Happy Thanksgiving All. Just a few pictures from my last-week trip to the Texas Panhandle. Photographs by Eric Edwards and Brian Millsap.
Some scenes from hawking cottontails and jackrabbits with the Harris’ hawks:
We caught quite a few cottontails and ate most of them. Here’s one that got away:
And one that didn’t:
Ernie’s first jack, a nice catch in tall cover. He got to it first but needed “air support” from Brian’s female hawk and another flown by Heather Gast. Together they had it dead to rights. Group hunting is common for trained Harris hawks as it is for the wild ones. In jack hawking, the first hawk to make contact and hold the rabbit gets the spoils:
Several in our party flew longwings, too. Here’s Matt Reidy’s peregrine, Playa, about to bind and barely miss:
And later, binding and holding on:
Our host Jimmy Walker flies a great tiercel prairie. Here’s Harley on a pintail, his first of that species:And here’s Jimmy goshawk about to catch a scaled quail:
And finally a nice shot of Eric Edwards’ new passage peregrine waiting on above a duck pond. You may recall that a limited number of wild, first-year peregrines have been made available to falconers this year after a 4-decade hiatus in their use in American falconry. Eric was instrumental in arranging for wild take in Florida, which will happen next year; and this year he received a permit from Maryland to harvest one of about 5 allotted to that state.
The bird is trained now and has been chasing ducks for about a week: