Monday, February 6, 2012

Falconry and Hawk Hunting

We caught wind of the Oregon Falconers Association's Winter meeting, and had a great time crashing the party.

There were 8 birds there, and alot of great people who love the sport - they were patient and willing to answer all of our crazy questions.

Here is a young red-tail hawk that was trapped 5 days earlier.

The birds were also very cooperative - always willing to show off and pose for the camera!

The group was slow-roasting a pig in a make-shift oven.

Pretty slick idea... we'll have to give this one a try.

Unfortunately, we had to leave before the pig was done. Next time, though.

This was definitely a "hands on" event.

Several groups with larger birds went rabbit hunting, and two birds were successful.

This falcon warmed up easily with so many admirers.

In the afternoon, the highlight was a pigeon derby - one-by-one the birds took to the field and hunted homing pigeons as they were released.

The pigeons were pretty cagey - only 2 of the 8 or 9 released was caught by the raptors. One flew into the crowd in its effor to escape, with this hawk hot on its heels.

Here is the video link of the hunt- the birds were right in among us, and we could almost reach up and grab them! If you dare - they were moving along fast, and pretty serious!

These birds were all business!

A fantastic day - both the birds and the weather were perfect.