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Fenlands Rescue
16-11-2006, 10:12 PM
I've just taken up a parent reared female ferrug to hunt rabbits and hares out on the fens, north cambs. UK.
Would like to hear advice from people who have flown these birds.

Mac
17-11-2006, 12:16 AM
this may be of interest, its a post of mine from another thread:

i flew a female ferug in 1995 and what a strange bird she was. she eventually went loose at just under 4lb but had really small feet she was very nervy and would hang upside down and play dead. in fact she was one of the most awkward birds i have trained

the plan was to catch brown hares in very large open fields using regalis's penchant for long slips to our advantage. it became apparent though, after the first eight connections to hare that she lacked the stopping power of a female redtail even though she flew much faster. she hit around 16 hares and missed them all due to her poor footing possibly a knock on effect from her smaller foot size. she was fairly fast when she got up head of steam but that took about 100meters! i did catch a few rabbits with her, but she tore them up and they were in a terrible state by the time i got to her... definitley not a cooks bird!

after a season of missing hares i packed her in as it was clear that she wasnt enjoying herself and was not going to get any tamer or more responsive.

i wouldnt fly one again and i cant see what use the male's would be.

all the best

sean

Kazahk
17-11-2006, 01:30 PM
Ive hunted with two female Ferruginous in the open fens and you realy do need to fly them out of the hood as the legth of slips they will take on is amazeing.Both would take brown hares well but their only problem was the small foot for when it came to the really long slips 50% of the time they would loose a large brown hare from this.
I think the best thing to do is enter them on 3/4 grown leverets and as their skill improves move on to the big hares ( ive cought a 11 1/2lb hare with my Saluki one january),dont neglect the feather aspect as they will take game well when fit,what part of Cambs are you,Wisbech way?

ChakChek
17-11-2006, 01:36 PM
is there any chance of putting photos up of the ferru's foot span?

Fenlands Rescue
17-11-2006, 03:16 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Sean, my bird is taking some manning but besides a quick bate when you pick her up I've had worst RT's.
Her feet are small compared to her size but the power is concentrated and she has as much or more power than any rt I've flown.
Kazahk, good to hear someone else with the same idea as me. I intend to hunt her out of the hood. Will take rabbits first then move up to hares.
Were yours like my bird in that she came out of the nest at 4lbs 4oz fed three days later at 4lbs and I have not dropped her below 3lbs 11oz and she is coming 40yds on a creance. At this weight she is still fat and I would not expect any other bird I have trained be this responsive while this fat.
She hoods well and is very attentive when i put my hunting bag on. In fact she still has the odd bate while out walking but is quite steady overall. I intend to fly her to a one kill policy and I will definately be taking feather where possible. i am just outside Wisbech, where are you?ChakChek cannot work out how too. It just keeps say my photo is too big.

Gozzhawk
17-11-2006, 04:41 PM
I wouldnt start on rabbit then try to move up to hare , more chance of bird refusing after finding hares difficult , get some eagle literature and train it like an eagle if you are serious about hares .....
span of FFerrug would compare with mHH chackcheck , more powerful tho.
They take on long flights from the ground(prairie) in the wild , a lot of still hunting, weird setup long/broadwing , deceptively fast !!

Fenlands Rescue
17-11-2006, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the input Gozzhawk.
I must admit I did the same thing with my first spar. Entered her on hedgerow birds and never got her up to magpies. The second one I did the other way around. Any suggestions for good reading on eagle training?

GoodFooter
17-11-2006, 06:03 PM
'Bebe' has some good sections on ferug's. Will dig it out tonight and let you know if its worth getting or borrowing a copy.
Rob

Merger
17-11-2006, 06:03 PM
I would agree with most of whats been said on here,, and would start on hares first, I flew a female in the early ninties, and out of the hood also, but had limited succses in catching, but great pursuits! I called her back to the glove off the ground, after failed flights, and as she came in, just thru the chick on the floor, then jumped her back up to the glove, she seemed to definatly prefer this as apossed to landing on the glove, also unlike any other hawk or buteo, take on the slips, only after the quarry, has made some initial progress!! dont ask me why, but she did not like being thrown off! but once you get used to there strange characteristics, there good fun, I once flew a male at Gleneagles, who would on opening the chamber door, just fly out and ring up, and I mean up, about 1500ft, a speck, then when you thro a chick on the ground, would fold up, from that hieght, in an amazing vertical stoop, The noise was awsome, and thankfully so was his braking!!whatever option you choose, youl have fun,but when the tails wet, like most there hopeless, sadly these guys love the ground....ps I also had two large pieces of asrto turf, around the block, to help with the talons..

Fenlands Rescue
17-11-2006, 07:28 PM
Rob and Kevin, thanks for the input.
Rob would be interested in that article by "Bebe" Will have to see who can lend me a copy.
Kevin, I got her especially for the long fast flights. A top ferrug flyer in the states told me why he thinks they are so long taking off after prey. He says the are predated by golden eagles prolificly in the wild and so when hunting, they spot a target, check there are no eagles around, then lock on to the target and then attack knowing they can fly down anything over a distance.
At the moment she comes with a vengence then slows at the last minute and almost hoovers before landing. May try the chick to the floor trick.She will come to the lure as well.
The first two weeks she would not take to a block, bow or shelf perch but is now settled on a bow.
All input is greatly appreciated.

Agent D.
17-11-2006, 08:00 PM
I wouldnt start on rabbit then try to move up to hare , more chance of bird refusing after finding hares difficult , get some eagle literature and train it like an eagle if you are serious about hares .....
span of FFerrug would compare with mHH chackcheck , more powerful tho.
They take on long flights from the ground(prairie) in the wild , a lot of still hunting, weird setup long/broadwing , deceptively fast !!

the man talks sense, start big; aim for the big stuff first, advantages include the obvious refusal at hare after introduction to rabbit, and don't forget you can always find a rabbit for an end of day slip (they're plentyful/don't need dog/ use ferrets) if the hare aren't playing ball.

encourage as much height as you can during early training, they are very very quick on a shallow stoop.

Kazahk
17-11-2006, 09:56 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Sean, my bird is taking some manning but besides a quick bate when you pick her up I've had worst RT's.
Her feet are small compared to her size but the power is concentrated and she has as much or more power than any rt I've flown.
Kazahk, good to hear someone else with the same idea as me. I intend to hunt her out of the hood. Will take rabbits first then move up to hares.
Were yours like my bird in that she came out of the nest at 4lbs 4oz fed three days later at 4lbs and I have not dropped her below 3lbs 11oz and she is coming 40yds on a creance. At this weight she is still fat and I would not expect any other bird I have trained be this responsive while this fat.
She hoods well and is very attentive when i put my hunting bag on. In fact she still has the odd bate while out walking but is quite steady overall. I intend to fly her to a one kill policy and I will definately be taking feather where possible. i am just outside Wisbech, where are you?ChakChek cannot work out how too. It just keeps say my photo is too big.

The two females ive flown were both around 4lb 7-9oz ish and both hunting at 3lb 12-14oz.But remember Ferrug's are built with a deep chest and are physicaly built differentley to a Red/T that has a sharper keal.In flight they look front heavy with that deep chest.
I fly Goldens out of the hood and some of the basics are the same but dont compare them as they are very different.
I would always try to enter them onto young 3/4 grown hares as rabbits and hares behave differentley when cought,also youre straight out in the open fields "hare hawking" and not rabbiting about in the bushes and this is training in itself,hawks know the difference and dont see a rabbit as a small hare as my father and grandfather found with passage german goshawks,they would take 4lb buck rabbits all day but would not look at 4lb brown hare youngsters!
I use to fly my Ferruginous's in the lamp at rabbits to so they would take them on long pursuits and not the normal short dash of daytime rabbits.
You are near Wisbech,im in Linc's mate and ive a good longwinger freind near Marshland St James who does pure Peales peregrines so pm me mate.

Fenlands Rescue
19-11-2006, 08:00 PM
This bird is unbelievable. Allowed her to feed up on a whole skinned and gutted Doe rabbit last night. She ate everything except the leg bones, back bone and half the head. Tonight I weighed her and she has only put on 2ozs. Eat your hearts out you Harris and RT flyers!
When I got home from work tonight she saw me and started calling. Went over and she stepped up onto the fist and hooded no problem [ must be the hood. One of Ken Hookes.]
Sat on the fist for an hour being touched all over and hooded every few minutes.
I've never had a bird so laid back when fat. Even my best Harris would get stroppy when fat.
Putting a tail mount on her Tuesday and then taking her weight back down ready for release. I estimate this will be around 3lbs 8ozs although i may be tempted to let her go early depending on how she acts.

Mad hawk
19-11-2006, 08:09 PM
I have flown a couple of females over the years and found them to be good birds if you can get your head round their way of thinking. They can adapt to various terrain, will soar well and are agressive hunters. I think they are very underestimated in European falconry.

Fenlands Rescue
19-11-2006, 08:43 PM
Kiwanja
Tried to email you pm but would not let me.
Email me on fenlandsrescue@aol.com as I would love to arrange a hunting trip.

Fenlands Rescue
19-11-2006, 08:45 PM
Mad Hawk.
I have flown a couple of females over the years and found them to be good birds if you can get your head round their way of thinking. They can adapt to various terrain, will soar well and are agressive hunters. I think they are very underestimated in European falconry.

Hopefully I can prove this point.

Kiwanja
19-11-2006, 09:06 PM
Hi mate ,I have just e-mailed you.Ta Mike:supz:

Fenlands Rescue
20-11-2006, 07:21 PM
Update.

She certainly is steady, did not feed her yesterday after the rabbit the day before. today she was back to 3lbs 12ozs. Took her over to a friends and we put a tail mount and tail bell on her. Did nearly all of it hooded on my fist, we only cast her as she has so many small feathers underneath her tail he did not want to get any glue on them. Afterwards took her straight out into his paddock where she has never been before, unhooded her and she came 30+yards three times instantly. And shes still fat !!!
Hopefully out with a RT that is dynamite on hares Thursday. Will take her along for the experience. Will take a note pad and pencil in case my bird wants to take notes!

LSD1
27-11-2006, 11:50 PM
hi ya mate hows things going?
my hhs are going real well at the mow and are getting better every day :supz: