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USEFUL TIPS AND ADVICE

This page is to give useful advice and tips to newcomers to the sport which you wont normally find in falconry books.  If you have any tips or advice which might help other falconers please email me and I will include them on this page 

james@lancsfalconry.co.uk

Getting young ferrets out of warrens Nov 2014

When you start using young ferrets they sometimes are wary about coming out of the warren. It may be because they are playing catch me or just a bit scared when a large object apears out of the bright light. A rabbit leg does the trick to tempt them out but if your bird is in a tree above you this can cause a problem. Instead use a rabbit skin with tail in a old sock, the ferret should follow the sent out

Tar Phil from Runcorn

 

Testing leather  before making equipment Oct 2014

Leather pieces have a stretchy direction and a solid direction, before you make anklets etc pull the leather with your hands to find out which direction stretches and make your furniture in the solid direction.

You don't want to fit anklets on your bird and find in a couple of weeks they have stretched and need replacing!

 

First ferreting trip of the season with a old bird Oct 2014

Even if your bird has had previous seasons ferreting with out any problems, Its a good idea to keep your bird on the glove and hold her flying Jesses on the first couple of bolts just to remind her what the ferret is for. You can also check her behaviour towards the ferret before flying her free. It is also worth doing this when using a new or different ferret.

This year my hawk nailed my 3 year old ferret as it came out of the first  warren we tried, this is the birds 6 year ferreting and she has never bothered with ferrets at all. This summer my ferret escaped and I found it in my aviary, both the bird and ferret were feeding up on a pheasant

I had throw into the aviary for the bird. I couldn't believe my eyes and got them separated straight away.

Easy clean aviary   Sep 2014

Pond liner is brilliant for lining your aviary its about £20 for 3x3meters. Makes cleaning a lot easier and can also be used on roofs

Recall meat. Large piece, small reward  Jan 2014

I have started to use a rabbits front leg to get my bird to come back quickly from a long distance after an unsuccessful chase. It works really well. Remove the rabbit front leg by cutting down through the armpit, The shoulder blade isn't connected to the body and will come away easily with a good amount of fur. The large flat bone has a thin layer of meat either side and plenty of sinews so when your hawk draws its beak up either side of the bone it doesn't get much meat. As the hawk comes pull the leg down into your gloved hand so only a small amount is showing and your bird cant get her talons into it. After she has had a couple of mouthful pull the leg through the glove and back in your pocket.

 

Take the breast off a Pheasant in seconds Dec 2013

As shown in the picture, with the pheasant lying on its back. Stand on its wings with your feet close to the birds body. Take hold of both its legs and simply pull up. You are left with the skinned breast meat on the breast bone. Pull away the head and neck and cut off the 2 wings. Done ready for the oven! I think it only works on fresh bird though, not Pheasant that are hung?

Thanks Tony Cheshire falconry club

Rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) Oct 2013

RVHD is a highly infectious and  fatal disease that only affects wild and domestic rabbits. The disease often leads to death within 12 to 36 hours. Rabbit have been completely wiped out in some areas.

When cleaning out any kill the organs should always be checked for disease,  the picture shows what to look for.

 

 

Ferret locator battery problem Jan 2013

If you get a bid of dirt or grit in your ferret collar battery compartment cap it will stop the batteries making a good connection and you find yourself tightening it that much it damages the batteries and makes it hard to unscrew later. This can also cause it to fail during use. To solve the problem place a tiny amount of tin foil (a ball just smaller than a match head) into the cap before you fit the batteries.

Testing how your bird will respond by feeling her keel Nov 2012

With modern scales its not necessary to test your birds keel but I recommend that you do. Weight her and feel her keel at that weight. After a while you will be able to work out what her response will be like just by feeling how sharp her keel bone is. Its handy in case your scales go faulty or the battery dies.

Getting your bird to come to you in awkward situations  Oct 2012

Its worth taking a large piece of meat like a rabbit back leg or quail when you are flying. Especially with a young bird or if your bird is slightly overweight or put in a new situation like a field meet with other birds, large groups of people and dogs. She might not come down for a tidbit. Its worth attaching a piece of line to it to swing and throw up in the air, but keep hold of it you don't want your bird grabbing it and going back into the tree.

Sticky footed bird Oct 2012

A novice told me he was having trouble with a young bird that wouldn't let go of the glove when he was putting the bird on a perch. I told him, just before you put the bird on the perch twist the gloved hand slowly clockwise (as if you were giving the thumbs down) so that the bird would fall off if it didn't loosen its grip and take a step back. Once it has stepped back its ratchet gip is free and the bird can be placed on the perch. He told me it worked a treat

 

Train your bird to turn mid flight Sep 2012

At some point you will need your bird to turn round and come back to you mid flight e.g. she is flying towards a busy road, about to cross a big river etc so occasionally when your bird is flying away from you give a big whistle and hold out your glove. When she comes give her a decent size tidbit. Your bird will know what to expect when she hears a big whistle and turn. Doing it too often though will teach her flying off earns me a reward. Once a month at the end of a days hunting is enough.

 

Flying on the creance Oct 2011

Even though your bird is attached to the creance fit a transmitter just in case the creance snaps. This does happen and a bird with jessies and line attached needs to be found straight away. The bird will also get used to having the transmitter on.

 

 

Protect your spare feathers Oct 2010

The feathers you collect from your bird during the moult for imping should be stored in a air tight container to prevent insects destroying them. It is also worth spraying them with anti mite as a precaution.

 

Lamping in the snow Jan 2010

It is a waste of time lamping when the ground is covered in snow. Rabbits don't sit out like they normally do on snow covered fields. Its very rare that you will see any rabbits at all. If you can get out in the day go ferreting instead, you will be able to see which holes are occupied by the tracks.

Moulting. feathers and scales Oct 2009

During the moult  birds also shed the scales on their legs and feet.

 

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Knife Sharpener. Sep 2009

I have never been able to sharpen a knife using a sharpening steel so over the years I have bought and used loads of different knife sharpeners. The best one I have found are the metal wheel sharpeners. A few swipes across the wheels and your knife is razor sharp.

 

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Pigeon Louse / Flat Fly. Aug 2009

I saw this fly crawling under my birds feathers.  Found out it was a Hippoboscid (Pigeon louse / flat fly) a blood sucking fly that lives under the feathers and can carry West Nile Virus. Spraying with Johnson's anti mite once a week for a couple of weeks got rid of it.

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Feeding your bird during the moult to prevent screaming. June 2009

When you're feeding your bird during the moult never let her see you with any food. Just before you put the meat into the food hatch whistle so the bird associate the whistle with food and not you or the noise you make opening doors etc. When you drop her weight to start flying her again because she associates the whistle with food and not you she shouldn't start screaming when she sees you.

Don't buy cheap swivels. May 2009

Cheap swivels are cheap for a reason. If you buy a cheap swivel there's a chance that it will break and your bird will escape with her legs joined by mews jessie's and half of a broken swivel. If the bird gets caught up in branches it will probably die.

A bird costs a lot of money to purchase so why buy a cheap swivel and risk losing her. 

Help your bird on kills to avoid injuries. Apr 2009

If your new to falconry, when your bird catches quarry get over as quickly as possible to help her, even if your bird appears to have the prey under control. The first thing you should do is take hold of what ever the prey uses in self defence then dispatch it. Rabbits and Hares have a very powerful kick which can seriously injure your bird so take hold of their back legs. Pheasants should also be held by the legs which have large spurs . Crows, magpies, gulls and other birds will peck at your birds eyes so they should be seized by the head along with squirrels, rats and stoats which will bite angrily at your bird feet in a attempt to escape. Helping your bird on kills will not only prevent her from getting injuries it will also give her confidence and knowing help is on it way, she will look forward to you joining her on kills.

Parasites treatments. Feb 2009

During the flying season your bird may pick up worms and parasites while eating from fresh kills. It is worth getting your bird tested for worms before she starts the moult by sending a mute sample collected over a few days to the vet. If anything is found in the sample the vet will give you the best treatment.

Your bird can't get worms from food which has been frozen so during the moult when all her food comes from the freezer the chances of her getting worms is very slim.

It is also worth spraying the bird and perches with Johnson's anti-mite and insect spay at the beginning of the moult and at the end of the moult to kill any mites and lice.

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Lantra, Beginning Falconry Award. Jan 2009

This Award sets a minimum standard in keeping a Bird of Prey and is the only national Award currently available that is endorsed by the Hawk Board. The Award has been developed by Lantra Awards in unison with the Hawk Board . The Award covers all aspects of Bird of Prey management and husbandry up to flying to the fist on a creance. It is a formal Award for those new to Falconry as well as more experienced Falconers who want to demonstrate that they meet a minimum standard. Further Awards in respect of more advanced husbandry, breeding and Falconry may be introduced later to compliment this Award and to provide a progression pathway for candidates.

Click here to view  the Falconry Candidate Workbook which is assessed on completion

Click here for further information www.lantra-awards.co.uk

Squirrel Anklets / Squirrel Chaps for hawks. Jan 2009

To give your bird a bit more protection from bites make your anklets longer at the top and bottom edges, to make leather fingers. Squirrel chaps work by giving the squirrel more to bite at than just the birds legs and toe's. Small eyelets represent eyes which the squirrel will attack. You never know when you will bump into a squirrel, rat or stoat and most birds love to chase them. If your bird does catch one hopefully it will bite the leather fingers and not your birds feet.  

My HH caught a squirrel with normal anklets on and ended up with 10 wounds. 3 were bad, one on her back toe, one on her middle toe and the skin between the outer and middle toe had a hole right through it. Squirrel anklets / chaps might have prevented a trip to the vets.

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Dispatching Tool. Jan 2009

A engineers Scriber make the perfect tool for dispatching quarry like rabbits and squirrels. When your bird has the prey in a head and neck grip the scribe can be pushed between the toes of the bird into the animals brain to quickly and humanely kill it. With a knife this can't be done in case the bird grabs hold of the blade. 

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Spot your Harris hawk in a group. Dec 2008

If you are flying with a group of Harris hawks place a strip of bright coloured ribbon on the birds tail. Fasten it onto your telemetry with a cable tie or Velcro so if it gets caught it will easily pull off. Cut the ribbon 1/2 inch longer than the birds tail. When you have 2 or more Harris's flying around the tops of the trees you will easily be able to tell which one is yours. A reflective ribbon can also be used when lamping. Ribbon with your phone number can be bought here for £2.50 http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/label-makers/ eg:- If found phone 01234 56789

Thanks Emma Cheshire falconry club

Spray bottles. Dec 2008

Spray bottles have loads of uses I have one filled with a antiseptic soap, after I have been out hunting I give the birds feet a good spay to clean them.

I also have one with diluted F10 in for cleaning food prep areas and perches etc.

You just make one batch and it lasts ages.

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Dirty glove. Dec 2008

If your glove is dirty and your thinking of getting a new one try putting it in the washing machine. Put it with your hunting clothes on a 40deg wash. When it is almost dry, put the glove on and with a small 1/2 inch paint brush cover it with neat's foot oil. I've done it twice now and my glove came out looking like new. The oil can also be used on boots, jessies and anklets to keep them supple

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Removable bell. Nov 2008

If you want a bell which can be removed at night when you go lamping and fitted to your bird when you fly her during the day simply attach a strip of leather to the bell and punch a hole through it as shown in the picture. Put it on the transmitters spring clip before inserting it into the brass telemetry mount on your plectrum.

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Check your weighing scales. Oct 2008

If your bird is a lot higher or a lot lower than you expected, test your scales are giving a correct reading by placing a item on them which you know the exact weight of. Don't just trust the scales, Its better to be safe than sorry. 

Having spares. Oct 2008

Always take spares with you of the essential items you need. I always take a spare leash, swivel, mews jesses, flying jesses, knife and in my car I always have a spare glove and lamp, you never know when a bulb will blow or a swivel gets dropped in long grass. Myself or somebody I have been out with has needed each item at some point. 

Mute Sample collection Oct 2008

If you need to take a mute sample to the vets, the easiest way to collect it is to cover the floor of your travel box (big hood) with a bin liner. After the bird has been fed it can be put in the box to spend the night. In the morning put the bird back in her quarters and tip the mute into a suitable water tight container. Collecting the samples over a few nights will make the results more accurate. Its also worth putting a label on the container stating your name the birds name, species and weight. Also put what the mute is being tested for to avoid mix ups.

Getting you bird off a kill Sept 2008

To get my last HH off a kill I just kept hold of the rabbit and threw a tidbit to the side. My new HH wont do this, she wont let go of the rabbit. I found if I use a drawstring bag to cover the rabbit first she will let go as soon as the tidbit  is thrown.

Slip your hand in to the bag, take hold of its back legs from inside the bag. Use your gloved hand to slide the bag up the rabbit. Once the rabbit is inside the bag and completely covered throw a chicks leg just out of the birds reach.

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Hood Shape Aug 2008

When the hood isn't on your bird always leave the braces in the open position so the back of the hood is opened up to keep that shape. If you leave the braces drawn (closed) over time the shape of the leather will stay in that position and the back wont spring open as good when the braces are opened.

Jump ups Aug 2008

Extra weight can be added to your bird when you are doing jump ups by folding blue tack around the eyelets on each of the anklets.

  Thanks Simon Blackburn

Hooding Harris Hawks / Red tails Aug 2008

I never hooded my first Harris hawk. I was told you don't need to, which is true you don't but life is so much easier if you do hood train your bird.  I hood trained my new Harris and in the first few of weeks of flying I turned to the hood on a number of occasions. The hood allow you to have control in any situation.

Advantages  - When casting your bird. At the vets. Setting up the dummy bunny. When dogs are heading towards you. Taking turns with other hawks on slips. When another bird is being fed. When a ferret has killed in the warren and is being dug out. When you have to walk through a farm with hens, ducks or geese to get to the hunting ground. There are loads of advantages and I cant think of a single disadvantage. Even the actual hood training is good manning time.

Bumble foot Aug 2008

Bumble foot is a problem caused by an infection in a birds foot. It can be caused by cuts and unsuitable perches. Ensure the diameter of the perch is the right size for the birds feet and use perch topping like Astroturf which spreads the birds weight evenly across the foots surface avoiding pressure points. Also clean you birds feet at least once a week with an antibacterial soap. As your cleaning them check for any cuts or marks. If you find a potential problem that could lead to bumble foot go to the vets and get antibiotic as a precautions.

Noisy bell , Insulation tape alternative Aug 2008

If your neighbours complain about the bell ringing when your bird is having a scratch, take a small piece of stiff Velcro slide it into the bell opening and cut it to the shape of the bell leaving a small lip to remove it.  You can also insert the Velcro into the bell when your hunting and you don't want the birds bells to be heard.

Thanks Oz Preston

Screaming Harris Hawks July 2008

To avoid screaming the bird must not be taken from its parent before its 16 weeks old. The hawk must not see the falconer as a food source, the training must be carried out quickly and the hawk must be hunting and catching it own food as soon as possible. Late summer is the best time to get you bird entered, when there's a lot of young prey about. Hunting weight is very important, if your hawk is too high it wont catch anything and will start to rely on the falconer for food.  At the correct weight the hawk will fly hard, crash into cover, and after a miss will continue to chase.

Thanks Toby Bradshaw's

Losing your transmitter July 2008

To avoid losing your transmitter, always make sure it's fitted in the telemetry mount correctly and both sides of the spring clip are through the tube and always check it's still on the bird after she has crashed into cover or caught something just in case it's been knocked out. When you put your bird in the travelling box before the journey home check it again to avoid a return trip when you get home and realise its not there. 

Thanks Darren Runcorn

Automatic Hood Pattern Generator July 2008

Click the link below to down load the program. Enter the size of the birds head then print out the pattern

Hood Pattern

Glossary of falconry terms  July 2008

Click here for a list of falconry term

Avoid being footed June 2008

Always show your bird there's no food in your hand before putting it up to her feet. By showing her you have nothing she wont be tempted to grab you. This should always be done with young birds.

Initial Training. Getting your bird to fly to you June 2008

When you're trying to get your bird to fly to you don't call her from the perch she has been tethered to. She will know by now that she can't get anywhere from that perch through bating, It could put her off coming to you. Use something else to call her from like a T perch.

Thanks Steve Wright

Vets phone number and address May 2008

As soon as you find a good vet, put their phone number in your mobile and the address into your sat nav. If you're out with your bird and have a problem you can contact the vet straight away and you wont have to worry about the directions if you need to take your bird there. 

Caution when taking young kids out hawking May 2008

I took my nephew out hawking when he was young. As the bird followed on he was holding my hand while we walked.  The bird flew down and whacked him on his head, It wasn't aggressive, just seemed strange. A short time after the bird tried to do it again but I stood in the way. I found it only did it when he was holding my hand. I don't know if the bird thought, that hand normally feeds me or whether it was to do with pecking order or what. A few other people have told me that they've had the same problem with their birds when they've been holding their kids hand so I thought I would mention it.

Aviary wire Feb 2008

Paint the wire mesh on your aviary with black paint, it  makes the  wire clearer to see through. 

Tethering you're bird on a perch Jan 2008

Always check the anklets,  jessies, swivel, leash and perch are in good condition first. Hold the bird on your glove directly above the perch as you tie the leash to the ring and always tie at least two knots. The leash length should be as short as possible without the ring pulling on the birds legs. If you hold your bird to the side of the perch as you tie the knot they will always try to jump to it, which is not safe. When you are taking the bird off the perch do the same, hold it over the perch as you untie the leash. 

Screaming birds Jan 2008

Don't know if this works but it is worth a try if you have a bird that screams. It involves using a clicker to let the bird know it's earned a treat for doing something good.  There is more information here  www.clickertraining.com its an interesting read.

Hunting Seasons for the UK Oct 2007

Click here for a list of the start dates and end of season dates

Catching a Bird that has gone wild Oct 2007

A Bal Chatri trap can be used to catch a bird that wont come to your fist. It holds live prey in a mesh box which is covered with small snares to tangle around the birds feet. This trap should be watched at all times, as soon as the birds trapped it should be removed from the trap straight away to avoid any injuries.

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Gutting and removing the yoke from a chick  Sept 2007

This can be a messy job with the yoke sack popping and going everywhere. If you pinch the chick at the bottom of the rib cage and tear the skin pulling it down towards its legs it will expose the guts and yoke. Simply take hold of the main organs in the rib cage and pull down this will remove all the guts and the yoke sack without  popping it.

Catching a timid bird July 2007

If you can get close to a lost bird when it is feeding on the floor but not close enough to take hold of its jessies. Try pegging a creance into the ground and walk slowly around the bird in circles a few times so the line wraps around the birds legs and tangles up.

Thanks Paul, Wigan

Avoid flies and smells  June 2007

Only feed meat to your animals and birds last thing at night just before it gets dark. As the light falls and the temperature starts to drop flies become inactive. First thing in the morning remove any uneaten meat and bones. Instead of throwing it into the wheelie bin which nowadays only gets emptied every two weeks, place a carrier bag in the freezer and put the meat in it until your bin gets emptied. This will stop the smell of rotting meat especially in summer and will help to keep the amount of flies down.

Avoid flying in strong wind June 2007

There is an old saying "If the wind be high, do not fly". There is more chance of losing your bird in strong winds, the wind can carry your bird a long way. Although a fit bird can handle strong winds it's safer to fly another day.

Home made block perch April 2007

Take a plant pot or yogurt pot and a length of threaded bar. Secure the bar into the pot using 2 nuts and washers then fill the pot with concrete to the top. When the concrete has set glue on a piece of Astroturf.  

 

Click on the drawing for more details

Thanks Liam, Liverpool

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Block perch tangles May 2007

This happens if your jessies are to long or the top of the perch is too small. Simply shorten the length of the jessies to stop them straggling the top of the perch or slide a short length of thin tubing like heat shrink onto the jessie's to prevent them opening up.   

Moult  Feb 2007

When you put your bird away for the moult leave the anklets and flying jesses on. It will be easier and quicker to catch the bird at the end of the moult. Also collect and keep the primary and tail feathers to check the progress of the moult and in case any feathers break when your flying again. Remove the tail mount otherwise when one of the deck feathers falls out it will still be attached to the other one. 

Lure Jan 2007

Don't put wings onto your lure. Instead use a sliced tyre inner tube. If you use wings your bird will start to pluck the feathers after eating the reward and wont want to step onto the glove. Without wings your bird will step onto the glove instantly after the piece of meat has been eaten. It's also more hygienic and can be easily cleaned . The lure is for training and getting your bird back it doesn't need to resemble quarry.

Thanks falconry forum.

Feeding meat on the bone Jan 2007

A friend of mine had the crop of his bird cut open and a full rabbits back leg bone which was stuck removed. If you give your bird meat with large bones in it, like a rabbits back leg. Break the bones in a few places before feeding it to your bird if it eat the hole thing it wont get stuck in her crop and you wont get any unnecessary vets bills  

Anklets Jan 2007

Always fit anklets under the birds bells and rings so they don't cut into the birds feet when she bates. Make them a snug fit so they will only just move freely around the leg. Remember they will stretch over time.

Always check anklet, jesses, swivels, leashes etc, you don't want to peg your bird in the garden with faulty equipment on.

Meet Pouch Dec 2006

Instead of using a meat pouch buy a plastic Tupperware box which will fit in to the pocket of your falconry jacket. They are hygienic, no blood or meat gets stuck in the corners. It is quicker and easier to get at the meat. They are easy to wash. They have a lid so when you throw your jacket in the car the meat doesn't fall out into your pocket.

Clean Hands Dec 2006

Buy a box of a 100 latex gloves. When you're preparing chicks, meat or gutting rabbits etc put a pair on . When you go out hunting put a pair on before you put your falconry glove on. When you feed your bird on a kill you can help her break into it  and you wont get any blood on your hands and fingernails. Blood around your fingernail is almost impossible to get off after it has dried. By wearing the gloves your wife will never say your not coming near me with those hands.

Dummy Bunny Training  Dec 2006

If your bird grabs hold of a rabbit on its back legs your bird will get dragged about until it get hold of the rabbitís head. To help your bird learn this before it actually takes on a fit healthy rabbit, when your bird catches the dummy bunny, keep shaking the bunny until the bird grabs hold of its head then stop and let her have the reward which should also be placed on the bunnyís head.

Fitness and flying weight  Nov 2006

Your bird will need to be fit and muscular before she can take on strong healthy wild quarry. Just dropping her down to hunting weight wont do. Doing  jump ups as you're bringing her weight down will build up her fitness but remember muscle weighs more than fat so as her fat turns to muscle it will appear that she isn't loosing as much weight. 

A 2lb muscled up fit bird  isn't the same as a 2lb unfit bird.

Hidden Wound Nov 2006

If your bird starts to smell bad it possible that she has a concealed infected cut .  Thoroughly check under her feathers. If you find a wound clean it and get in touch with your vet

Don't loose your equipment Nov 2006

In my first season I lost 2 knives and a torch putting them on the floor as I was dealing with kills and feeding up my bird. I now fasten them onto my waist coat with a belt clip, bungee type cord fastened on with a small nut and bolt.

 

Click on the picture for a larger view

 

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Going for the highest perch Oct 2006 

When you tether your bird to a bow perch in your aviary as you are training her, remove all other perches as your bird will always try to get to the highest perch. Also if the floor is pea gravel or rough place a piece of carpet under the perch to prevent feather damage when the bird bates.

Noisy bell Sept 2006

Place a piece of insulation tape over the opening of the bell when you get home from hunting it will stop the ringing noise and give you and your neighbours some peace. Simple peel it off when you next fly her.

Easy clean aviary  Sept 2006

Line the inside of your aviary with tarpaulin. 

Get your bird to come without showing her food Aug 2006

A lot of people put a full chick on their glove to get the bird to come to them. As the bird gets near they take the food away. The bird gets used to this and might stop coming because it thinks whatís the point heís probably going to rob my food as I get there.

To over come this, always hide the food you are going to give her in the middle of your glove. That way she will come to you every time your fist goes up to find out if thereís anything in it.

Get your bird fit Aug 2006

Donít just throw meat in the aviary if you canít fly your bird that day. Jump ups are an excellent way to get and keep your bird fit. Have prepared a lot of tiny bits of meat. Put you bird on the floor and place a piece of meat in your glove, hold it as high as you can above the bird so she has to fly vertical. When she is on the glove eating lower her and put her on the floor again, place a piece of meat in the glove again and repeat the exercise 50 - 200 times.

You donít need to put meat in the glove every time. When her beak opens it is a sign she tired. Do another 10 to 15 jumps then give her a rest. Thanks Nigel, Sussex

Have a spare change of clothes and a towel in your car. Aug 2006

On 2 occasions I have driven home soaked from the waist down, my bird chased a magpie on a clear frosty night as I was lamping and slammed into its reflection on a lake, I had to go in and get her. The other time grass had covered a stream as I walked on it I found out there was 2 foot of water underneath. I know other people whoíve had to cross rivers to get to their birds because they have caught ducks etc.

Getting your bird off a rabbit  Jul 2006

Place your gloved hand on  the rabbits back legs. Throw a chicks leg or piece of meat on the floor just out of the birds reach so she has to let go of the rabbit to get it. This method can also be used to get your bird off other prey.

Jessie tangles Jul 2006

Only hold the flying Jessie closest to your fist, as your bird bates she will go around in a circle and end up back on your glove with out the Jessieís getting twisted.

Donít rob your birdís food July 2006

If you give your bird a big piece of food then after sheís had a couple of mouthfuls take it away from her and put it in your bag. Your bird will think you have robbed her. Take a couple of minutes to cut her food up into small pieces and give her them instead of big piece.

Cheap Falcon / Hawk Bath July 2006

Instead of paying £20 - £30 on a hawk bath, buy a terracotta or plastic plant saucer about 16" for a small bird and 24" for a larger bird. These can be bought from garden centres, B&Q etc for around £5.

 

Easy to pick up Bath May 2006

I struggled for ages picking up my bath when it was full of water, I couldn't get my fingers under it. I drilled a hole in the out side big enough to get a finger in now it's easy to lift. Why haven't the people who make them come up with this? 

Thanks Dave, Cumbria 

Always test your Telemetry Mar 2006

Before you go out flying your bird test your transmitter and receiver are working properly. Test it each time, don't do what I did and say it was working ok the other day. When you lose your bird and you don't get a signal you know you should have tested it. You learn by your mistakes.

Lamping Feb 2006

Place a piece of insulation tape over the opening of the bell when lamping it will stop the noise and give your bird an advantage. 

Travelling Box Dimensions Jan 2006

Idea for Harris Hawks, Goshawks, etc. 

Width = 43cm  Height = 60cm   Length =56cm. Perch in the middle 16cm up.

Ensure the birds tail feathers don't touch the back of the box when she leans forward, there is nothing worse than a bird that's tail is covered in mutes after a journey.

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Spot your Transmitter Jan 2006

Place red heat shrink on the transmitters aerial so  its easy to spot if you drop it in long grass.

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