Birds at the Game Fair

Friday and Saturday were gorgeous sunny days at Game Fair. Sunday it was dark and poured rain almost the whole entire day. And Game Fair goes on rain or shine, so there was no escape. I was at least stationed at a covered tent. The best part of the deal was that this truly was the best time for people to test out binoculars, all the ones I had were all water proof--what a great demo and this kind of light is where you can really separate the men from the boys as far as light gathering ability. Alas, most of the patrons fled the down pour and didn't take advantage of this great time to test optics. It was funny to hand some of the few people who were there a cheaper pair and the hand them a more expensive pair and hear them exclaim--"Oh wow, that IS bright!"

I saw one of the coolest tattoos ever. Check out that blue jay tattoo. She said that she found this photo and took it to Serious Ink in Fridley, MN and they put it right on her leg. That's the best bird tattoo I've ever seen and makes me want to get a new one. I was contemplating another piece of bird art, but there's a goshawk photo that I would just love to have inked to figure out where.

Speaking of blue, check out these feet on one of the birds at the falconry booth:

These gorgeous blue tootsies belong to this bird:

I seriously thought about making this a photo id contest but this one would be really tough. First, it is a falcon but what kind? It's a first year falcon and not in adult plumage. You may say, "Hmmm, peregrine...although something is not quite right." That's because it's a hybrid. Can you guess what this male has been crossed with. That is a clue. For a male, he's large....this is a cross between a peregrine and gyrfalcon. Pretty cool looking bird, and so dark.

Here's another photo of the falconer holding the hybrid and check out the goshawk in the lower right hand corner. It's trying to jump off it's perch to attack the falcon. That wasn't the only time, this gos really wanted to kill that falcon.

Here's a little scene that I captured at the falconer hooded the hybrid to keep it calm:

On the right we have the goshawk and hunched and thinking of attacking the falcon (this is unusual because goshawks generally don't think, they act before thinking--which is why I relate to accipiters so). On the left is the hooded falcon, perched and happy as a clam not to be seeing crowds of people. Between the two birds towards the back is a red-tail, minding her own business.

The falcon scratches at her neck, the goshawk can take it no more...she must go and kill the falcon.

Off she goes, strait for the falcon, tugging with all her might at the perch to just get closer and quench her desire to kill and eat. Through all of this, the red-tail stayed out of it. Sensible red-tail (and a bird I cannot quite relate to).

One of the falconers came over to put a stop to her antics and block her view of the falcon.

Still not convinced that she wasn't done trying to kill the falcon, the goshawk stood her ground while the falconer points to her perch. After a minute, she landed back on her perch and ruffled her tail. Her enthusiasm was appreciated, but this wasn't the time to hunt, nor the prey to go for.

I just loves me some goshawk!