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  #1  
Old 18-08-2017, 08:42 PM
NewToFalcons NewToFalcons is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Southern California
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Default Newbie with some questions!

Hi everyone,
I've been interested in birds and falconry for years, but recently I've found time for it, as well as some space for a mews and weathering yard. Right now I have an old duck pen I hope I can repurpose for the base of a mews with some big changes. It's currently very small, 4 by 3 by 2 feet, so it definitely needs to be enlarged, but it has a drainage system (with a concrete floor) and it can be made taller for a flying bird. The walls are hardware cloth and the bottoms sunk into the ground so no animals can dig under, though the floor would prevent that anyway. Reading the size recommendations for red tails, I don't know for sure that I'd be able to create something the right dimensions for a hawk, unless I'm wrong and they don't need an 8 by 8 by 8 structure, though a kestrel would be much more manageable. Unfortunately, I was really hoping for a hawk since I live next to a lake where there are plenty of ducks and rabbits that would make good prey. If I took out the roof of the current enclosure and added a second story, about how high should I make it, since width would be difficult to change? Could a large difference in height allow for a hawk? I know bating could be a problem with the width of the enclosure, so I could probably expand it to 8 ft wide. I have the time to fly a bird every day for at least an hour and enough money to take care of vet bills and other costs, but size is a restraint for me. I have a fenced area for a weathering yard, not covered, but I'm assuming that for a hawk that would be okay? I could cover a large part with netting if necessary. For hunting, I have a relatively large yard with trees bordering a lake with waterfowl and my best friend owns a 60+ acre property with perfect rabbit hunting for a hawk, all flat land and some trees where I often see wild red tails, and it's only a short trip from my house. I could probably get out to hunt with the hawk every other day for short periods of time and longer on the weekends. I'm signing up for the hawking club and getting started with the process of becoming an apprentice, as well as researching a bit more. I love hawks in particular and would really enjoy being able to work with one as long as I can create an appropriately sized mews. Another question, if I left the hawk in the weathering yard for most of the day when I'm not hunting with it, could the mews be a little more flexible in terms of space? I've heard of night mews but it seems unfair to the hawk to hood her whenever she is in her mews. Is that pretty typical for a falconer to do? I know I have a lot of questions, but I'm almost completely clueless about what is possible with my restrictions.
Thank you,
Harper
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  #2  
Old 19-08-2017, 08:26 AM
NewToFalcons NewToFalcons is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Southern California
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Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

If anyone can answer any of the questions I would really appreciate it! I know my post was a block of text, so I'm putting them up again, here they are in a better format:

What height mews would be acceptable for a red tailed hawk if they were five feet by eight feet wide?

Can I fly the hawk daily and hunt two or three times a week?

If I keep the bird tethered in the mews at night with the bird spending most of its day in a weathering yard, could mew size be slightly more flexible?

Can an appropriate weathering yard be a large fenced in area draped with game bird netting? Is this safe for a hawk?

Is it typical to hood a bird in her mews if they are strictly for night?

Thank you everybody!
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  #3  
Old 19-08-2017, 10:24 AM
Shaun Bannister Shaun Bannister is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: wales
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Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

You need to join nafex ( the north american falconers forum ) and also look up the california falconers group on FB
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  #4  
Old 19-08-2017, 10:50 AM
NewToFalcons NewToFalcons is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Southern California
Posts: 32
Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Bannister View Post
you need to join nafex ( the north american falconers forum ) and also look up the california falconers group on FB
Ok, thanks, I'll do both. Any other advice?
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  #5  
Old 19-08-2017, 11:16 AM
PaulUsHilarius PaulUsHilarius is offline
Paul MacDermot
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Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToFalcons View Post
Ok, thanks, I'll do both. Any other advice?
http://www.themodernapprentice.com

And read loads and loads of books. If you are keen this won't be a chore.
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  #6  
Old 19-08-2017, 11:22 AM
NewToFalcons NewToFalcons is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Southern California
Posts: 32
Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulUsHilarius View Post
http://www.themodernapprentice.com

And read loads and loads of books. If you are keen this won't be a chore.
Hi and thanks for answering,
I've bought and am almost done reading several books in preparation for my exam, and I've read through that website a few times. I just had some more particular questions I was hoping to get answered, specifically about mew size since I see different guidelines everywhere. I have looked at the examples on the modern apprentice and they are all so different!
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  #7  
Old 19-08-2017, 07:46 PM
Navek1987 Navek1987 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: staffordshire
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Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

Hight of mews..... however talk you are, you don't want be bending down all the time

Yes you can fly your hawk daily , and hunt 3 times aweeks , on days when just flying her let her end her day on lure so she thinks she's made a kill

If you can make your weathering a decent size and have her free lofted in it with different perches where she can get out of the wind and rain then you mews could be 5 ft wide 6ft deep 6ft high if she is been teatherd( aslong as she has enough room to open her wings and turn round on the perch and enough room for her bath so she had access to water ( except winter don't have bath in mews at winter)


Yes a securely fenced off area with a decent bird netting on top with different perches and half roof coverd so she can get out wind and rain will be fine


If your mews arnt big open fronted then don't realy see point in hooding in mews



People will say you need your mews as big as possible ... if the bird is teatherd I don't see point in having a shed what's 10 x 10 x 10 and only using a 4 ft square of it ,,, make her weathering as big as you can with plenty perches and bath if the bird is out hunting 3 times a week an Flown everyday it dont needed half garden
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  #8  
Old 19-08-2017, 07:56 PM
NewToFalcons NewToFalcons is offline
Egg
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Southern California
Posts: 32
Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navek1987 View Post
Hight of mews..... however talk you are, you don't want be bending down all the time

Yes you can fly your hawk daily , and hunt 3 times aweeks , on days when just flying her let her end her day on lure so she thinks she's made a kill

If you can make your weathering a decent size and have her free lofted in it with different perches where she can get out of the wind and rain then you mews could be 5 ft wide 6ft deep 6ft high if she is been teatherd( aslong as she has enough room to open her wings and turn round on the perch and enough room for her bath so she had access to water ( except winter don't have bath in mews at winter)


Yes a securely fenced off area with a decent bird netting on top with different perches and half roof coverd so she can get out wind and rain will be fine


If your mews arnt big open fronted then don't realy see point in hooding in mews



People will say you need your mews as big as possible ... if the bird is teatherd I don't see point in having a shed what's 10 x 10 x 10 and only using a 4 ft square of it ,,, make her weathering as big as you can with plenty perches and bath if the bird is out hunting 3 times a week an Flown everyday it dont needed half garden
Thank you so much! Very helpful. I think I'll go with a 8 long, 6 tall, and 5 wide structure and keep her tethered. I have a big area already fenced that is perfect for a weathering yard, about 40 feet of ground space which I'll cover with netting and add some perches. Thanks again.

Oh, and do you have a suggestion for mews height? I was thinking around eight or ten feet high?
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  #9  
Old 20-08-2017, 11:18 AM
Shaun Bannister Shaun Bannister is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: wales
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Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

American criteria on mews size is different from uk criteria ( we dont have one) hence why you need to ask on nafex and get your mentorship in place then they can advise
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  #10  
Old 20-08-2017, 01:41 PM
NewToFalcons NewToFalcons is offline
Egg
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Southern California
Posts: 32
Default Re: Newbie with some questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Bannister View Post
american criteria on mews size is different from uk criteria ( we dont have one) hence why you need to ask on nafex and get your mentorship in place then they can advise
I'm working on it currently, I'm in England right now so when I get back to the US I will finish. As far as regulations, California is not very strict (surprisingly), and basically says that as long as the bird can fully stretch out its wings in both directions and your sponsor and inspector approve, the mews doesn't need any specific size. Of course, the bare minimum is not what I'm trying to strive for but I need to be realistic about my space. Also, I've seen California mews for Harris Hawks and red tails that were waaay too small in my opinion, more suited for a merlin sized bird, but they were approved and the falconers had their birds in a yard (tethered) all day unless flying. Once again, I have no idea if this is preferable for the bird, but obviously they could leave when free flying...so the laws aren't super strict as far as I've seen. :/
PS, thanks for answering!
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