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Lazy Redtail?


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#1 sw_bop

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:17 pm

Hi everyone. I've worked with birds of prey for coming up 6 years now. But I only just got my own bird back in February - A female red tail that was found abandoned in her avairy when the owner was evicted from the property. I knew she would be a challenge, but so far so good. Apart from one thing... I think I have a lazy bird! She currently weighs in at 2lb 9oz, when I got her she was 3lb 10oz. I manned her for the first 3 weeks or so, she's a good girl, has never bated off the glove or off the perch. Flew her on the creance for a week or so as I continued to bring her weight down. Started free flying her short distances. I'm still manning her occasionally... I'm basically doing everything "by the book". She will fly to me from about 40/50 yards away with very good response (off the creance) but any further than that she just sits there and shouts at me and won't budge. Her keel is not too sharp so I think I could drop her a ½ Oz or ¾ of an Oz more, but at 2lb 9oz (her current weight) she's very sticky footed and slightly grabby. I do fitness training with her every couple of days or when the weather is too bad to fly her outside... Jump ups etc where I'm currently standing on a 12ft high platform with her on a bow perch underneath, we do 24 of these (12 chick legs cut in half) and she doesn't struggle at all so I don't think it's down to her fitness? I've tried to just carry on walking when I fly her to see if she'll follow on, but with no luck. If she was your bird, what step would you take next? I would like to hunt with her, but don't feel comfortable taking her away from her usual flying ground if she's going to continue being this stubborn! Or does her behaviour come from being bored with our usual routine?? Thanks in advance!

#2 Accip74

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 08:53 am

Hi Mate

I've never flown a Redtail, so I'm not going to attempt any advice on their behaviour, but their reputation proceeds them ;-)

Do you split her daily ration in 3 or 4 to train with?

Have you been messing around with her all this time? She will be getting frustrated at this rate.
All I would do is put her away to moult, get her out in September/October & start again, when of course you should have an abundance of quarry to fly her at, you do have plenty of land & quarry? Get through the initial training & into killing as soon as you can.

Not much point in trying to move forward without plenty for her to Kill.

Atb

Edited by Accip74, 08 June 2017 - 09:19 am.

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#3 charlie caller

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 12:19 pm

Good advice above mate, there is no point spending hours manning her etc at the moment, just put her away, up her weight and let her moult, by all means (indeed do) keep some contact with her, bow her out, give her a bath to use, then when she has finished the moult get her out and get her hunting, weight control is NOT the secret with redtails mate, repetition, to a point, with big rewards, much better than 30 creance flights for a chick leg, is 5 good long creance flights with a BIG reward, thats how to motivate a redtail,once you have found a good flying weight, I.E. 2lb9oz stick to it, as soon as she is coming reliably, get her chasing a lure/carcass then get her out hunting, once a red switches on so to speak, she will go through a brick wall to get to her quarry, I found with my reds, that lamping was a superb way to get them going,and it has the added bonus of all flights are from the glove, without any distractions like trees etc, the femails can be a little more stubborn when it comes to trees than the males, but once you have found that magic weight, she will be fine, try and find a food IE Quail,rabbit, beef etc that she really likes, and use that for recalls,again, big rewards mate, lastly, whatever you do, DO NOT LET HER FEEL ROBBED, Harris hawks, Gos hawks etc will let you get away with a lot, a redtail will not, it will bite back in the most excruciatingly painful way possible, hope this helps, and good luck with her. 


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#4 Moorman 1

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 05:47 am

Good advice already been given . I found with the redtails that I have flown, you may need a slight weight tweak to get them going but once wed to quarry you can add the weight back on as with all birds. Also as the fitness increases so can the weight to account for added muscle etc.

Beginners tend to linger around on the manning , creance work etc too much. Its much more beneficial with all birds to get them loose and hunting as soon as possible. Once this is achieved everything else seems to fall into place. By nature Redtails, (Buteos in general) are lazy and therefore harder to motivate and get fit, the easiest way to achieve the desired result is without doubt get them hunting. You will find that this mentally stimulates them. You would be better off as already said moulting her out for the Summer, maintaining a bit of contact and then starting a fresh in the Autumn. You won't do her any favours by allowing her to catch baby rabbits plus the cover, leaves etc will be too thick.

Good luck!


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#5 charlie caller

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 10:52 am

I could not agree more, Moorman,loads and loads of creance work is not beneficial, more so perhaps with a red, as you said a tweak in weight, get it on a carcass, then hunt its ass off, thats why I like lamping so much, it builds fitness fast, rather lots of tree flying, which takes a good while to build any meaningful fitness.



#6 Moorman 1

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Posted 09 June 2017 - 02:15 pm

Thats it CC you can't beat direct pursuit flights to build fitness and confidence. I'm lucky I have permission on lots of moorland farms with ground buries and a good rabbit population!


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#7 j j m

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 05:03 am

my female red tail i flew for 3 yearsi had to have her weight bang on ,but even then now and again she would just sit in a tree and watch the world go bye


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