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.

Belle the Harris Hawk Training Part Two

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.

In this video, Martin begins her training with sometime on the glove walking around in the desert and becoming accustomed to him, the glove and her surroundings. She is also given time to adjust to a hood being placed on her head.

She is later taught to jump from perch to his glove and learning to recognize that the sound of the whistle means food.

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

Four Hawk Stories

And all four have happy endings!

This video includes short tales of four hawks: two Swainson’s Hawks and two Cooper’s Hawks.

In story one, Martin captures a healthy recovered Swainson’s Hawk from one of the rehabilitation chambers. The Hawk is healthy and ready to return back to the wild where he belongs.

This release had some urgency to it in that the Swainson’s Hawks were due to begin their migration.

The same urgency held for release of hawk number two. Both were this year’s young and after a recovery have their second chance to make in the wild.

Both Cooper’s Hawks in the video were caught after a big meal. The first helped himself to a pigeon in Martin’s yard. The second captured sparrows in someone’s front yard.

After a quick check over to make sure they hadn’t injured themselves, Martin set them free.

Belle the Harris Hawk’s Early Training

Belle’s first training session!

After a few days to recover after her trip from New Orleans to Utah, Martin begins Belle’s training as a falconry bird. Much of her early training is about getting her comfortable and feeling secure in her new home. The more time he spends with her in a secure and respectful way, the better all her training will go.

Belle will pull double duty at the Southwest Wildlife Foundation as both a falconry bird and wildlife ambassador. As a falconry bird, she will hunt and provide natural foods for the injured animals we care for. In her role as a Wildlife Ambassador, she will attend countless educational talks with Martin.

In both cases, the better her relationship with Martin, the more secure she will feel.

See the story of Belle’s arrival here!

Have Birds Will Travel

Meet our two newest Wildlife Ambassadors!

In this video Martin introduces a new young male Prairie Falcon named Piper. Piper will share duties with our female prairie falcon, Cirrus as falconry and educational birds.

Also introduced right out of her box from a breeder in Louisiana, is Belle, a Harris Hawk.

Both birds are working hard in their training to educate at presentations with Martin and to hunt for food for the injured wildlife that visit our rehab center.

Red Tail Hawk Release by Vegas Visitors

A very pretty little Red-Tailed Hawk made a full recovery and was released back to the wild. She was released by a group of visitors of the Red Rock Audubon Society in Vegas who spent a couple days in Cedar City and saw some sights of Southern Utah with Martin.

One Hawk’s Contribution

From July 18th by our founder, Susan Tyner:
Dear Friends,
We have a little bit of sad news to report to the hundreds of thousands of good people who have attended one or more of Martin’s wildlife programs, “Birds of Prey of the West.”

His dear friend and one of our favorite wildlife ambassadors, “Thumper” the Harris Hawk, was killed and partially eaten in his chamber while he slept, by a wild raccoon. His chamber had a heating duct that ran through the floor. Somehow the raccoon was able to crawl into the heating duct, travel about 20 feet in the duct-work, push up the floor grates and enter his chamber.

Since then 3 wild raccoons have been trapped attempting to enter our rehab chambers and pigeon loft. By Utah State law, any raccoons trapped must be euthanized. It is illegal to rehabilitate or relocate raccoons in the state of Utah.

Thumper was the last baby Harris Hawk from Martin’s captive breeding program. He had a difficult time breaking out of his egg and so Martin had to assist him as he hatched. Thumper hatched in Martin’s hands. They became the best of friends.

Thumper was a dedicated game hawk as well as a wonderful wildlife ambassador for the Southwest Wildlife Foundation. He was 28 years old which is about three times longer that an average Harris hawk would live in the wild. At his age he was frail and a little senile, kind of like a hundred year old man. As long as the weather was nice and warm he would spend his days and nights outside in his chamber, but for the last many years when the weather would turn cold he would come into the house and spend time watching TV with the family. He was like an old retired hunting dog.
He will be missed.

P.S. Martin is getting ready for his “Birds of Prey of the West” program today. It will be his first program in almost 3 decades without Thumper.

Survival of the Fittest

In the wild not all survive. The strongest, fastest, smartest and most aggressive are usually the survivors.

These three Swainson’s Hawks came from Filmore Utah when their nest blew down. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was contacted to rescue them and they were brought to the Southwest Wildlife Foundation to be raised and released back to the wild.

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