Trapping the Bird

Finally, the trapping video is done! I’ve been crazy busy with this whole new schedule thing (having a bird changes your life pretty drastically), so it was hard for me to put the final touches on this thing, but here it is. A huge thanks to Brian Bunce for helping me trap my first bird.

And here’s a video (http://screencast.com/t/9W8ozcBvthC) I made that explains the whole trapping setup with pictures.

A few things about the trapping process that weren’t included in the video. The trapping does not hurt the birds in any way; I wanted to make that clear to anyone who might possibly think otherwise. That would be entirely counterproductive. Over the 3-4 hours we were up on the ridge, we caught two birds, mainly so that I could have the opportunity to choose a bird and so that Brian (the man in the video) could give any other falconers in the area a Red-tail if they so desired (we would have caught more if we had the time and the good fortune).

Trapping the birds can be very tricky. It is a very delicate art and requires the absolute attention and caution of everyone involved. Lots of unexpected things can happen. Both the birds that we got in the net were not actually the ones we thought we were getting; we all had our eyes on one Red-tail when another came up and over from the other side of the ridge and we glanced down just in time to see them come in and take the bait. Make sure you’re looking everywhere and keeping your eyes open, but don’t lose sight of your target, either!

I came a little unprepared to trap, forgetting to bring a hood or a transport box, otherwise known as a giant hood. Since a bird’s sense of sight is where it gets most of its sensory input from the outside world, darkening its eyes cause it to be incredibly calm and transportation becomes much easier. Because of this, I had to bring him all the way home (an approximately 2.5 hour car ride) in the stocking, which is clearly not the most comfortable situation for the bird.

The bird was really thirsty after we finally got him on the glove, so my sponsor gave him a good amount of water out of one of those right-angle squirt bottles used in science labs. I didn’t man him at all after I got home, since he had such a rough day.

Other than that, I think the two videos do a pretty good job at explaining the various steps involved. Please comment if you have any questions or observations.

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