Hawking with Belle | Harris Hawk

From October 16th, Martin & Belle out hawking. Belle flies a ways off and deals with a raven. Martin, a master falconer, talks about how it could end badly for the raven. Though Belle was a little over ideal flying weight, she still made many attempts to catch jackrabbits. Martin discusses how and why monitoring her weight is so important. He also discusses the need to work with a bird best suited to the type of region you will be working with the bird in and the quarry available.

Throughout their wander, Belle makes many attempts to catch jackrabbits. She does get fooled by a couple smart ones, but not deterred, she also catches more than one. The jackrabbits she caught will provide food to the sick and injured animals we care for.

White Belly Bald Eagle & Red Tailed Hawk Updates

An update on the Red Tailed Hawk’s and White Belly Bald Eagle’s feather growth.

Earlier videos about these birds:
Raptors Need Their Tail Feathers
Rescued Rare White Belly Bald Eagle

Martin also opens up a new shipment from Rodent Pro!

Martin and Susan send their thanks to those who donated Gift Certificates to restock our freezer for the raptors in our care.
Tom Utech, Love from Michigan, Linda Farrington, Panu Nassi, Francene Simhoni, Nan Huffman, Collin Pederson, Connie Beingessner, Julie Stephens, Cheryl Taylor, Elizabeth Warkentin, Cynthia Cheek, Bonavin Fletcher, Cory Griffis, Sharon Cobb.
A Big Thank You From our Wildlife Ambassadors Scout, Belle, Helen, Cirrus & Piper.

To send us Rodent Pro Gift Certificates, please call them:
(812) 867-7598
Our email is info@gowildlife.org

Hawking with Belle

GoPro video of Martin and Belle out Hawking. While out wondering the desert, Martin talks about:
1:00 – Second Hunting Season
5:00 – About Consistent Training/hunting tips
12:00 – Belle after Jack Rabbit
19:00 – About the falconer’s role
21:00 – About Belle’s Schedule
24:00 – About Falconery terms
25:00 – About Belle getting tired and group hunting
28:00 – About not letting the bird get too tired or discouraged
35:00 – About how rabbits are raised and why there is a falconry season
40:00 – Hood on and heading back to the car

Raptors Need Their Tail Feathers

* PLEASE BE ADVISED *
* This video contain images and information that may be disturbing to some viewers.
* If you are sensitive to sad tales, please do not watch this video.

This video includes two raptors, a Red Tailed Hawk currently at our rescue center, and older footage of a Golden Eagle from early 2018.

The Red Tailed Hawk may have been struck by a car and temporarily stunned. However, before the hawk was brought in it appears it was injured in an additional way. From the damage to feathers on one wing, Martin thinks that wing was grabbed by someone who held the hawk in order to rip out the tail feathers. All but two tail feathers were taken.

This is something that Martin sees once or twice a year. It is very cruel and painful to the raptor. The Red Tailed Hawk will have to stay with us for quite awhile, possibly a year, until new feathers grow in.

Another similar incident happened to the Golden Eagle who arrived injured and missing all but one tail feather.

More information about the Golden Eagle can be found here:
About three minutes into the video, Slow Down for Eagles

For Eagle FAQS, please visit:

Questions about Eagles (FAQ)

Hawking with Belle | Sept 4, 2019

GoPro video with Martin & Belle out hawking on the fourth day of the season. This is non-edited for those who would like to follow the whole experience.

** Spoilers **

Here’s a timeline of actions & topics if you’d like to skip around

00:00-2:47 – getting Belle out of box and tracking system set up
2:47 – 5:19 – talking about the season so far and getting Belle physically fit
5:50 Jackrabbit chase 1
6:00 – 7:00 Talking about hunting area
7:10 Another chase
7:45 – 10:15 Talking about the problems with sage brush and rabbit tricks
11:00 – 12:30 Talking about having only a general direction of area of cover, let the bird lead.
12:30 – 13:00 About “tidbits”, rabbit launch
13:00 – 15:30 About jesses and when to keep them and take them off
16:20 – 17:00 About using food control for motivation
17:00 – 18:00 More about hunting area
19:00 Most fun as falconer, smallest bird to get the job done
20:00 About upcoming hawking for larger jackrabbits in Wyoming
24:30 About Cedar City, Vacations & Falconry
28:30 About Hawking with Tee Perch
29:30 About Harris Hawks hunting in groups
33:00 Couple good chases
36:40 About a rabbit trick
37:50 About Belle losing track of still rabbits
40:15 About hawking with a dog
44:30 About Belle’s weight and the importance of it
47:30 Issues with birds and the effect of the falconer’s attitude
1:00:15 Cottontail Close call
1:00:40 More about Belle’s weight
1:02:30 Wind picks up
1:08:40 About VORs & pilots
1:10:00 About end of hunt and when to put hood back on
1:15:00 About previous male Harris Hawk Thumper

Belle the Harris Hawk Preparing for the new season

Before the new hunting season, Martin spends time preparing Belle. In this video he continues his descriptions of her care during the off season as compared to during hunting season.

This video, all from his GoPro, was taken four days before the start of hunting season while still working to retrain Belle.

Belle arrived from a breeder in New Orleans in August of 2018.

To learn more, please click here to visit the Belle Blog.

Falconry: Belle the Harris Hawk Season Two

Welcome to year two of Belle the Harris Hawk who arrived arrived from a breeder in New Orleans in August of 2018.

Falconry season began on September 1st. Training for the new season started a month prior. In this first video of her second falconry year, Martin shares his methods to get her ready and refresh her training.

In this video, we also introduce the “Belle Blog”. At present, it lists her previous videos and photos from her hunts. In the future, we hope to include a FAQ and perhaps a regular falconry podcast.

If you have questions or other suggestions for future Belle Videos and/or podcast, please send them to Martin@martintyner.com.

Please click here to visit the The Belle Blog

Two Hawks Released Back to the Wild!

On August 8th, Martin released two hawks: a young Cooper’s Hawk and a young Swainson’s Hawk. Both were orphaned chicks raised at the rescue center.

Properly raised, their behavior was very wild and untamed. Gathered up for their release to the world, they were as feisty to Martin as any other wild bird.

At release, they were well fed with full crops and had been given some live food to learn to procure their own food.

They were released just outside of town in a safe area with plenty of resources. All birds of prey face a tough learning curve in the wild. Martin’s work with them puts them at the same start they would have gotten with their parents. It’s up to them now to get things figured out and hopefully do well back in the wild.

A Very Special Guest!

A very special guest visited recently!
From Susan: “We enjoyed our visit with Gayle Bass! She is super nice and fun. She loved hawking with Belle, seeing the critters at our home and the Nature Park. We took her over the mountain to Cedar Breaks and back down through Brian Head and Parowan.”
Please check out her visit on RightThisMinute!

Young Rabbit, Hawk & Little Bird Tales

Our first tale is of a baby pygmy cottontail rabbit arrived from Santa Clara, Utah. It was brought to us in a small box with blood on its nose and appeared to be in shock. The rescuer said two cats had it cornered and he wasn’t sure if it was hurt.

Susan observed that most likely the baby had left the nest and appeared to be about 3 weeks old and at this point formula was no longer needed and could cause harm. With their delicate digestive system and the stress of handling, it was better to not force anything but to leave it quiet with food available.

We placed the baby rabbit with a small hiding box into one of our small fabric puppy playpens. We left it with fresh alfalfa and native grasses in its quiet darkened safe place where we just continued to add fresh food for the first week. Water was also made available, however wild rabbits get most of their water from the plants they eat or from morning dew on the plants.

The second week it stayed in a slightly larger cage where we continued to provide natural grasses and alfalfa until its release back to the wild. We relocated it to an area with other pygmy cottontail rabbits where cover and food was abundant.

Our next tale is of a young Cooper’s hawk that had fledged and left its nest. The parents have begun their migration, leaving their young to figure out how to find food on their own.

We frequently have coopers hawks hunt pigeons in our yard as they migrate through our area. This is common as they follow flocks of small birds which is their primary diet and are occasionally seen speeding through backyards snatching small birds attracted to backyard feeders.

While sitting in the front yard one evening, Susan was with Martin as he was holding and manning Belle. Martin pointed out the young coopers hawk and young pigeon to Susan as they moved around on top of our pigeon coop. After watching them for several minutes Susan began to video as it was very apparent that the pigeon and the hawk were both unsure how to handle the situation.

The pigeon was lucky this time as the hawk hadn’t learned yet how to catch something so large, but when the hawk gains experience, next time the pigeon might not be so lucky.

Other tales in this video include the care, feeding and release of many house finches, a Wren and a Kingbird.