Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nearly 70 degrees - First Liberation

It was the first time many of the late hatches had been out and just about the only time the old birds had been out since I started training young birds.  I came home early and they looked pretty antsy - it had been nearly 70 degrees (it's supposed to break a record today at 72).  As soon as I opened the trap they started busting for the exit.  With only 30 minutes before sun down, I figured they'd be safe from hawks, especially if I stayed and watched  - which I did (supper got cold, oh well).  You could feel their joy as they climbed into the wind and then zoomed down with the wind.  The late hatches tried to keep up with the old birds and after less than two minutes were back on the roof panting, resting before going again.  I was amazed that everyone went back up fine - even the late hatches.  Such an intelligent bird!  I expected some of the Young Birds would protest and try to get back in the Young Bird loft but they didn't.  The 11' geodesic winter fly pen spoiled them, I guess.  Need to do this every night and start getting them conditioned for old bird races in April.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Breeding Season Well Underway

I'm being more selective this year.  I moved eggs from two preferred pair to two foster parents.  I am determined to keep certain pairs from reproducing this year due to their track record.  Still - it felt weird to break eggs this time of year.  I worry the pairs I've taken eggs from will hesitate to start another round and I really need them to.  It is going to be a very interesting young bird team!  Black Eagles, Black Knights, black Houbens, Black Diamonds - it's going to be a dark year.