Thursday, March 27, 2014

Training ground

I was racking my brain to think of a way to train HIGGINS to catch live prey so he would be ready for release. He's been here since October recovering from a broken leg that required extensive surgery to repair. It took many weeks before four of the pins were removed but he had to continue wearing a "sandal" to keep the toes open. When the final pin was removed he also was able to go without the sandal. Within a week his left foot was working wonderfully.

Then he went into the hawk flight barn to strengthen the long unused muscles to power his wings and sustain flight. He's been flying all over the 32' x 48' barn for a few weeks but I had no idea if he'd remember to make his own kills so he would be releasable.

Because anything I put out for him would just run away, My friend Jenny came up with the idea of using a large kiddie wading pool. Then I thought of painting the inside the color of dirt. I didn't think the bright blue with cute fishies on the bottom would be the most natural of settings. Thanks to the guys at Sherwin Williams here in Cody, I have the perfect color paint to do the job.

And today he made his first live kill. A few more in the coming days and then I'll take him to an excellent release site not far from Cody. This area has trees, a creek, horses and their feed, which will attract mice and other rodents, and seclusion. It's been a long time coming and I'll add a release photo after he successfully begins the next chapter in his life.

No comments:

Post a Comment