Hey, how about a head on hump day merlin? Anybody need any cleansing out there? This should work. Isn't that a dynamite shot? It's from my buddy Frank Taylor. It rained a ton at the blind last weekend, but they still got some cool birds in like this female merlin. I was not able to go, but hope to make it back there soon. Last fall, I had more time than money, this fall I have more money than time. But that's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise.
Frank also sent over a great shot of two sharp-shinned hawks, one adult (haggard in falconry terms) and one immature (passage in falconry terms). It's a nice compare/contrast. They had a great if not heart breaking show involving a peregrine (heart breaking because the peregrine got away): Frank reports,
"At 11:02 am Amber spotted an immature male Peregrine falcon coming right at us from the northeast. At about mid-field it started chasing a female Kestrel. It was pressing the Kestrel hard with twists and turns and when it started to close the gap, the Kestrel shot right into the woods, just to the north of us, in an effort to shake it off. As the Peregrine came back into the field, Rick pulled the lure and it came straight in and bound to it at the base of the net. Because it hit the lure and stopped right there, the net did not fall and as soon as Rick ran out of the blind, it released its grip and took off toward the north. Holy Spiccollli!! . . . What A Great Show! There was not even a scratch on the lure as it was wearing our super-dooper, extra thick, protective leather, jacket-harness."
So Frank's efforts to put his lure pigeons in thick leather harnesses really does work to save the pigeon. For more on Frank's set up, visit my Hawk Banding 101 link.
Hawk migration is well underway. I digiscoped some broad-winged hawks soaring over the MSP Airport this morning. We don't quite see the numbers in the Twin Cities that they see up at Hawk Ridge, but still fun to see a small kettle. Speaking of Hawk Ridge, they are having their big Hawk Weekend Event this coming weekend. If you're outside of Minnesota, visit the Hawk Migration Association website and see if there's a place near you.