Training Belle the Harris Hawk Part 3

Belle the Harris Hawk
Belle the Harris Hawk is our newest Wildlife Ambassador. In addition to attending educational presentations with Martin, she is a falconry bird. Her full story can be viewed in this YouTube Playlist.

Part three takes place at the Parowan Gap. Martin gives a recap of previous training then begins the next step: working with the lure.

Taking it step by step, Martin shows Belle’s first attempts and explains the process thoroughly.

More of her early training days will be shown in future videos.

Hawk, Hawk, Vulture, Eagle

Four Critter Tales

  • Cooper’s Hawk Not Quite Released

    Martin introduced a Cooper’s Hawk that he planned to release. In chambers, the hawk seemed ready, however after released in a more open area, Martin noticed the hawk was still not flying quite right. He brought him back and after a couple more weeks, the hawk was released was again, fully recovered.

  • Arrival of Sharp-Shinned Hawk

    This hawk was brought to Martin one night after having been caught up in fishing line. Martin examined the hawk, noticed some problems. The hawk stayed for awhile for some TLC and was released back to the wild.

  • A quick peek at the Halloween Vulture

    Susan takes a quick peek in at the recovering Turkey Vulture from a good distance away. As the birds recover, they are left alone as much as possible so they stay calm and do not get agitated and reinjure themselves.

  • Martin and Scout on the job!

    This is a snippet from an educational program Martin and his birds provided to the Las Vegas Audubon chapter. With Scout on his arm, Martin shares information about eagles and his an experience in hunting with his one of his eagles.

Slow Down for Eagles

In this video, we try to stress the need to be alert for eagles on the road. We show three of instances of eagles that were hit by vehicles and Martin discusses this problem, why it happens and how to help prevent it.

For more information, please visit our Guides page to download materials for sharing and classroom use.

Falconry | Piper’s Early Training!

Piper the Prairie Falcon

Piper is one of our newest Wildlife Ambassadors and falconry birds.

In this video, Martin tells of his early life from in the nest with mom and dad to in the chamber with Cirrus, our female Prairie Falcon.

All grown and raised wild, Martin and Piper begin training. This first part includes their earliest sessions, including Piper’s first few jumps to the glove!

Martin is a master falconer and explains some basics of falconry as he works with Piper.

Volunteers and Rattlesnakes!

Martin provided a free bird of prey program for the Chrysalis group this week and their way of saying thank you was to volunteer their time and service for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation.

Now it’s our turn to thank the 21 volunteers from Chrysalis who spent 2 hours working hard to make the Cedar Canyon Nature Park a beautiful place for the rest of us to enjoy. After pulling all the weeds around our parking pad and trail head they pulled weeds around the restrooms and our campfire program area. They also spread more wood chips around our picnic benches, swept the sidewalk and bridge and moved several heavy pieces of sheetrock from our utility room behind the restrooms to a storage shed on the north side of the creek.


We were excited that we had a new tenant in one of our rehab sheds today at the Cedar Canyon Nature Park. It was a beautiful three foot long great basin rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are reasonably common here in southern Utah. In the process of getting our volunteers started on their service project Susan instructed them to be very careful and watch where you place your feet and hands as we do have the occasional rattlesnake on the park property.

Rattlesnakes are beautiful peaceful reptiles that help to control the rodent population and as long as they are not harassed or stepped on they are not a threat to humans. To our great surprise when Susan walked into one of the rehab sheds to pick up some tools, she found this beautiful creature sleeping in the corner which gave her a great opportunity to allow some of the volunteers to see a rattlesnake up close and personal (but not too close.)

For more information about rattlesnakes here are some great educational links:

Wild is Wild

How to Help Wild Animals
Distance is the best way to help

Cute, Fuzzy

And dangerous. Even small or young animals that look cute and fuzzy be problematic. Besides sharp talons and strong beaks, contact with humans can affect there development in extremely negative ways.

Fight or Flight

Wild animals run on instincts, they fear humans from an early age.

“The animals that I rescue, they get as little human contact as I can possibly get away with. We don’t want them acclimated to people. Wild animals have a very strong fight or flight instinct. They want to stay away from people and that’s really really good. The fight or flight instinct develops in most birds of prey, between 14 to 21 days and that’s when the instinct kicks in. They develop a natural fear for things that they do not understand, and that’s a survival technique”

Deadly Assumptions

Even young, hurt or trained they are wild and need to respected.

“These are wild animals, she still has all of her instincts. If handled inappropriately they could be very dangerous the relationship is built on respect for the animal and if she ever does anything to hurt me these large feet right here, that’s what she kills with if she were to reach over, grab my hand, and put all four talons through my hand, well that’s fine she’s a wild animal and if I get hurt that’s my fault.”

Keep Your Distance & Call

  • Police Dispatch(NOT 911)
  • Wildlife Rehabilitator
  • Wildlife Organization



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Watch Video on Youtube: Wild is Wild

Read and download full transcript of video: Download Transcript