Is Falconry Worth the Investment in Time?

Maurine L. inquires:

I live in Fort Worth, Texas, as housekeeper to Milo, the U2.

At a Master Naturalist meeting, I met a man who keeps several Harris’s hawks.

They do grackle reduction work for him.

He goes to shopping centers at night with one of his birds, who catches a grackle or a pigeon, and all the other birds in the flock leave.

For a long time.

His hawks stay pretty busy, he says.

Yes Maurine, even with lower traffic at shopping malls, birds have always been a problem in big box stores especially like Home Depot and Lowe’s that have outdoor warehousing.

 

​​Bird poop on a $25 oak 2 x 12 is not a good selling feature so it pays for the retailers to retain raptor clearing services.


​Raptors have only one thought “where’s my next meal coming from.”


​Humans have only one use for raptor birds.

​Not as pets.​
Not as entertainment.​
Not as a playful companion.

 

They are hunters used worldwide in sport hunting, especially in the middle east ​​

 

​​Birds of prey are also rented by farmers to chase Crow flocks into the next county.


​A while back Craig Hendee mentored me in the falconry space for about a year.

 


​Here’s why I walked away.


​Falconry is the most regulated sport in America.
​I simply didn’t have the time to devote.

​If I recall it’s two years of mentoring and instruction and then you must be licensed at both the state and at the federal level.


​Birds have to live in a “mews” particularly designed coop for raptors.


​If a bird loses a feather in must be recorded and then replaced using the process of imping.


​The birds are registered to you and the USDA can knock on your door at any time to perform an inspection.


​And that’s just where it starts.


​Training the birds is rigorous and must be maintained several days a week.


Craigs 22 birds were fed thawed out baby chicks the came on pallets containing ice cube-like cardboard trays.


​After all the training there was always the chance that a bird would not return or kill itself by striking telephone wires while flying at 60 miles an hour.


​It was that simple everyone would be doing it.


​Me with Alvin (Title photo)


​​Stay safe

​Best

​MitchR

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