March 15, 2019 – It changed into a miserable day for me on December 4, 2018. My Harris’ hawk, Sundance, escaped from his mew at 11:00 am on December four, 2018. Sundance is on my country and federal permit for educational presentation functions. At the time, he handiest had his anklets and federal band on, thank goodness. If he had had all of his falconry systems on, the most probably would no longer have survived on his nineteen-day excursion. Sundance is a falconry chook that was retired six years ago via a falconer in the Stockton location. The falconer turned into downsizing and requested me if I desired his male Harris’ hawk for my academic shows. I replied, “How quickly can I meet with you?”
Harris’ hawks most effectively live inside the Southwest United States. I locate them very interesting as they live together as a circle of relatives all 12 months lengthy, which isn’t always commonplace for raptors, like a % of wolves with feathers. Sundance has been with me ever because we were residing in a mew on my belongings. The day he escaped, I became cleansing his mew with the hose tucked beneath the nook of the security door. Sundance takes terrific advantage of his mew cleansing time, spending as tons time as he can under the water spray of the hose. The latch was clipped; however, with the hose bending the lower corner of the safety door, it made his getaway easy and absolutely my fault. As I become filling his bathtub, he flew over my head as typical and into the safety area, commonly making a U flip and again onto his preferred perch in the mew. This time he didn’t make that U-turn. I heard him land on the door display screen.
When I regarded over closer to him, his left foot became on the door latch. At that very 2d, the latch popped open. Sundance is hanging onto the door because it was beginning each so slowly. I placed my fist out and tapped it, hoping he could hop onto it as he might have another time. But this time, he had other plans. Sundance checked out me, looked at the okay tree close to by, again at me, and rancid he went to my deck railing and then the o.K.Tree. He gave me multiple happy tail flips and off on his journey. He did return a few instances that day, flying over my house, looking me try to entice him in with a mouse at the glove. Not fascinated. Many of my pals published information about Sundance and asking people to look at him – a huge brown hawk, cayenne-colored feathers on the pinnacle of his wings, and a massive white patch at the base of the tail with white on guidelines of tail feathers.
Over the subsequent nineteen days, I went on 23 calls of possible sightings of Sundance. No success. On December 22, 2018, I changed into on-call and again a name to a girl that lived at the give up of Squirrel Creek Road in GV. She turned into questioning what kind of hawk had become in the backyard that she had by no means seen earlier than. It became jumping into her compost pile and eating lettuce. I defined that hawks don’t devour lettuce but that he maximum probably was ingesting the mice and rats that consume from compost piles. I asked her to describe the hawk. Usually, on these forms of calls, they become a pink-shouldered hawk or pink-tailed hawk. However, the girl was curious enough to Google the hawk she turned into seeing in her yard.
Arriving at the region, the girl mentioned the hawk in a tree approximately 35 yards away. When she stated she could not don’t forget the species of the hawk but the hawk she saw only lived within the Southwest United States . . . And it had something on its legs. My subsequent query was, “What is your address? Be proper there. It is my missing hawk.” I grabbed one glove, a frozen rat, and a falconer’s lure simply in case. It had it is lower back to me with one foot curled up, getting geared up for the nighttime roost. I held out the rat and known as his call.
The 2nd he heard his call, he turned with wings out, left the branch, and flew immediately at me eye to eye. I did no longer care in which he landed on me. I might have him returned! Sundance grabbed the rat with such energy from my hand I lost grip, and he took it to the ground. I picked him up and desired to provide him a kiss; however, that isn’t always an excellent idea with a hawk wanting to feed. One of the happiest days of my life!! Sundance had gained 70 grams whilst on his excursion. So he was correctly searching. No predators had taken him. He changed into superb condition. His falconry days stored his lifestyle.