Chuck's Falconry Home Page
Note: The following is a
variation of an article I published in THA's Spring 2007
On The Wing. I realized that the setup described originally was
too cumbersome. The pictures show the original setup, which
worked all right, but was too heavy. Folks have used a
variation of this for years; there is a description of it in Liam McGranaghan's red-tail book.
A Summer Training System
Update 6/21/2010 by Chuck Redding
If you have a bird that will fly to the fist during the
molt, and want to exercise him in the backyard, there is a simple way
to do it. Initially I heard of something like this from Cody
Fields and by coincidence Mike Wiegel rigged up a similar system when
he was training his kestrel last fall. The system is
simple, as you can see from the picture. It consists of two bow
perches, 50 feet of 3mm yachting line and a small smooth metal ring, 1"
diameter. Stretch the line out across the yard, leaving plenty of
slack, with a perch at each end. Fasten each end of the line to a
perch. Tie the bird with his leash to the small ring. Set
the bird on a perch, walk to the other perch and call him to the
fist. As he flies to you, he will be constrained to follow the
line, as the ring glides smoothly along it. Unless the bird flies
low to the ground right along the line, he will have to work, because
of the sideways tension of the line.
Another use is with a new bird. This system can be a good
transition from flying indoors to flying on the creance in a wide open
area. The system can be employed safely in almost any yard,
regardless of the fences, tree cover, proximity of transformers,
etc. Nevertheless, use caution and ensure that there is nothing along the way that he can
fly to and injure himself.
is easier and safer to clip to one perch and tie a knot to the other,
adjusting for the length. Then you can adjust the slack
sure that there is no point along the line where the bird can reach
something that might injure him.
plenty of slack so the bird can fly to your raised hand
System shown here employs the much heavier 5mm line and a bullet block
than a smooth metal ring.