Culture: Photography
Kestrel Snax   (+7, -2)  [vote for, against]
Grind rodents and pour raptors on them

I looked at Sport:

I looked at Computer: Mouse: Cordless

I finally settled on this category.

I am not a falconer, and given the amount of dedication required, it's not on this year's calendar. But I like to follow the forums and blogs, and I have gotten familiar with my local bird base.

Falconer's must serve an apprenticeship under an experienced falconer, acquire licensing from the state and pass tests.

They can only capture certain kinds of birds of certain ages.

Trapping consists of placing a rodent or small bird in a shallow container, usually covered in wire mesh and small noose-loops of fishing line designed to snare a raptor's foot when it attempts to take the perceived "prey".

The falconer drops the trap near a potential capture, watches and quickly returns to grab the ensnared raptor, which is then wrapped in a cloth and weighed, examined, and kept for training or released.

I don't have room for a mews (raptor condominium), and falconry requires even more commitment to the animal than my horses did, so that's not happening any time soon.

But I regularly see birds I'd like a closer look at. Enter " Kestrel Snax ".

These healthy snack foods are made from meat, entrails, small bones, fur, feathers, and selected vitamins and minerals.

They are crafted so as to appear to be rodents or small birds. They are stored at refrigerated temperatures and warmed shortly before use (Guaranteed Fresh Until Printed Date Or This Snax On Us).

Place an individual serving of Kestrel Snax on the two small prongs of the Bird Butler (Sold Separately, Batteries Not Included) and press the button.

The prong pair moves back and forth on a track, simulating the activity of a live prey. When the raptor lands on the Bird Butler and seizes the snack, digital cameras record still images and a short video.

The raptor flies off to consume it's snack at leisure, and you can download the image files to our website. Enter your images in our contest for valuable prizes.
-- normzone, Jan 27 2011

(?) youtube: The Simpsons (Spanish)
Doh! [rcarty, Jan 28 2011]

The answers to many of your questions here...
Be nice, those involved in the sport manage themselves quite professionally [normzone, Jan 28 2011, last modified Feb 02 2011]

youtue: falconry rabbit hunting
never thought about this before: interesting [rcarty, Jan 28 2011] : Trapped Raptor
check out this bird! [rcarty, Jan 30 2011]

Rat on a Stick http://www.tunnelsa...s/ratonastick.shtml
From the halcyon days when roleplaying wasn't just code for 'slaughter everything in sight'...although there was still quite a bit of that too. [DrBob, Feb 03 2011]

[+] croissant on a perch!!
-- xandram, Jan 27 2011

"Raptor Attractor"
-- 8th of 7, Jan 27 2011

Obviously, feeding pigeons and ducks in the park is just too tame for you. [+]
-- mouseposture, Jan 28 2011

Some falconers use their birds to take ducks and geese - hazardous, though, because as the falcon's confidence builds it can hit large prey so fast and hard that the falcon can die from internal injuries.
-- normzone, Jan 28 2011

Interesting. Just out of curiosity, how effective are said raptors at doing one's bidding?
-- rcarty, Jan 28 2011

So, you're telling me that if I was to find me a baby hawk and raise it up as my buddy that I'd be braking the law ?!?

Is it one of those great-great-grandfather clause laws designed to keep falconry from the peasants or something?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 28 2011

[rcarty], it depends on the falcon and the falconer. Initially it's about manning the bird and weight control - getting the bird used to being around humans and their lives, and getting the bird to associate you with food.

If all goes well, the bird comes to realize that living with you is a good thing, because the assistance you lend to the hunt brings in food far more regularly than it could achieve on it's own, and it decides to stick around.

If not, the bird simply flies off and you stand there watching it go.
-- normzone, Jan 28 2011

I had a chick, a really cute bird, as they say
a chicken-hawk because she fed on cocks,
and, I tried to convince her to stay,
so I gave her really long talks
and fed her cocks everyday,
but she still decided to fly away.
-- rcarty, Jan 28 2011

In trying to decide if you wrote that, or if you were quoting, I ran a search. The hits I got lead me to believe that you're not quoting.
-- normzone, Jan 29 2011

No I wrote that, it's based on a true story. Although names and details have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.
-- rcarty, Jan 29 2011

I'm taking some heat from the falconers on the apprentice falconry forum for this post. I've invited them to comment here if they are sufficiently concerned, and offered to take down this post if they do so.
-- normzone, Jan 29 2011

I read the thread in the falconry forum. At least one response is approaching flame war ignition temperature.
-- rcarty, Jan 29 2011

Well, I'm attempting to diplomatically bring together two factions for social intercourse, and be respectful of their response.

Falconers in general tend to be very protective of the sport, and are rightfully concerned about untrained/unlicensed/uncaring persons trapping birds and therefore giving their sport a black eye.

But I don't think your average Halfbaker is going to run out and begin trapping based on my posting this idea, which is a fanciful feeding station with a camera. Of course, I know you folks, and they don't.

So tidy up, everybody, we may be about to have visitors. Best behaviour, please. Make me proud.
-- normzone, Jan 29 2011

So no falcon 'round?
-- rcarty, Jan 29 2011

Maybe you'd better go hawk this idea somewhere else, [norm]. Or you could claim it's just a Hobby.
-- 8th of 7, Jan 29 2011

// untrained/unlicensed/uncaring persons trapping birds and therefore giving their sport a black eye //

Duly noted.
My problem is with authority in general telling me what I can or can not do. Nothing to do with falconry specifically.
It would be quite the thing having a bird of prey allow you to hunt with it.

The whole 're-setting' the birds instincts by hooding it is very cool.

<off topic> I took care of a few hundred chickens for a fellow once and learned that placing a chicken's head under its wing will make it go to sleep...
Y'had to be there.<ot>
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 29 2011

I see you've been doing some homework, [fries]. I'm glad to hear that. Having only two imaginary falcons myself, that's what I've done.

I've bought the study guide for the California state test, own a few books, and bookmarked a few dozen websites I keep up on. As long I only hunt my imaginary birds, and only put imaginary game in the freezer, it fits in with my real world amount of money and free time.
-- normzone, Jan 29 2011

// placing a chicken's head under its wing will make it go to sleep //

The long Winter evenings must simply fly by in your part of the planet ...

// having a bird of prey allow you to hunt with it //

Raptors are in fact rather dim creatures. They simply have a very powerful instictive drive to fall on any smaller living creature and tear it to bits for food. "Allow" isn't realy relevant. They're just efficient, feathered killing machines, a form of avian shark.

Ironically, vultures (and condors), being largely opportunistic scavengers, are actually more intelligent ...
-- 8th of 7, Jan 29 2011

Well, it's unlikely that this idea will feather my nest in any manner. There's no talon how the members of the falconry forum will respond to all of this.
-- normzone, Jan 30 2011

[8th] I question your reasoning. Think lawyers.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2011

If you research a falconry glossary, the pun opportunities are many. But I will remain mutes.
-- normzone, Jan 30 2011

In response to the few apprentice falconry forum members who I upset by sharing guild secrets with the uninitiated, I deleted what I could on the their forum.

I suspect this could qualify as baked, but not widely known. I searched for photographers baiting raptors, and there is prior art, but none using simulated prey.

Sheesh, and I thought that freediver spearos were a challenging bunch. It's tough when you sleep in many different camps.
-- normzone, Jan 30 2011

Wow there are some real hard asses on that forum. I would have declared full flame war against personalities like those, so I admire your self-restraint. I've been checking out falconry since I read this post. I never thought about it before, maybe because I wrote it off as an elitist pastime. I've sort of decided that I'll have a bird ony my arm at some point before I die. Videos abound on youtube. Great stuff.
-- rcarty, Jan 30 2011

Restraint, I advise restraint. What you consider a real hard ass may only be a Sears hard ass (cultural reference, research required).

They got that way for a couple of reasons. Self defense is one. Being in a sport requiring a specialized skill set is another.

That said, I agree. Birds when we're ready for it.
-- normzone, Jan 30 2011

//"Allow" isn't realy relevant. They're just efficient, feathered killing machines, a form of avian shark.//

Ah, but can you get a shark to trust you enough to let you put a little hoodie on it between kills?

Speaking of sharks...there is a question my daughter asked me after watching a documentary on alligator wrestling that I can't find an answer to anywhere on the web. I've even posted the question on a few sites but haven't gotten any reply, which surprises me because I thought it a good questiion, and I thought someone here might know the answer.

If you tap an alligators snout after it has opened its mouth it is then unable to shut it or move as long as the stick remains touching the tip of its nose.
She wanted to know if the same were true of sharks and if they would be unable to bite down if something tapped their nose?

Ever done any shark tapping [norm]?
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 30 2011

I wouldn't experiment on an alligator based on a piece of hearsay. Of course, I wouldn't experiment on an alligator anyways.

No, I leave sharks alone. They're not on my shooting list, since we've pretty much wiped out the resource through overfishing.

I'm fortunate, the part of the world I dive in has a relatively calm shark population, give or take one great white incident every fifty years or so.

My only shark encounter was started by me letting a fish flop to see if I could attract some game, and it ended when I swam at and yelled at the shark underwater and he left in a hurry.
-- normzone, Jan 30 2011

I've only gotten to play with a small baracuda.
The skipper of the fishing boat I spent a summer on would shoot any and all sharks.
We hooked a blue shark once. Its belly was distended so I was currious to see why before he threw it overboard. As soon as my knife made a slice twelve baby sharks flooded out. The mom was already dead but I kept the babys alive in a bucket for a week or so to study them before releasing them. I couldn't help but play with them at the time and found out that indelible ink doesn't wash off of their skin.

Some day some fisherman somewhere is going to snag a blue shark with 'scurvy' written on its belly, or a game of X's and O's, or a lightning bolt, or a... yep, they were pretty sure I was tetched.
Sorry to vear off topic but I thought you'd get a kick out of the story.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 30 2011

[fries], you never cease to amaze/amuse me.

I'll watch for your shark. Although I may not be focused on the strange pattern on it's tummy. The "shark heebie-jeebies" preclude such focus on details.

If you get out this way, I'll show you around our local fishy populace. Please email me and regale me with more tales of your fishing days - that's an interesting job, to say the least of the least.

A moderator on the falconry forum has ruled in a favorable manner on this posting - my weekend just got a lot better. Now all of you do me proud and do your homework.
-- normzone, Jan 31 2011

Hello everybody,

I just happen to be the above mentioned moderator of the falconry forum that normzone posted a link to here.

Just wanted to say that while we do get quickly defensive over out sport and our birds, we do try to present falconry in a positive light. Unfortunately our defense can sometimes become a bit of a dark cloud covering that light. As far as we're concerned though, normzone is a welcome member of the forum (crazy ground up mice idea and all ;) ) and anyone else who is interested in falconry is more than welcome to explore the forums and learn more about who we are and what we do. Hope to see you all around!

-- SkyRider, Feb 01 2011

I had a look at that forum, but was quite disappointed by the "Members' Birds" section - it wasn't at all what I expected.

Also "Trouble Shooting" is presumably why you chose a raptor instead of a Ruger in the first place.
-- coprocephalous, Feb 02 2011

"Seeing-Eye Raptor" has a nice ring to it.
-- FlyingToaster, Feb 02 2011

I'm a little slow this morning, took me a minute to figure out the expected interpretation of "member's birds". Yeah, should be a girlfriend gallery.

I'll have to thank [SkyRider] for going to the trouble to join up and post.

Seeing eye raptor? In the early stages of training, the bird is flown on a creance, essentially a long leash. But I don't fancy walking around blind holding onto a guide bird with fantastic vision that's fascinated by mice or rabbits.

Or, to quote the movie "Up"...SQUIRREL!
-- normzone, Feb 02 2011

This is one of those ideas that could be substituted by a dead rat on a stick and not be altered in any way.
-- GutPunchLullabies, Feb 03 2011

Ah, memories. Thanks GPL! <linky>
-- DrBob, Feb 03 2011

Do the raptors have large talons?
-- jaksplat, Feb 03 2011

That depends on the raptor. Kestrels are sized somewhere between a dove and a parrot. Eagles are...well, eagle sized. I'm just talon you.
-- normzone, Feb 03 2011

random, halfbakery