Newest updates towards top of page, except for field meet
order is reversed
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two hawks can be seen via web cam during most weekday
here: Cam1 & Cam2.
For seasonal totals, please email
intermewed passage red-tail hawk, riding the T
(Photo: Jay Mangum, 2010)
A female rehab
red-shouldered hawk, that I call Ms. Elbert (Photo:
A reward will be paid to anyone providing information
leading to the
arrest/conviction of the individual who shot and killed
peregrine falcon. 17 year old Cody was flying his
bird west of
Katy, TX on November 1st, 2010, late in the day. The
off, and Cody found him hanging on a fence, shot and
If you have information, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org. $750 will be paid upon
another $750 upon conviction of the individual.
Houston, and flies a tiercel Barbary falcon. Rob
falconer out in Katy has flown red-tails for years and is
now flying an
intermewed female. Cody Birdwell is Jim Ince's
has had a couple of successful seasons flying two
Cameron Turner is my 16 year old apprentice, living in Sugar
Land. Jim Ince my former sponsor, is not flying any
now. Lynne Holder is my former apprentice, lives
Chappell Hill, TX with husband, Ron. Over Thanksgiving
gave her my Harris' hawk, Dart. Dart spends occasional
Houston.I have other falconer
buddies, but these are the ones in Houston who show up most
on these pages.
red-tails and Harris's really think of each other?
Cisco and Dart
on the side lawn.......
I quit hunting late last month. It
odd season, with very few rabbits in the fields. Cisco did
overall, finishing his season with a bird caught while hunting
(none to be seen) out in Katy. A very low year for
Cisco's catching the smallest number by half of his previous low
six season career. Cisco caught around forty cotton rats,
half dozen squirrels. Oh yes, about ten mice.
hunted with an often poorly motivated red-shouldered hawk.
I still have Ms Elbert. She is a
great companion hawk,
with no screaming and she's well mannered overall.
beginning to molt, dropping a half dozen primaries so far.
kept her weight in the mid-600's. The preview of her adult
plumage is stunning. I will make an effort to keep her
next fall, and may even take her out this summer to hunt
starlings. Much of her attitude this season was related to
providing her with enough game to catch. She finished the
with a dozen birds and ten cotton rats, a mouse or two, some
including the water mocassin that nearly killed her.
squirrel Thursday after work
I took Cisco to the FM 1960 field two days ago, on
had a couple of flights on squirrels but that was it. Also
scary moment when he decided to chase something in a ditch just
other side of 1960 (four lanes of not slow traffic). A
frightening moment, but not for him. I had to run across
retrieve him. Fun.
caught a cotton rat in the woods while squirrel
hunting. That's a first. Speaking of cotton rats,
Holder caught eight this week, with Dart, the Harris hawk.
warm, I did not take Cisco to work. I took him out west
of town to have another whack at the squirrels. He's
lately and it's been a couple of weeks at least.
Today, sunny and
warm, the woods were full of squirrels. Cisco
started out fine,
but in a few minutes he left the woods and flew across the
street to a
field and chased a rabbit. I helped him, but was
wondering if he
was losing confidence in his ability to catch
within 10 minutes of returning to the woods he put in a
hard attack on
a young squirrel, but missed. He circled back, and
from the tree. Hawk and squirrel were plummeting to
ground. It's an amazing sight. Thwack! and a
squealing. This was a very small buck cat squirrel,
the first one he caught years ago. I didn't have my
here's another picture of Cisco with a squirrel.
as she and Ron were returning from CO in early March:
left Colo. 5 hrs...ready to throttle him. He
seems to like Irish music. Oh. No he doesn't.
eagle we see eat him.
box- with him in it- in the trash can in Raton.
squirrel and a swamp rabbit
Today and yesterday were a study in
contrasts. Saturday it was so
windy that I nearly didn't fly Cisco, and he handles almost any
wind. It was overcast and cool. I ended up taking Cisco to
park, accompanied by Ben Maudlin, who I met six years ago as he
entering college at UH. Ben is back and has a renascent
in falconry. Rob will probably sponsor him. The trees
the winds enough so that Cisco was in fine form. He found
chased squirrels, ultimately catching one right above my
Ben was impressed.
weather with no wind. Late in the
day after picking up Stephanie at the airport, I took
Cisco to De
Soto. He was heavy, 994 grams, but seemed eager when
the weathering yard. He initially blinked at a swamp
later put in some wonderful flights. One was very
fast and hard
followed by a wing-over, and a miss. A few minutes
grabbed a swamp rabbit that dragged him under the rose
had the cane cutter by one leg. I cut my hands and arms on
and ultimately let the rabbit loose, something I rarely
it's late in the season, and I have caught rabbits
carrying kits in the
past. So off he went. We could have put this
one in the
game bag, but I let it scamper off.
I finally got Cisco to a good hunting weight, a little high
946 grams is not bad. I had to work a little late so
driving across town, I took Cisco to what I call the 1960 Field,
of the big airport. I burned an extra 30 minutes of
working late. Funny how work can interfere with
This hunting area has not been great; Cisco caught a swamp
rabbit and a
few squirrels there over the last couple of seasons. It
like a field that should be good with varied habitat. This
evening was slightly warm and sunny, a nice day to be out.
weighed the hawk and released him so he could fly around while I
boots on and put on the other gear.
woods and he looked for
squirrels. Initially it seemed there weren't any, but soon
a flight or two. I managed to let one squirrel get to the
ground. Cisco continued to look up and down in the trees,
suddenly did a wing-over into the brush. Looked like a rabbit
flight. He missed, and flew back to a tree. I walked
a little, lost sight of the hawk, heard a crash and a
decided he had scored. When I could not call him from the
I was convinced that he had a kill, but I could not find him in
heavy brush. I had to go back to the car for my
hate to leave a hawk on the ground with a kill at dusk with the
possibility of horned owls in the area, but had no choice.
car I turned on the receiver and could pick up the L.L. XLF's
signal. I hiked back to the area, tracking the hawk.
seemed that he was on the ground. I quickly found him at
of a tree with a big buck cat squirrel. He was breaking
even though a squirrel's hide makes it difficult for the
let him feed a little, then traded him off. On the way
back I let
him eat the head, which he finished at the car.
with a full crop. I
realized that he wanted to be in the hawk box, not perched on
car perch. I left the hawk box at the house, on purpose,
didn't think I had a use for it. I was wrong. He
into a hawk box after a successful hunt and is content.
had to ride home hooded.
nine lives (email addresses deleted)
at 4:12 PM, Mark Reindel<>wrote:
Hey..what happened with your bird today?
from Chuck Redding
to Mark Reindel
bcc: Jim Ince ,Matthew
Redding ,Lyn Redding ,Roger Crandall ,Cody Fields ,Cody Birdwell
Cameron Turner , Lynne Holder , Charli's Email
date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011 at 9:42 PM
subject Re: rsmailed-by gmail.com
Just fixin' to send an email to you and some other folks.
bcc'd a few folks on this reply............
I had the RT and RSH weathering out in Stephanie's
like any other time. They perch about 8' apart.
We had been
doing chores and had the back French doors open.
keep an eye on the birds when they are out, but have never
compelled to sit with them the whole time. I came out
door to the yard, and Steph says, "What's up with
looked over and saw Cisco with crest flared, intently
the yard and up just a little. He started screaming
angry RT sound. I said, "He must see a red-tail."
in the same direction that Cisco was and saw a hawk coming
in very fast
heading straight for Ms. Elbert. First impression was
Cooper's. I yelled, waved my arms, and ran at the RSH.
immature male RT broke off its attack, within a
few feet of
the red-shoulder, and I think he may have been on the ground
second. It flew off quickly.
I will never leave any small hawk out without sitting
her. This was too close. We had been in and out
yard, the dog and cat were running around and we were
there when it happened. If I hadn't rushed at the RT
have clobbered her. Likewise if Cisco hadn't
This is Steph's back yard, but the picture was taken
ago. When the aforementioned attack took place, the
reversed, not that it makes any difference
The two hawks, Cisco and Ms Elbert have been busy.
productive, took his third squirrel last Saturday.
came along and was impressed by Cisco's approach to
chased some around the woods, then sat upon a hollowed out,
trunk. I could not get him to leave. He was
squirrel that was safely ensconced within. Apparently
trying to get the rodent to come out, maybe even provoking
charge. Ultimately, it did, Cisco grabbed it by the
quickly parachuted to the ground. This is the first
time I have
seen him take a squirrel like this. Two days earlier,
after work, Cisco took another squirrel. See below
a transmitter on the
red-shouldered hawk with a new method, which I believe is
safe. It uses an upside down
plectrum from Western Sporting, with an extra pair of holes
it. A loop of parachute cord runs under the wings. It
work just great. I like it because I think a hawk
could put on
any amount of weight without the harness constricting
Marshall's backpack can get tight on a hawk, IMO. See
below. Two holes are hidden under the
transmitter. The cord
is just a single strand. This system is much easier to
You could also use Marshall's plectrum and tape, just change
you route it. I like Marshall's plectrum better, being
compact and smoother.
THA Associates Mini-Meet
It has been two months since the last update to this
page. To my
avid readers, I apologise again, but can't guarantee
This season has been like that, even though I have been
lot. On Saturday, 2/5/2011 we held the first ever
THA associate members. My co-chairs for the event were
Birdwell and Lynne Holder who brought their hawks. We
amazing cold weather, with repeated night freezes. My
shut down the day before the meet, and as a consequence of the
we had a number of no-shows, or more appropriately,
Nevertheless, Lynne Holder drove in from Chappell
with Dart, and a number of participants came from as far away
Antonio. We met at Denny's on Westheimer, a spot where
Wiegel and I frequently meet on Saturday mornings,
After a nice long breakfast we split off into two hunting
parties. Lynne and I took our three hawks out to De Soto
followed by the Barkers. Nathan Andrews rode with
put Dart up first and he put in some nice flights mostly
rats. He caught one, we hunted some more and put Dart in
car. My two hawks were both very fat from
the day before. The previous day, the red-shoulder
cotton rat out in
while Cisco nabbed a squirrel, his first of the season, in a
area near Cullen Park. I was a little ashamed to have
with large crops the day before this meet. Well, not
ashamed. I decided that although Cisco hit the scales at
kilograms the morning of the meet, he is always safe and
dependable, so we let him hunt. He was ready to
T pole, and after
blinking at a couple of swamp rabbits not to his liking, he
hiding in a shallow gulley. He hadn't not caught one in
this was nice. He has
caught 29 cotton rats so far this season -
I think going for his own record. We all talked a while,
the Barkers left. Emrah called, telling me that Cody's
didn't score, and that he was heading back to The Woodlands;
and his friend Zach were heading home.
Lynne and I, along with Nathan and Nisha Andrews, had lunch at
Hacienda. Afterwards, Lynne went home while the Andrews'
accompanied me to Katy. Ms. Elbert, the red-shouldered
caught her 9th cotton rat. She hunted well, attacking
cotton rats, being only moderately distracted by the local
red-shouldered hawk was hot early on, up until early October, then
a bit lackadaisical for several months even though she steadily
cotton rats. No birds since very early October.
Between her nascent screaming and lack of focus, she became much
fun to fly. She spent most of January at Charli Rohack’s in
Bryan. When I got her back she had gone from 550 grams to a
portly 700 (leave it to a rehabber.....). The amazing thing
that a hawk I considered plump at 550 grams is much more focused
she has been for months, now attacking everything that moves in
field. Her fist response is not diminished, she rides the T
better than ever, and is extremely quiet. Right now her keel
feels like that of a typical bird’s taken right off a BC. In
life I have never flown a bird so fat. Live and learn, or maybe
and get more confused...............
Back Row: Zach, Emrah Binatli, Stephanie Barker, Logan
Barker, Daniel Rasi, Nathan Andrews
Front Row: Cody Birdwell w/ Katy, Lynne Holder w/ Dart,
w/ Cisco, and Jim Ince with Ms. Elbert. Standing
between Jim and
me is Dalton Barker.
Photo by Stephanie Jennings
Ms. Elbert enjoying a cotton rat on 2/4/2011 - day before
Cisco enjoying a squirrel on 2/4/2011
meet in January Cisco,
Dart (Dart screaming, amazingly enough - one reason he is
12/7/2010 – A couple of
I have not been very attentive to the web site this season.
sorry. Here is an update.
Rob Evans, as always, continues to catch cottontails with his
red-tail, out in Katy. Lynne Holder and Dart, the Harris'
are having a good season in Chappell Hill, TX, with Dart's
catching a fair amount of quarry.
I have been giving Elbert a lot of field time, with Cisco's doing
well with less field time, maybe half as much. Nevertheless,
Cisco has caught a half dozen rabbits, including a swamp rabbit,
plenty of rodents. Elbert has not been very successful in
field in the last two months. The bird flushes have been
she has been high in weight a good part of the time. In the
week or two I have brought her weight down.
This morning I took the two birds out to Katy. Elbert was
508 grams, lower than I have ever flown her, but I did not see any
increase in her keenness, so I will bring her up some. I
generally been in the range of a 1% daily change, actually closer
1/2% per day, since she generally gets flown every other
was as high as 550 or 560 in recent weeks. This morning in
chilly air she looked with moderate interest at some field
and I carried her along a ditch so she would have a shot at some
rats. Along this same ditch, Cisco has caught a number of
and cotton rats. Toward the end of the ditch, very close to
Cisco caught a cotton rat and cottontail on Sunday, Elbert caught
killed a big cotton rat. She dragged it deeper into the
and it took me a while to cut away the thorns and transfer her
off. I wanted the red-shoulder to at least
some warm blooded prey, and she did. On Sunday she
lizard. probably a skink. This was on a cold day in field
have never seen a lizard.
Elbert had a big crop after eating most of a rat, and weighed 600
tonight. I took her back to the car and brought out
He was quite heavy this morning, having not cast yet, and I
how responsive and eager he would be. On Sunday he ate a
head and a large cotton rat. He did not disappoint me.
I got to the field this morning, I found a large casting in the
box, and he left a healthy slice on my tail gate. He
birds in the ditches, once doing a teardrop stoop on a sparrow in
bush, after hovering above the bush for about five seconds.
very cool hawk, he is. At some point he caught a mouse,
at a rabbit, but then pursued that same rabbit a few minutes
later. A pretty good morning overall, with both my hawks
game, however humble.
11/23/2010 – A herculean
Team Cisco pays off
The second full
day at the Dodge City NAFA meet was great. I got up before dawn to
take Cisco to a field that Rob Huber and I located yesterday. A
looking field that the owner,
Sheila Urban, told us was filled with quail, pheasants,
and jacks. Yesterday morning
around for a good hour or more. We flushed only a single small
cottontail that Cisco attacked and missed. Cisco bounced off the
ground, and chased it into an open area with vegetation cut way
This is normally a perfect situation for my hawk, but the rabbit
vanished. A great flight, the first of many in the next 24
Rob and I
returned with Cisco in the evening, and had a number of fine
with my hawk powering very fast, and pursuing hard. He ate two
that he caught – alive, I think. Super effort by Cisco. Every
flight was good, but the bunnies just disappeared in this field. I
have never seen anything like it.
a frosty 20F and foggy. I got up before dawn and ate breakfast.
had a NAFA board meeting, so I went alone with Cisco. My car was
coated with frost, as was everything in sight. I had no gloves
no watch cap, so I carried the T-pole bare handed, wearing a
cap. Very mature behavior for a man pushing 60 years old. Cisco
reluctant to come out of his hawk box, but settled down to
the rabbits with vigor. When he returned to T-pole after one
he had frost on his face and whiskers. After about a half mile,
pain in my hands was sufficient to force me back to the car,
Cisco happily jumped into his box. Apparently I only thought
hands hurt while I was carrying the pole. When I got in the car,
pain was screaming, or maybe that was me. I went back to the
to pick up a heavy sock to use as a mitten.
We returned to
the field. It was now sunny and a balmy 25F. Besides, I was armed
with a sock. Cisco, still longing for the Gulf Coast, had to be
coaxed out. We continued to flush these transient rabbits and
Cisco's efforts to catch them were spectacular. I began to wonder
what he could possibly do, and hoped that he wouldn't get
discouraged. We took occasional breaks when Cisco got cold. He
would fly to a fence post to rest; I would call him to fist from
yards away. We'd head back to the car to warm up. In a few minutes
he was ready again, though never willing to leave the hawk box. I
moved the car down the road about ¼ mile to try another
walked to a tree line, where Cisco took a stand, following-on very
well. Our efforts finally paid off. Cisco launched from a pine
tree, flew about 40 yards, and did a classic RT wing-over,
good sized cottontail. One of the most rewarding outings in six
seasons with this hawk.
Elbert is recovering well from her water moccasin bite of last
Tuesday morning. One week ago today. She has survived near
starvation, a direct blast of a skunk, and now a near deadly
bite. She seems ready to hunt, though a little fat. I will slip
on some starlings tomorrow. Isaac Nichols will bring his
Elbert prefers the cold weathering yard to being in a hawk box
hotel. Cisco, of course, loves hotel rooms..... Below are some
of this morning, and a clip of the red-shoulder riding to the