Flying hawks can be a full time job, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. My 3 Harris hawks all have different characters. Loki is my prince, he is so loyal and mild mannered everyone who meets him falls in love a little bit.
He and I enjoy long walks across the fields; this afternoon he watched me bash tall patches of stinging nettles with a stick – how have they all grown so fast already? – Loki is watching out for any animal he can grab and flies between the branches following me, sometimes dashing past and clipping my shoulder with his wing tip as if to say ‘I’m still here, right with you’.
He rarely catches anything, but always gets a good dinner back in his aviary. Such a lucky, happy hawk, and lady!
The other 2 boys are quite different to work with. We haven’t known each other for as long as Loki and I as they both came to me just last Autumn.
Chiko had a reputation for being noisy and moody, often a new owner can change this pattern of behaviour however he is persisting – I call him Father Jack most days 🙂 He is a quick flier and good to handle, just grumpy! He is in moult now so has an excuse, I am letting him be for a while and hope he is in a better mood soon!
Thor is the eldest hawk of the 3 being 5 years old. They can live to 18 years or so in captivity and at 5 yrs old Thor knows what to do to have an easy life and get food. They are very clever birds, enjoying a hunt and also knowing, or could I say understanding, the relationship we have and therefore allowing themselves to be tethered again.
That is the real thrill for me. Having that unspoken bond with a species so different to us.
My I have had the pleasure of sharing this amazing experience with many different people this winter, even in the snow!
And finally, and quite magnificently, I have my Redtailed hawk who is cousin to our buzzards – the first birds of prey I fell in love with. She came to me with the name Cleopatra, but I called her Isie after my mum, who was a North American bird too 🙂 Isie is the largest of all my hawks, and the most timid. She will only bath indoors, very demure, and gives everyone a beautiful display of her wings as they approach to show how big she is. She does fly for me when in the mood, and it is wonderful to see her in full flight.
Hope to see you soon!