February 6th, 2017
January 15th, 2017
Jan 14: Had her flying across "the man loft" (upstairs bedroom/office), about 8-10', with sometimes good response and sometimes hesitation to come or come directly (as there were perches along the way). 124g. Perches and low ceiling might have made a big difference?
January 10th, 2017
Seems that Millie might have finally had that *click* moment where she associated jumping to the hand to get fed. She even did so once when there was no visible food. After polishing off her mouse, full, she flew into the closet to try and perch on the clothes rack there to spend the night. Nope. Don't need bird poop all over my good clothes! She seems to be getting calmer, too.
I've never worked at such a slow pace with a bird before. This is all me being busy, but this is what I'd planned on happening. We'll see how this slow approach pans out over time.
Still not vocalizing, so that's a giant plus.
January 1st, 2017
December 29th, 2016
December 27th, 2016
Oh, and I've got Millie doing hesitant hops (of about 6") to the fist. Normally I'd have a bird doing this in 2-4 days, but I got a kestrel acknowledging my time constraints during the academic year, and I don't feel guilty for doing little more with her than tossing her a mouse each day and weighing her from time to time. "Working with her" has largely been me, on a futon couch/bed, grading papers or writing reports or sleeping, with her about 4-5' away and in plain sight. Irregularly, as sometimes I don't want an overhead light on all night long and I like to "bed surf" from location to location in the house anyway. So, if you're reading this and you're an apprentice falconer, don't do anything I'm doing; your sponsor will likely drop you. :) But hopefully there's a method to my madness.
That and I got a DVD on raptor exercise/conditioning, so hopefully we'll move on to that phase soon. I'd like to do jump-ups with Millie to build breast/flight muscles and reinforce training.
December 13th, 2016
December 8th, 2016
November 14th, 2016
I'll get one eventually; I'd just prefer sooner rather than later.
November 2nd, 2016
Well, I took a three-year vacation from it when work went insane, they laid off about 20% of the professors, and then things went uglier--and I got a "promotion" of sorts that demanded more of my time and I wasn't terribly keen on but it felt like a good idea to take when it was offered because of job security. Fun times!
But this fall, I've decided to say "Eff it!" and get a bird. I'm thinking a kestrel as I won't really have much time to fly it during the school year, but they're a hoot to fly on grasshoppers in the summer when I don't have teaching obligations to deal with. We'll see how this all works out.
Oh. And. Uh. Hi there.