacks are successful, although this hunting method is often hazardous to the hawk. The great majority of this hawk’s prey are small birds, especially various songbirds such as sparrows, wood-warblers, finches, wrens, nuthatches, tits, and thrushes. Birds caught have ranged in size from a 4.4-g Anna’s Hummingbird to a 577-g (1.2-lb) Ruffed Grouse and virtually any bird within this size range is potential prey. Typically, males will target smaller birds, such as sparrows and wood-warblers, and females will pursue larger prey, such as American Robins and flickers, leading to a lack of conflict between the sexes for prey. These hawks often exploit backyard bird feeders in order to target congregations of ideal prey. They often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. Rarely, Sharp-shinned Hawks will also eat rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and large insects.
between a Cooper and Sharp-shinned hawks