Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thing 88 Go Falconing

In the long list of manly Things remaining on this Project (it's not that long a list, there's nearly more girly Things than manly Things) this one must have been the best. Birds of prey sitting on my arm for the purpose of hunting small animals.

We didn't actually do any small animal hunting we just took our Harris Hawks for a walk in the woods. Technically this Thing should have been called "hawking" but that implies alot of saliva and spitting, of which there was very little. We could have used falcons - there were alot of them, and they're the fastest creatures on earth. Fastest ever. Awesome.

We used Harris Hawks instead. Typically a little slower than the falcon, the Harris Hawks are actually better hunters, and are the only birds of prey that hunt in a pack. The wolves of the sky. Did you hear how cool that is: Wolves of the Sky. Sitting on my arm. The buzz is unreal.
That's Samhraidh on my arm there. He's telling me that he doesn't mind sitting there, but there's a good chance that he's about to take off and eat something small. I assume. He might be saying "that hat makes you look stupid", but I'm hoping for the former. I don't speak Hawk.

Basically I got soaked all day and had a blast, and I wasn't even in Oxegen. Take that Punchestown. Ashford Castle in Cong, County Mayo has you beaten any day of the week. You might have Eminem, but we've got hawks and hunting. Token Northy was equally impressed, but Big Mac, he was absolutely blown away. Look at him there in his fancy Indiana Jones hat... just darling.
Hawks see in ultra violet. They have their own personalities. They're trained in two months when they're tiny and wee. And the females are the boss. That's actually the understatement of the century. The females are about 47% larger than the males. They perch higher, and force the males to perch lower. They eat any surplus males from any clutch. They keep one or two (lucky) males for stud (super lucky) and the rest are given the bum's rush pretty fast.

It really is not a male's world. Not for hawks anyway.

Ashford Castle. Cong. County Mayo. If you've nothing else to do, the more you get into a class, the cheaper it gets. 55 squid for the three of us (each) and we got to stroll around some beautiful forest lands with the birds of prey showing us how it's done. Worth every penny.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy the picture where you and the falcon are eyeballing each other. Good lad.