18 September, 2012


My first post about the thrilling falcons was here.

We saw three  different  types of falcons at the Anchor Heart Ranch.
First up was "Ginger Rogers", an Aplomodo.

She is called Ginger Rogers because she likes to dance. These three birds were raised in captivity. For more reading, try the Birds of North America web page.
Here's another link.

Gyrfalcon. The one the kings want.

There are about 3000 falcons like these, here in the US.
In the Middle East , there are about 50,000. Falconry is a bigger sport over there.

They eat a carnivorous diet. Jim cuts up starlings amongst other meats for them.
They can obviously see much farther than we can. Into the ultraviolet spectrum.
Jim has done presentations for the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon.

I forget what type this third one is but he is very tame and flew some wedding rings to the groom at a recent wedding event at the ranch. The guests were thrilled.

There is speculation about how fast they can fly. There is a skydiver on Whidbey Island (or was that Orcas Island) who skydives with his falcon. Since humans are heavier, it makes sense that humans will travel faster to the ground. His bird not only keeps up but can surge ahead. Incredibly aerodynamic.

Just two weeks ago, my local paper, The Canby Herald, published a story about a local blueberry farmer utilizing falcons (sorry - link died when Pamplin took over Eagle Newspapers) for small bird (starlings) control. They had tried numerous other methods to keep starlings from maiming their crop with little or no success.

"Methods included visual deterrents, such as images of large eyes, auditory deterrents, like distressed bird calls and propane cannons, and even people with shotguns. "

The falcons have proven the most effective and the lest expensive deterrent. Plus they are popular with the neighbors.

Maybe when I grow up I'll become an ornithologist..

1 comment:

  1. Stunning pictures. Over here they fly birds of prey to keep away pigeons at places like Wimbledon and I think St Paul's Cathedral. I haven't heard of farmers using them a deterent.


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