Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Raptor Neighbours

Jimmy is our neighbour for summer, he is a master falconer. He sleeps in a caravan with 2 dogs called Sam and Heather. He has 6 birds of prey, their names are Wally, Pella, Cactus Jack, Corky and Suguaro, he also has 1 more but it doesn’t have a name, Me and Heidi are helping Jimmy try to think of a name!

 Jimmy was 17 when he was interested in falcons and hawks so he got out some library books about them, then he found an injured falcon which he nursed to health. He got lots more and trained them in bird abatement, this means he flies them around the farm to keep robins, starlings and finches away from the raspberries and blueberries.  Jimmy is very helpful to farmers.
 He is from California and spends 10 out of 12 months traveling around the western states, to different crops as they ripen – cherries, grapes, berries, and also at rubbish tips and airfields to scare birds.  Jimmy only gets about 5 hours sleep each night, he takes his birds out at dusk and dawn – these are the critical times for bird scaring.
He has brown skin, his caravan has an American flag on it, it also has a grey flag that has a falcon on it.

His birds are harris hawks, peregrine falcons and saker falcons. They wear special hoods on their heads and have bells on their feet. They are trained to come to him when he whistles.
They do not hunt and eat the small birds, only scare them away from the orchards and farms. This is a very environmental way to keep pests away from the crops.

By Ella.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting piece about falcons Ella, you and Heidi are lucky to be able to get up close and meet them all. I love the special hat with a plume one is wearing in a photo!