Weekly Eagle Journal

Archive for February, 2007

Mini-Me 2/27/07

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 Posted in Journal 2007 | No Comments »

Mini-Me with jack rabbit lure

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The last couple of training sessions I have been dragging a dead jack across the horse pasture. He was quick to respond but clearly did not know what a jack rabbit was.

Today I changed up the lesson somewhat. I had the jack out in the field but let him jump to a hill and then called him to the fist. With a bird that is looking for food the moment the hood comes off there is little chance that it will just fly off. This is the time to teach the bird to come back to the fist.  I had forgotten what it’s like to call an imprint to the fist. They fly hard and fast right at your face and you sort of catch them with the glove. He did that two times and on the third he flew out and around the field and landed. I twitched the jack and he flew over and grabbed it. I let him break in and then stepped him up on the fist for a full meal. At this point, he’s not too bad in terms of attitude.

The weather has been brutal around here — lots of rain but, oddly enough, it clears up just long enough to fly. MM (we’ve named him Mini-Me) is acting like the typical imprint. Every time I go in or past the mews he bates at me. Today I didn’t even put him on the scale, just hooded him up and went out to the field. He is ready to hunt. When the hood comes off he immediately begins looking for a rabbit. I had hidden the jack body out a good ways in the field and had covered it with grass. MM looked over the field carefully, launched on something he saw, made a big circle around the field and came back to the fist gotta like that! Boy, having an untrained eagle accelerating at your face does tend to make one just a little jumpy. Anyway, he came in, got a chunk of meat, settled down, and started looking the field over again. He locked onto something that might have possibly been a jack rabbit nope, a piece of wood. He instantly flew back to the glove. After he settled down I twitched the jack and he was off, powering his way to it. Just as he got there I jerked the jack and he missed, turned around quickly and gave chase, footing the jack rabbit. His feathers are a mess, nothing broken just in poor condition, and he needs a bath, but he is ready to go hunting.