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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once again, I am obsessed with Raptors. A little backround.... I have been studying (observing) raptors for many years. I spend most of my driving time looking for and watching the habits of these amazing creatures. I have been fortunate enough to hunt with a master falconer with a few species of raptors. We flew a Harris Hawk and a Red Tail. I will spare all the details( unless someone asks) but, will add that it was one of the most exciting experiences that I have ever encountered.

Back to the point of the story... this morning on the way to my office, I saw (my) resident Red Tail hawks on the Sunken Meadow. I say mine because I feel like they belong to me and we have this relationship. I say, "goodmorning" to them every morning. My office staff along with many on this board think I am nuts :p

One thing that I try to notice is where are they today and why? I have never been able to pattern them yet but, I will say that they can be patterned just like Largemouth bass. On some days, they will ALL be on lightposts. Other days, they will ALL be perched in the middle of trees. Not together in a group but, several miles apart but, in the same exact location. This am- they were on the tree tops. 4 birds, ALL on the tops of the trees. Very unusual, to ME. I have never seen them perched as high as they were on the tree tops. It just isn't common to see them balance themselves on these fragile branches. I did notice that the wind was minimal but, I still don't have any real answers.

My observations this am, has me paralleling these raptors with the fish that I hunt. Some days they will be on weed edges in 20ft of water and "that is where they will be found"! Other days they will be towards the rear of the of docks. I guess most predators must have an optimal "comfort zone". One that offers them all the advantages that they need for their survival.

Just some observations....
 

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Some members give fish human and mamailian attributes and now we are giving birds the attributes of fish.

No wonder the myth about bass eyes being sensitive to the sun persisted for decades.
 

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AKO32 said:
Some days they will be on weed edges in 20ft of water and "that is where they will be found"! Other days they will be towards the rear of the of docks. I guess most predators must have an optimal "comfort zone".

I would have to differ on that observation. Don't know much about birds but as far as my observations where fish are concerned I'd say on any given day there will be SOME fish in 20 ft. and SOME fish at the rear of the docks. I think it would be a very rare day when you'd find ALL the fish in one particular locale.....At least that's the way I perceive it to be.:)
 

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AKO32,
If you enjoy raptors, you should take a trip up along the Delaware, above Port Jervis, there's a section of Rt 42 called the Hawks nest its perfect and lots of Eagles and Red Tails,, and than there's the Neversink Res. which a huge wintering area for Eagles....

there's also a Raptor site in Milford Pa. (web site as well)

Tight Lines.. Ken
 

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Warwickfishman said:
AKO32,
If you enjoy raptors, you should take a trip up along the Delaware, above Port Jervis, there's a section of Rt 42 called the Hawks nest its perfect and lots of Eagles and Red Tails,, and than there's the Neversink Res. which a huge wintering area for Eagles....

there's also a Raptor site in Milford Pa. (web site as well)

Tight Lines.. Ken
Andy,

Warwick is right but there are also places closer than that, Iona Island in Bear Mt. SP is another good spot for wintering bald eagles right along the Hudson River.

The raptor site in Milford, Pa is: http://www.dvrconline.org

You may also want to check out the Pocono Evironmental Education Center or PEEC, some cool programs about raptors as well as other wildlife both for adults and kids, even fly fishing classes. http://www.peec.org/
 

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Ok I'll ask...

We flew a Harris Hawk and a Red Tail. I will spare all the details( unless someone asks) but, will add that it was one of the most exciting experiences that I have ever encountered.
What was it like hunting with the master falconer?
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What was it like hunting with the master falconer?
Ok, here it goes, I first met the gentleman while he was on a hunt near my house(former) in Huntington. After seeing my obsession with these birds he invited me to take part in a hunt with him and his birds. We met at the field and he introduced me to his Harris Hawk(Paula). After a brief intro to the bird and the sport, he fitted the bird with a pair of jesses. Once the bird was fitted with the jesses and a wire transmitter he let the bird fly loose and she immediately flew on to the nearest telephone pole. We(he) then grabbed a very large metal perch that he would walk with as we walked the field. Once we started to walk the field, he called the hawk to the perch. She came on command. I was then instructed to grab a stick and start to hit the bushes in front of me to flush any rabbits. The hawk watched intently as I did my thing. Next thing I see... the bird takes off for a good distance and then stoops into a bush. He tells me when the bird took off, "She's on something!" We follow her path and when we finally get to her, she is standing over a dead rabbit that she has just killed. He calls her to his hand and she immediately comes. He then feeds her a piece of rabbit that he keeps in a zip lock bag in his pocket. He then takes freshly killed rabbit and puts it into a bag in his jacket. After we hunted for the better part of the morning, we went back to his truck to fly another bird.

This particular bird was "hooded" and when he took the hood off, you couldn't imagine the shrill of the bird. He explained the reasons for the hood, it helps keep the bird calm during transport. We then took this beautiful Red Tail hawk on a hunt and again, the same results except for this birds lack of discipline. He wouldn't come to hand as easily as the harris hawk and he was a bit of a free spirit. Doing what he wanted, when he wanted. The process of training these wild creatures. I imagine that it isn't an easy proposition.

What I appreciated about this falconer was his dedication to his birds. He told me that in order to keep a falcon, one must become an apprentice first and then be sponsered by a master falconer. You must then go into the wild and capture your own hawk. Not an easy task. I could go on and on but, the important thing that all must remember is, you MUST fly your bird daily! They are wild creatures and they need to fly everyday.

Some people don't agree with falconry and I understand both sides.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would have to differ on that observation. Don't know much about birds but as far as my observations where fish are concerned I'd say on any given day there will be SOME fish in 20 ft. and SOME fish at the rear of the docks. I think it would be a very rare day when you'd find ALL the fish in one particular locale.....At least that's the way I perceive it to be.
Jp, your observations are consistent with mine except when I go hunting for big bass, patterns do exsist! I have been on many a dock pattern and on that particular day, I have landed a big fish from the same "type" of struture on that day. Will fish be in different locales on that lake?, I'll take your word for it;) . I'll stick to my gameplan, though! I must have worded my post incorrectly for one to assume that I meant ALL the fish would be found at the weedlines or rear of docks.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some members give fish human and mamailian attributes and now we are giving birds the attributes of fish.
Is it unusual that predators be compared to other predators? Or can we only compare them to themselves. Can one compare the stealthy hunting style of big cats to the hunting style of a Great Blue Heron? Does it matter the species of animal that is being compared or rather it matters that they are two totally different species? While it is apparent that we have evolved to a much greater extent than non-human species, does that change the manner in which we both hunt?
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Warwick, thanks for the heads up!

Scott E- As always, you are right on point! While I have this opportunity, I want to personally thank you for ALWAYS making this board interesting and informative! You are a class act and I always look forward to your posts. Have a great holiday season and again, Thank you!
 

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I'm sorry Craig, but after an initial serious post, a couple of guys jumped on Andy and diverted the original spirit of the thread, I thought you were joining in......

but surely, Velociraptors??? you are talking Jurassic Park here, what gives?
 

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Only if the Peconic is in Jurassic Park!!!

earthworm77 said:
Where did my velociraptor post go....it is legit! There really is one on the Peconic river...I'll take a photo next year.
Craig,

A velociraptor was a dinosaur, veloci meaning speedy and raptor meaning theif or robber, you may have a raptor but not a velociraptor. Raptors are a large family of birds such as eagles, hawks, falcons, kestrals, kites, owls and osprey.

Velociraptor
 

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thank you Scott, you have elucidated in your inimitable manner why I had jettisoned that post along with some of the other "funny" ones....


Craig: now maybe you could understand my confusion on it.....
 

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Scott, I absolutely know that. I was quite the dinosaur fan growing up. Anyway, I'm wading about 4 years ago on zone 3 the Peconic, the water is really skinny and there are trees everywhere. You can't see around the next bend. Very peaceful day, birds singing, water rushing and the smell of grapes in the air. I turn the corner and up about 100 ft I see something move near shore. I look closer and it is a squirrel next to a tree. Only I don't remember there ever being a tree at that spot. When I really focus I see a very realistic velociraptor about 9 or 10 feet tall. Sculpture or statue? I'm not sure but it is very life like, it startled me at first. Truthfully it scared the shit out of me until I realized it was faux. Pretty cool though. I guess it was put there to scare the canoers.
 

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Sounds cool Andy! Two questions for you though.

Does he feed the hawks the rabbits they killed?

What would one do to capture a wild hawk? Seriously, wouldn't that be hard as hell? Do you learn it from the master falconer?

Thanks. -Joe
 

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AKO32 said:
Warwick, thanks for the heads up!

Scott E- As always, you are right on point! While I have this opportunity, I want to personally thank you for ALWAYS making this board interesting and informative! You are a class act and I always look forward to your posts. Have a great holiday season and again, Thank you!
Andy,

Thank you!! hope you and your family have a safe and happy holiday also.

PS: You should join us in April/May for the Bashakill get together as there are always eagles and osprey nesting there in the early spring.
 
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