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News, little truths and wisdom regarding Pest Bird & Animal Wildlife Control, Falconry, and Birds of Prey....


 

Police in the Netherlands planned to deploy a team of eagles to take down rogue drones in 2018. It turns out that training the birds of prey is more expensive and complicated than anticipated. The trained eagles wouldn’t always do what they were trained to do - not in a controlled training environment, never mind in the field. Dutch police had bought four sea eagle chicks after completing their trials last year.

When Dutch police first released a video showing the birds of prey grabbing drones out of the air with their claws, animal rights activists voiced their concerns. "If an eagle can not catch his prey, he may become so frustrated that he picks up something else. Eagle talons are strong enough to easily pierce a child's head,” Robert Muster, a falconer, told the NL Times last year.

Holland was the first country to tackle rogue drones in this way, and Dutch police say they’re now looking at other options as they move the eagles to a shelter.

The US Air Force, meanwhile, is researching falcons and how they target prey to develop defense systems against drones.

 

 

The male bald eagle hatched in Big Bear, a small city in Southern California, has finally fledged, or grown big enough feathers to fly, and is ready to soar. 

Viewers who were watching the nest  livestream, located in the Fawnskin area, could hear the young eagle cry and saw it fly out of view early Tuesday morning. Most bald eagles fledge between 10 and 12 weeks old, but at 14 weeks, this eagle took his time leaving the nest, the National Park Service said. No matter, this is good news as the survival rate of eaglets in their first year of life is less than 50%.

A bald eagle typically reaches maturity at five years. By then, it will have acquired the characteristic white head and tail, found a mate and established a breeding territory, the National Park Service said.

 "Over the next few months, he will stay close to his parents," said Robin Eliason, a wildlife biologist for the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. "They will help feed him while he learns hunting skills. Eventually, he will disperse and likely leave the Big Bear area." 

The proud parents laid two eggs in early March, and welcomed two eaglets in mid-April. One of the young eagles did not survive a late winter storm that occurred during Memorial Day Weekend.

The nest will be closed to the public through July 31 to allow the young eagle to mature and practice its flights without disturbance, according to the National Park Service. Oftentimes, eagles stick around their nest as they continue learning to fly and fend for themselves. During the summer, he might be found practicing his hunting skills around the lake. 

Biologists will keep track of the young bird by looking out for a bald eagle with a purple leg-band, which is viewable through binoculars. The San Bernardino Mountains have the largest winter population of eagles in Southern California, where mountain lakes and streams offer prime hunting grounds. 10 to 20 eagles can be found in the region during a typical winter. Many migrate north in spring to nest.

Visit our Falconry Experience Page for information on how you can have a close encounter with a Bald Eagle, right here in Ontario.

Taking notes from Nature:

aibus bird of preyAirbus has created a new design that looks a little like a “bird of prey”. The hope is that it will provide inspiration to a new generation of engineers, according to a statement on the Airbus website.

The new design features slightly curved wings and tails that look like a bird’s feathers and was unveiled in the U.K. at the Royal International Air Tattoo air show.

Entirely conceptual at the moment, it features “hybrid-electric propulsion, active control systems and advanced composite structures,” Airbus said in a statement. Each of the unusual “feathers” on the edge of the plane’s wings and tail are meant to be individually manipulated for better flight experience and control.

In addition, the “blended wing-to-fuselage joint” is designed to be more aerodynamic, mimicking the look and feel of an eagle or falcon in the air, according to Airbus. Taking inspiration from nature is one way Airbus hopes to create a quieter and more eco-friendly aircraft in the future, which is a goal many airlines are setting to combat climate change and accommodate growing demands.

Dutch airline KLM unveiled a design for an aerodynamic “Flying V” shaped plane back in June that would carry up to 314 passengers but use “20 percent less fuel” than the Airbus A350. A scale model is expected to take to the skies in October at Amsterdam Schipol Airport, although the aircraft probably won’t be available for commercial service for another 20 to 30 years.

“One of the priorities for the entire industry is to make aviation more sustainable – making flying cleaner, greener and quieter than ever before,” said Martin Aston, Senior Manager at Airbus, in a statement. “We know from our work on the A350 XWB passenger jet that through biomimicry, nature has some of the best lessons we can learn about design.”

“Our ‘Bird of Prey’ is designed to be an inspiration to young people and create a ‘wow’ factor that will help them consider an exciting career in the crucially-important aerospace sector,” said Aston.

 

 Learn more about Birds of Prey at one of our Falconry Experience workshops »

bald eagle michiganA few weeks ago there was a Bald Eagle found on Lake Michigan with a giant 8 pound ball of ice stuck under her tail feathers. The States based company, Wings of Wonder, took in this helpless bird for rehabilitation. This majestic bird was kept in their care for just over a week, in which time the team was able to slowly defrost this gigantic ball of ice successfully without damaging the bird of prey’s plumage. Since this large ball of ice prevented the bird from flying, she had to regain her strength inside one of the flight aviaries at Wings of Wonder. Once the Bald Eagle was in good health, she was released back into the wild with a fantastic flight display that many locals came out to witness. 

At Hawkeye Bird Control LLC we provide rehabilitation services in Ontario and Florida for situations just like this.  We are a fully licenced rehab facility, and will accept any bird of prey that needs our help. We have professional falconers who have dealt with birds of prey for many years, as well as trained veterinary technicians who can assist with rehabilitation. If you have spotted a bird of prey in need of rehabilitation please contact us immediately toll free at (855) 393-4295 any time night or day or send us an email.

At Hawkeye we not only rehabilitate and release birds of prey in good health, we also provide up close and personal experiences with our trained birds of prey. In Acton, Ontario at our main facility, we invite the public to come take a look at our facility. You will get up close and personal with over 20 different birds of prey, learn about the sport of falconry, and even get to have one of our Harris Hawks fly directly to your fist. This experience is unlike any other. We welcome children and adults, ages 5 and up to come visit us and get the true falconry experience. We also provide off site visits for schools, camps, birthday parties, and loads of other events. To book your falconry experience today, call (416) 429-4295.