View Full Version : B*gger Health and Safety !

21st Apr 2012, 15:52
Mrs OFSO went without me to the Sant Jordi fair in our local town this morning, next thing I get a call from her (laughing) saying "I've been attacked by a falcon".

As I love hunting birds I went over to see what was going on; one of the local falconers had a collection of falcons and owls on display of which some were free-flying.

Falcons fly a few feet over the ground and the ties on their legs were hitting people as the birds weaved in and out of the crowds. Initially Mrs OFSO didn't know they were there and was tapped by a bird's ties (and bells) on her head as it flew past.

Lovely to see them in the air at VERY close range, and fascinating to see them approach a landing site from below, rise up, and do a stall landing on a lamp standard or signpost.

No doubt in *more enlightened* countries hunting birds wouldn't be allowed to fly amid crowds of human beings. In fact one nice young man in a pink trouser suit was clutching his tiny dog as he hurried away from the fair, possibly in fear that it would be carried off by a falcon. But there were plenty of parents pointing out the birds to offspring who perhaps don't see this sort of thing very often.


21st Apr 2012, 15:57
There are several 'companies' free-flying birds-of-prey around us.

They typically attend local fairs with static displays to raise funds (and interest).

As you say, watching a display is 'spectacular'.

21st Apr 2012, 16:05
B*gger Health and Safety

It that safe? ;)


21st Apr 2012, 18:10
We have a Sparrowhawk which comes hunting in our garden. Mrs S. was recently upset and annoyed to find it on the ground chewing the head off one of her "pet" collared doves. :}

21st Apr 2012, 18:10
It is if you wear a condom, caco

21st Apr 2012, 18:17
We have a Sparrowhawk which comes hunting in our garden. Mrs S. was recently upset and annoyed to find it on the ground chewing the head off one of her "pet" collared doves. :}

Can I borrow it? fed up of the noisy beggars in my garden

DX Wombat
21st Apr 2012, 21:25
Determined immigrants (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_Collared_Dove) are Collared Doves.

21st Apr 2012, 22:45
My neighbours (husband & wife)out here in wilds of Tyrone have both been seen off by a hawk that frequents their garden. They like my missus tend to leave a lot of bird food out so I presume said hawk has relatively easy pickings.
Watched a falcon display at one of the Scottish stately homes and they are indeed a majestic birds when you are not on the menu.

21st Apr 2012, 23:20
Determined immigrants are Collared Doves.

Yes, they've adapted really well to the UK. When I was a child our next door neighbour had the only ones in the area, in an aviary, along with his golden pheasants. The doves escaped.......

We've had a pair nesting in the garden here for the last few years.

Wood pigeons, too, they seem to like the place here. Only a few years ago they kept well away from human contact but these are cheeky enough to fly down and drink from the pond or just sit on the fence very close to us. Maybe it's because they know our dogs don't allow cats in the garden.

21st Apr 2012, 23:33
Wood pigeons have got to be the stupidest birds of all.

They sit around perched in exposed locations where the hawks can swoop down and pick them off - and they are too slow to react to the threat . . .

21st Apr 2012, 23:55
Pheasants are probably more stupid. We used to have one land on the front drive and then try to squeeze through the bars of the wrought iron gate to the back garden. He never made it and got stuck a few times. He never learned to just glide over the gate then land on the back lawn, where he obviously really wanted to be.

He also repeatedly tried to scratch his way in through the clear glass panel next to our front door. Used to drive the dog mad to see him there! Dog scratching on one side trying to get out, pheasant on the other, trying to get in! Chaos.

There also used to be a loony cock pheasant at Chetwynd Airfield, Shropshire, who used to indignantly march out from the hawthorn hedge and try to see off the visiting Whirlwind and Wessex helicopters. Every single time he did that, he got bowled over by the downwash. He never learned, either. ;)

22nd Apr 2012, 06:21
Was visiting a hotel in Dunkeld years ago where a wedding was being held. As part of the festivities a falconry display was taking place on the lawn with raptors of all sizes, including owls. The birds seemed oblivious to the guests and swooped among them, fixated on the lures being spun around by their keeper. When he brought out the Golden Eagle our dog started to look a bit worried.

22nd Apr 2012, 07:42
In this part of the world, it was common to see passengers boarding flights with one or two Falcons, they would pay for the extra seats.


22nd Apr 2012, 07:46
I've twice seen a hawk of some type around here. 1st time, spotted a dove hiding in an overturned flower pot, when the hawk hit a noisy miner in a cloud of feathers, but the miner escaped and the hawk was seen off the premises. 2nd time, heard a thump on the front window. There was a dead dove on the verandah and a hawk sitting on the rail, with another in a tree over the road. The hawk then flew off with the dove.

Last week I was giving a kookaburra his breakfast when he whipped round - he'd spotted a hawk fairly high and flying from A-B, not circling or hovering. He wasn't taking any risks, flew into a bushy tree until it was well gone.

22nd Apr 2012, 07:47
Do they still allow you to bring your own catering on board: Chicken / Fish / Mice / or the vegi option.

But if in first class cabin, then should be no problem.

Now back to CNN to see if the F1, is a blood bath.....


22nd Apr 2012, 07:47
tend to leave a lot of bird food out so I presume said hawk has relatively easy pickings.
yep, we seem to have quite a food chain here, too, with neighbourhood cats taking a regular look at the bird feeder (not much luck till now, though). Until the dogs get out, that is.
passengers boarding flights with one or two Falcons
who would sit quietly, then? Seatbelted?

22nd Apr 2012, 08:20
It's usually the female sparrowhawk that takes on a wood pigeon. The male spawk tends to stick to the smaller birds such as blackbirds/chaffinches, etc. Check out the size difference between the two sexes.
A spawk is an indication of a healthy bird population. No birds, no spawk.

The Harris Hawk is one of the most popular birds for falconers to use, especially for beginners. So if you see an unfamilar raptor one day, with jesses trailing from its leg, it could well be a Harris.

22nd Apr 2012, 08:36
OFSO, as you say free flying birds of prey is a wonderful sight to see, not far from here, is the Schloss Rosenburg and to watch what they have free flying is a great day out.
link here, offen.html (http://www.falkenhofrosenburg.de/seite1.html)

Also when I was working at Getafe, we often went fishing in Extremadura, in the mountains, was often distracted by the numbers of Eagles and Vultures ridding the thermals around there.

22nd Apr 2012, 10:20
It that safe?

........or healthy?