Wednesday, June 22, 2011

aaarrrgh - makes me mad

State's Only Breeding Goshawk, Chicks Found Dead

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said the state's only known breeding female northern goshawk, a bird of prey, was shot and killed in Grantsville last week.A DNR biologist said the remains of a female northern goshawk were found last Friday in the Savage River State Forest near Westernport and McAndrews Hill roads, and evidence indicated that the animal was shot and killed, leaving three orphaned chicks in the nest to die.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rats and bees could solve the problem

What problem, you may ask. The problem of many African animals facing extinction. Currently, some animals are being pushed towards extinction because the people in Africa have to eat (yeah, the nerve of them). It is called bush meat.

Scientific American states:

The riBees in a Kenyan top bar, a type of man-made beehive used for beekeeping in Africasing and often illegal trade in bushmeat—wild-caught animals, often threatened species such as primates, birds and elephants—threatens African biodiversity and could drive numerous species into extinction. Finding replacements for that trade could solve the need for both income and subsistence in many African communities. The answer, according to experts speaking at a meeting held in Nairobi this week, could include promoting beekeeping and farming jumbo-size African rodents known as cane rats (two species of the genus Thryonomys) for food.

Bees, of course, make perfect sense. We do that here. But then, I tried to imagine how rats could feed a nation - I've seen them in the pet stores, there's not much meat on them. And really, how good could they taste?

Then I found this:

The cane rat is not your average subway rat. It can grow almost two feet long and weigh 20 pounds.

That’s about the size of a healthy cat or a small dog.

In parts of West and Central Africa, cane rat meat is considered a delicacy. People have traditionally hunted the animals in the wild, but in Cameroon there are efforts underway to domesticate them.

Imagine your Harris Hawk trying to tackle one of those.

Rats have been a food source for thousands of years - This seems like a good plan to me.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crazy busy

Things are nuts here. I'm working both jobs right now, and on the only days I have had off since April I had to make a run to New York to see my brother get married.

12+ hours each way, with a two night stay. Crazy.

Coming from North Carolina, it seems strange that going to New York feels like I'm driving to the country. It is a nice drive, but Long.

Gordon came with me and we spent some quality time wandering the woods and fields whenever we got a break. We spent some time walking with my father and the big dogs. Soon these trails would be overgrown for the summer, so it was good we got onto them now.

On the way home, we stopped to see Patrick and his dogs and took a morning to go out hunting. I finally got to meet Gideon, his newest terrier. He is a solid, funny little dog with a brick like body. and boy does he like to hump. Gordon had to keep showing teeth to keep Gideon off of his back.

We wandered the bottom lands of a familiar farm looking for groundhog. We found lots of holes, but soon realized that with the recent rains, much of that area must have been flooded and the groundhogs had moved on.

Late in the morning, I had to leave but we had lost Mountain somewhere - underground. Patrick went to find him. It was a good morning, as usual, spending time in the fields with the dogs - even if we came home empty handed.

I found out later that Mountain had squared off underground with a coon and didn't want to leave it. Patrick was able to dig them both up and release the coon.

I spent the rest of the time making plans for the new hawking season.

There will be news, but right now my time is being spent upgrading my hawk housing, and getting things ready.

There will be new additions, and new challenges.

My posting will probably continue to be erratic until I get it all figured out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

hunters.... shame on you

Found this on a falconry chat site...