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Your FREE Online Falconry Magazine


In this Issue: Breaking NEWS The launch of the Phillip Glasier Museum Hawking with a Musket Wildlife Artists Carl Bass & Morten Solberg Product Reviews

Plus much much more...

October 2013


Welcome to the latest edition of PURSUIT Your FREE on-line falconry magazine Please be aware some practises featured are legal in the countries where falconry is practised and not necessarily of your home country - please consult your legislative authorities for legality of falconry practises in you home country. We advocate responsible falconry and we reserve the right to amend or refuse images or articles which might cause offence.

Neil Davies - Editor


o far the reception has been positive on the launch of last month’s edition. Hopefully, the readers will find this edition equally rewarding and stimulating. In this issue I am pleased to feature two artists one well know to the British Falconry community Carl Bass and American Wildlife Artist Morten Solberg to the US falconry fraternity. Please, feel free to share this edition to your falconry friends around the world and if you would like to submit a photograph or article please contact me directly at


If any advertisers wishing to advertise please contact me for advertising rates and terms and conditions. All images/text within this edition are copyright of Neil Davies - PURSUIT © 2013 and it’s individual contributors. No reproduction of any part of this edition or subsequent editions to be published without the express written permission. Cover image © Ben Crane 2013

October 2013

In this issue...

Breaking News Falconer and Artist Carl Bass It doesn’t always go to plan! Dullstroom Bird of Prey Rehabilation Centre The Phillip Glasier Falconry Museum

4 6 8 10

Product Reviews American Wildlife Artist Morten Solberg Spanish Wildlife Artist Jesus Nieto Photo of the Month


Max the Musket by Ben Crane

24 32 40 22 44

Next month’s issue features articles on... Wildife Artist Paul Bletchley, Partridge Hawking, Merlins, Grouse Hawking, product reviews and much much more...




ike for Hawks raised over £15,000 for the National Bird of Prey Hospital at The Hawk Conservancy Trust a big thank you to everyone that supported this worthwhile cause. For more information about the work of the Hawk Conservancy Trust log onto

The Hungarian Falconers Club XXIII International Field Meet 6th to 10th November 2013 - Békéscsaba, Hungary

2013 NAFA Field Meet 24th to 29th November 2013 - Alamosa, Colorado

Customised Jesses from Premium Falcons Fran Bolinches Gomez-Torres of Premium Falcons produces a fantastic new range of customised falconry jesses and leashes.


North American Falconers Exchange-Falconry Forum - A Fa

October 2013

G NEWS... World Falconry Day

At the recent Annual General Meeting of the IAF in the Netherlands the establishment of a World Falconry Day was unanimously approved. On November 16th of each year, participants from the largest possible number of countries, are invited to work to a common theme related to falconry. This year it coincides with the third anniversary of the recognition of falconry by UNESCO and is also the tenth anniversary of the UNESCO Convention for Intangible Cultural Heritage. The slogan of World Falconry Day for 2013 is ®Falconry: celebrating a Living Human Heritage”. For more info go to:

FALCON THEFT Sadly, today the ugly side of humanity has affected me personally today! A very close friend has been looking after two of my falcons. A PR 8 yr old Gyr Saker hybrid. The other, however is my 1 year old imprint tiercel, ‘Jupiter’! Both birds were stolen from their avaries overnight on 29/9/2013. South Wales Police are now investigating the theft. I hope to bring you more news in next month’s issue.

alconry Forum that brings falconers together.



CARL BASS WILDLIFE ARTIST Northumbrian wildlife artist and falconer Carl Bass has submitted some recent paintings for publication in this edition of PURSUIT. Carl works in a wide variety of media and has a range of prints available via his website: If you wish to commission a painting or a drawing please contact Carl directly at or by writing to the address below: Carl Bass - Wildlife Artist 8 Windsor Terrace, Ryton, Northumberland NE40 3TT, UK


October 2013



It doesn’t alway


October 2013

ys go to plan!..

...but other times it does!

Š Jason Foley 2013 9



bird of prey rehab

‘Sunset at Dullstroom’


October 2013


bilitation centre

by Graeme Scott



I had built up a fair set of skills whilst working at the Trust, but I was optimistic that I would learn a lot more from Mark and his team. My aim was to build a solid set of skills that would help build my confidence when working with birds, along with the multitude of other areas involved with any wildlife rehabilitation centre open to the public.

Mark Holder with Lanner Falcon As, I voluntary regulary at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, I was told about a Rehabilation Center run by by British born falconer, Mark Holder. I work as a pilot for a FlyBe and during the winter the company allows its staff to take sabbacticals from our jobs and having read about Dullstroom Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Centre and seeing this as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, I applied and was accepted as a volunteer for nine weeks starting in mid-January. Dullstroom,houses over 100 birds, ranging from eagles to owls and at an elevation of over 6500ft with rolling hills, farmland, amazing sunsets and wildlife, it truly has a unique setting. Flying displays run all year round, with dry chilly winters and hot thundery summers.


There are many flight options available, although I opted to travel direct with British Airways, who gave a smooth pleasant flight despite a near 4-hour delay due to the snow we had in January. Mark provides all the information needed for your arrival and arranged the bus to Belfast, where I was to meet him at a service station. All went to plan, although I wasn’t quite ready for the heat! One piece of advice; take an unlocked phone and purchase a Vodacom pre-pay sim card with a data plan. It will definitely come in handy for keeping in touch with loved ones! Mark owns a very nice farmhouse on the park itself, and there is an additional building nearby where volunteers can also stay. Once I was settled in there was time to check out the landscape and the park itself. Mark runs the centre, the twice a day flying displays are usually run by the volunteers in the morning and by Mark in the afternoon with volunteers assisting. All the aspects of bird husbandry are performed by Mark and the volunteers, including the daily

October 2013

Mark with Sam the Verreaux Eagle



even heard of, let alone worked with. With all of that, the pressure was on me to learn fast! Mark is a born and bred Londoner, and was approached many years ago to run a centre for Nature Conservation. This centre was originally on the other side of Dullstroom, but after identifying several problems Mark bought the centre and eventually relocated to the farm on which he was living. Then core aviaries and facilities were built in around 6 months with the birds moving in soon after.

Hayley & author with Amur Falcon weighing and putting out, feed rounds, bird rehabilitation, food preparation, etc. The only other staff are three awesome local guys, who perform general grounds maintenance, and two more manning the entrance and gift shop. When I first arrived, I worked with two volunteers also from the UK and one I already knew from the Hawk Conservancy. I found it to be a steep learning curve to learn all they were doing in the all-too-brief fortnight before they both went home, and I used a note pad to ensure that nothing was forgotten. There was a new member of staff arriving and settling in too. Her name is Hayley, and she is still working at the centre. I also had to learn about the birds on the park and in the skies above, as a sizeable majority I had not


The grounds are delightful to walk around. Apart from the aviaries, there are three dams that can be used for fishing and picnics, a children’s play area, shop and cafe. Visitors can expect to see a whole variety of plants and flowers, along with the song birds that live around them. If you’re a fan of thunderstorms, then South Africa seems only too willing to provide. The cloudscapes and sunsets were amazing, and I was able to photograph the lightning on several occasions. Even from the centre you can see some spectacular wildlife. On my first day I saw Long Crested Eagles, African Fish Eagles and Cape Vultures. Also seen regularly were Gymogenes, Verreaux Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Amur falcons (until their migration back to china) and Lanner falcons. There were also African Peregrines and Black Sparrowhawks in the area, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to see them in the wild.

October 2013

Greater Kestrel



Mark with JB the Jackal Buzzard

There was an incredible variety of song birds, of which Mark knew them all by sight and sound. This was something which became apparent, when we both visited the Kruger towards the end of my trip (more later on about that!), as the slightest unusual sound had Mark slamming on the anchors to see what was making the sound. He was almost always right! Generally every falconer you meet has their own way of doing things, and I expected that I would have a lot of learning to do. My skills as a pilot are clearly of little value, so I had to treat working for Mark full-time as a new career, learning all the facets of the job mentioned earlier. All the birds of the feed round had their quirks, varying from shy to outright aggression.


In particular there was a Tawny Eagle called Rosie, who really didn’t like me much, and a hand reared Verreaux Eagle called Ebony who seemed to swing between nice and nasty as she came into breeding condition. The daily routine would be to complete the feed round, weigh the birds prior to display, change water bowls, then it was just a matter of preparing for the shows and making sure you stay hydrated and protected from the sun. Dullstroom is at 6600ft and the risk of serious sun burn was very high. I took factor 50 sunscreen, and it was just adequate. As you would expect, all the display birds worked extremely well for Mark. It was always going to be a challenge gaining the trust of the birds as a volunteer, but after two or three weeks

October 2013

Mark on display with Sam




October 2013

I began to build a relationship with the key birds in display. We had Landy, a Spotted Eagle Owl, who was named after marks old land rover, as she leaks fifty times a day and won’t start in the morning. In display she was usually on fire, and was a delight to work with. One bird that came to the park was a Greater Kestrel, who was left outside the park in a cardboard box. While working out what to do with him, it quickly became apparent that he had been hand raised, so Mark and Nature Conservation decided that he should remain in captivity. Named Big Norm, after one of the local sponsors in Dullstroom, he was trained by Mark and flown in display. He was an instant hit, and seemed only too willing to hover in shows after a little encouragement. After watching and using the same technique, both me and Hayley were able to encourage him to hover in the shows. We also had a Cape Eagle owl, who never flew for me but flew beautifully for mark, until local wildlife drove him to the ground on occasion. Two peregrines, Charlie and Fagin, of which Fagin was hand raised. Both flew great in the shows, with Charlie staying relatively close and giving a blazingly fast display. Fagin would use much more sky, gain lots of height, stoop very fast, and invariably would always make the show finish late! I suppose if you’re going to be late, do it in style!

A unusual bird for the show was Colin the Pied Crow. He helped raise over 3000 South African rand for the centre by being trained to collect coins and notes from members of the public, who volunteer of course! He would then place them in a bowl demonstrating how smart corvids can be. His story had a bad start, after being taken from the nest as a chick and having his wing feathers cut, before being sold on a roadside close to the Kruger National Park. We had the obligatory barn owl, called Barney, who was very much smaller than his European male counterpart weighing in at 280 grams. He was a surefire hit with the public who got the opportunity too fly him at the end of the show. JB the Jackal Buzzard was an amazing bird to look at, although he never worked of me unless Mark was around. A very striking bird with a bright red chest, and would soar the skies around the centre during the show until stooping in to land on Marks glove. Finally there was Sam, who started as Samual and ended up Samantha. She was a two year old Verreaux Eagle who came to the hospital after being found with a broken foot and a damaged wing after hitting a power line. After several operations and a long recovery, it became apparent that while she could fly again, her left foot was just not strong enough to enable her to hunt properly.



After consulting with Nature Conservation, it was decided she could stay in captivity and Mark trained her for the shows and she now wows visitors on a daily basis. She was a great bird to work with, but during my time she would only fly to posts for me and not to the glove. I had to rely on Marks skills for weighing, and taking from and to her aviary during display. Of course the displays are only one part of the centre, the Rehabilitation Centre deals with over 200 bird of prey casualties per year. The busiest time was usually during the breeding season, but my stay only covered the start of that so it was relatively quiet. We had two Amur falcons at different times, both of which had flown through near invisible and unguarded methane flames at mines near Lydenburg. The first had burnt feathers, and on the wings and tail had only feather shafts remaining. Of greater concern was a badly damaged foot, and little appetite to eat. Hayley and I used cream to try and sooth the foot, while using some light physiotherapy to try and keep it mobile. We had to hand feed him, as he wouldn’t feed himself in his bay. Unfortunately infection took hold and he passed away while at the vets in nearby Lydenburg. The second, while having the same mishap, faired much better with a lot less feather damage and two good feet. His treatment was going well up until my departure, and I understand he has now been returned to the wild. Since then there has been the usual


rash of baby owls, despite mammoth efforts in the commentary by us all to leave them alone, then there has been a Secretary Bird and a Crowned Eagle. Both of the latter patients have since gone back to the wild. The success rate is around 40% which, when you consider the nature of bird injuries and illness, is not bad at all! A significant number of patients that come to the hospital are all victims of secondary poisoning. There are many cases of people using poisons such as warfarin to control rodent populations. This substance is a strong anticoagulant that, until it takes its toll, causes the victim to move slowly and try to seek water to flush the poison. Unfortunately this makes them easy targets for owls such as the Spotted Eagle Owl and Cape Eagle Owl. The poison transfers from the prey to the predator, and causes haemorrhaging throughout the body and shows externally as bleeding from the eyes, beak and the back end. Unfortunately this usually means that if the bird reaches Mark in this state, then the only option is to euthanise. If caught early enough, the bird can be treated. Mark works hard to try and encourage people to put T-posts in their gardens of a height suitable for an owl to hunt from, but unfortunately the casualties still arrive. As a thank you for volunteering at the centre, you have a visit to Kruger National Park. It’s a truly amazing place, to say the least, even if it is very ‘touristy’. One thing that always stuck

October 2013

out for me is that rat poison traps are everywhere, with sometimes 3 or 4 visible along one wall of the restaurants, shops and places to stay. At night you do hear many owls in the trees, so I wonder how many owls suffer from the same secondary poisoning? I am amazed that a modern park such as Kruger has not found another way, although I do appreciate that their efforts to conserve the rhino consume a huge amount of resources that are unfortunately all too limited. There is just so much more that could be done to aid conservation in Africa as a whole, but the nations with the money just seem to turn a blind eye? A massive shame, and we only have ourselves to hold account for it. All too soon my nine weeks in Dullstroom were coming to an end. The time absolutely flown by and I had to begin preparing for my return home.

I left Mark and Dullstroom, hoping for a repeat visit one day! Overall I was so very glad to have made the effort to go. South Africa is an experience in itself, even though I’d seen such a small corner of it. It truly is an amazing mix of culture and languages out there, even though it’s not without its problems to say the least! I’ve made friends out there that I expect will last a lifetime. I’ve learnt bird handling skills and more about reading bird behaviour that I expect to use extensively in the future, and I will continue to build on. When I left the centre Mark was full for volunteers until June 2014, a full 15 months after I left. I think that speaks for itself! If you have any doubts about visiting, I hope sharing my experiences with you helps you to decide for yourself!

Go for it! Colin the Pied Crow.

The final day was glorious, with fantastic weather. I was due to head back to Johannesburg the afternoon after the morning show. I really did have a lump in my throat and I didn’t want it to end. As a treat Mark encouraged Sam the Verreaux to finally fly to my glove, although even then she tried to snatch and go! A mission for my next visit perhaps...




PHILLIP GLASIER FALCONRY MUSEUM Plans are afoot to create a new museum dedicated to the memory of late Phillip Glasier, falconer and argueably one of the pioneers of modern British Falconry. Phillip’s daughter, Jemima ParryJones is the driving force behind this project. It is her aim to create an archive of falconry at the centre that her father founded over 45 years ago and to create a tribute to a remarkable man who brought falconry to many who practice the sport today. The plan is that a purpose made building is built to house many of Phillip’s falconry artifacts along with other items donated or


loaned to the Museum and to create a falconry archive telling the history of falconry. If you wish to support the project, please contact Jemima via email: or directly at the address below: Jemima Parry-Jones mbe International Centre for Birds of Prey Newent, Gloucestershire, UK

October 2013












From Keith Wakefield For years when hawking I have always used a waistcoat for hawking, The type with the poachers pouch in the back and a multitude of pockets. Having seen so many hawking vests on the market and in the field none of them really appealed to me, being


a larger bloke doesn’t help the matter either. When I looked at some being worn I didn’t fancy the idea of having a pocket sit almost under the armpit or have a vest that fitted best undone flapping about either as I have seen so many times in the field with others.

October 2013

One day I was advised about Keith’s “Dead Dogs” hawking vest, each one is hand made and can be adjusted to suite all. I spoke to Keith who I must say is a real nice chap, and he needed my waist and chest size along with the measurement from my shoulder to my waist and also what colour I wanted. Keith also mentioned that he does accessories for the vest like the telemetry bag etc. A couple of days later my vest arrived, first thing that struck me was the quality of workmanship, it really was a quality bit of kit. Trying it on it soon became apparent just how adjustable it is. I set the shoulder straps first, so the pockets sat where I wanted them. I could see that both shoulder straps would un-clip, a brilliant idea if you want to take the vest off when you have your bird on the glove for instance. Next, I adjusted the side straps so the pockets would sit exactly where I wanted them around my waist. Having the pockets where I wanted them all that I needed to do then was do up the front and pull the draw straps in so the vest fitted when done up properly and that was it. The vest has a large quarry compartment that sits on your back; this is vented allowing air to flow so that the heat from the dispatched quarry doesn’t cause them to sweat. On the front there are two main big pockets attached to the front of these pockets is another pocket both pockets both of which

(because I requested them) had removable washable liners for putting cut meat etc, these are held in place by a Velcro strip. Both pockets are closed with a flap that comes over with a fastener system that can be closed and secured with 1 hand these also have eyelets for Jesses to pull through. There are also clips on the front for putting swivels, leash etc. Now last season, I really put the vest to the test, I found myself going through dense hedges, woods and all sorts of under growth. To begin with I was checking all the time to see if I had ripped the vest but it got to the end of the season unscathed. Overall impression, Not the cheapest Hawking vest on the market, but with this quality and finish I personally believe its great value. The vest will fit every shape and size and adjust to just how you want it. CONTACT: Keith Wakefield via email:

“In my honest opinion, this is the best vest on the market, manufactured by a true craftsman” 25












from Ian Van Falconry Furniture Ian Vance has for many years produced well made and designed falconry equipment. This, alongside with his excellent customer service, you have a falconry furniture supplier you can rely on. He produces a range of falcon and eagle blocks starting from as little as £40 for a small hand turned 4” block, which is made from well seasoned hardwoods. Each block is fitted a stainless steel spike and tie ring and fitted with an Astro-turf™ top which is removable for easy cleaning,


So, if you are looking for a new block for the season ahead and prefer the traditional feel and look of a wooden falcon block, please contact Ian. CONTACT: Tel: +44 (0)115 920 3682 (Office hours: 9.00am - 8.00pm) or order by mail: Ian Vance - Falconry Supplies 80 Ramsey Drive, Arnold Nottingham NG5 6QQ England, UK or order online at:

October 2013


Hawking Books by Martin Hollinshead Signed copies direct from the author Second Edition. If you missed it first time around, here’s another chance to immerse yourself in this massively detailed best-selling training and hunting manual. New layout including action shots by US photographer Natasha Leong.

GLOWING REVIEWS ‘Deserves an A-plus. A first-rate, top-flight falconry book’ American Falconry ‘Should be compulsory reading for anyone flying or contemplating flying a Harris’ hawk’ International Falconer ‘Probably one of the most descriptive accounts of ferreting to hawks ever written’ Hawk Chalk ‘A compelling and enduringly fascinating read. This book lives up to its boastful title’ Independent Bird Register HC. 240 pages. £25.00

‘A must for all rabbit and hare hawking enthusiasts’ Scottish Hawking Club

TWO TITLES FOR THE EAGLE ENTHUSIAST German Eagle. HC. Limited to 400 signed copies. £30.00 Join Fritz Loges as he hacks, trains and then flies his eagles to fox in wartime Germany.

‘Recommended for anyone drawn by the allure of flying eagles’ Matthew Mullenix Hunting Eagle. HC. Limited to 500 signed copies. £35.00 Forests and fields are hunted – islands too – as rabbit, hare, fox and deer are pursued as eagle falconry’s best known names deliver today’s devastating bird.

‘A book that should grace the shelves of all who are interested in this wonderful raptor’ Alan Gates ALSO … Memoirs of a Hunter. HC £25.00 By Friedrich Remmler Edited by M Hollinshead Illustrations by V Gorbatov

‘The squeak of footsteps in newly fallen snow, the lugubrious silence of a forest shrouded in white and the startling cry of the tundra wolf; all are part of the astonishing memoirs of Friedrich Remmler…Whether driving wolves to waiting borzois in pre-revolutionary Russia or hunting them with golden eagles on the Kirghiz steppe, Remmler’s boyish excitement entrances…A mesmerizing book’ The Field ‘Fascinating...riveting...unique...mesmerizing’ Sports Afield ‘You won’t find a more exciting hunting book this year’ Gray’s Sporting Journal ‘Opens up an entire lost world’ Stephen Bodio

To order signed copies email: Telephone 01384 878 573 Available in the US and Canada through Mike’s Falconry and Western Sporting


Manufacturers of quality travel boxes for raptors and dogs


+44 (0) 7765 634 714

For a selection of affordable British made falconry hoods please contact William Duncan at

October 2013









from William Duncan I saw one of William’s hoods and Facebook and also a good falconer friend from Scotland spoke highly of the quality of William’s work. So a quick message via Facebook and the hood was ordered for my new tiercel. William said it would take a few days but within 4 days my new hood had arrived. A one piece design. William said ‘Try it if it fits pay for it otherwise return it and he’d make another’, well needless to say the hood

fitted like a dream and as William said he wasn’t too happy with the stitching around the throat he’d let me have it at a discount! Well you can’t be any fairer than that excellent customer service from a new hood maker on the block. So, if you are looking for a well made field hood and at prices that won’t make you weep if you lost it. You won’t be disappointed!




been painting full time since 1970. After moving to Southern California’s Orange County in 1968, he firmly established himself in the art world with memberships in the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, the Society of Animal Artists, Wildlife Artists of the World, Knickerbocker Artists and the Society of Master Impressionists, as a lifetime Master member.

Morten E. Solberg Morten E. Solberg is acknowledged as a Master Artist. He is versatile in all mediums. He paints in oil, acrylic and watercolor and his techniques range from photo-realism to total abstraction. Mort has spent over 50 Years of pursuing his. Before moving West in 1968, Mort attended The Cleveland Institute Of Art studying painting and design. He shed his commercial ties and concentrated on fine art and has


Awards and inclusions in prestigious collections followed. His paintings have graced the covers of numerous magazines, and he has been featured in American Artist, Wildlife Art News, Art West, Watercolor, Sports Afield, Sporting Classic, Wildlife Art Journal, Southwest Art and Orange County Illustrated. In 1986, American Artist chose Mort as their “Artist of the Year”. His accomplishments have earned him listings in Who’s Who International Biographies, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in

October 2013 “Gyrfalcon, Portrait” - 20x24 - Acrylic/board - Private Collection



American Art, and Who’s Who in the West. In 1993, Mort was elected to U. S. Art Magazines “Artist Hall of Fame”. In 2001 Wildlife Art Magazine established Mort as a “Master Artist. Just recently Mort took a “Medal Of Excellence” in the Art For Conservation International Exhibition in Canada. Mort’s interests are many and varied and they are often reflected in his art. American Indian history and culture hold a special allure for Mort, perhaps because his great grandmother was Native American. Norwegian whalers & explorers are among his ancestors. Wildlife, romantic women with parasols, flowers, fisherman, sporting and nature have provided him with endless design opportunities. Mort’s work has taken top awards in many of the exhibitions he has entered, including the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor, the Society of Animal Artists and the Arts For The Parks Grand Prize of $25,000 & Gold Medal. His work is represented in many collections including the Smithsonian Institution with photos of his work, , National Academy of Design, The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum Of Art, The Dunnegan Museum Of Art, The National World Museum Of Environmental Art, American Artist Magazine, Wildlife Art Magazine, National Parks Academy For The Arts, The Wildlife Experience and many private and public collections.


The Society Of Animal Artists Established Mort as a “Signature Master Artist” after taking 6 Medals of Excellance since 1979. He has taken the Bob Kuhn Award Western in the Visions Invitational Exhibition at the National Wildlife Museum In Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Mort and his wife, Terri, have three daughters: Brandalyn, Monet and Tauna. Mort has three adult sons. Mort Jr., who upon leaving the Navy, chose to drive 18 wheelers. He now reside in Georgia, where he is studying computer technology. Eric, a graduate of Miami of Ohio, is an Art Director for a Medical magazine publisher in Ohio & a Musician. Scott, a graduate of UCLA, is a Senior Graphic designer working in New York. Tauna has moved to Florida with Mort & Terri where she is continuing her art studies while working as a professional picture framer. Monet, who recently moved to San Diego, CA, is a graduate of San Diego State University and is completing her Masters in Nursing. Brandalyn is a University of California at Santa Barbara graduate and is a Radiologist. She is now in Arizona and studying for her Masters. Mort and Terri and Tauna moved from the city of Oceanside, California in 2006 to Florida to the City of Spring Hill, which is north of Tampa.

For more information go to:

October 2013

“Haya” commission - 14x11 - Acrylic/board - Private Collection




October 2013

Peregrine Portrait #2 - 14x11 - Acrylic/board - $5,000

“Drying In The Sun” 20x16 - Oil/canvas- Private Collection




October 2013

“Peregrine & Nest” Commission - 11x15 -Watercolor- Private Collection

“On Watch” - 24x48 - Acrylic/Masonite - Private Collection (Prints Available)

Peregrine Portrait #1 - 20x16 -Acrylic/canvas -$8,500



JESUS NIETO WILDLIFE ARTIST Spanish wildlife artist has submitted some recent paintings for publication in this edition of PURSUIT. Jesus works in a wide variety of media and has an extensive array of wildlife subjects to view online at: If you wish to commission a painting or a drawing please contact Jesus directly at


October 2013




October 2013




Max the


October 2013

e Musket

by Ben Crane

Having flown both spars and muskets previously, I know from first-hand experience that there can be absolutely no shorts cuts. In fact there are so many variables that it is almost impossible to cover every aspect in a short article such as this. With imprint spars or muskets taken from the breeder at between eight and twenty days, complete commitment is required for at least two seasons and so the volume of information required is extensive. I have found that an imprint sparrowhawk of either gender will not necessarily be ‘completed’ until then, and although a first year hawk makes an outstanding companion, it is the intermewed hawk that truly gives a truly holistic picture of the strength, determination and intelligence of the species as a whole. After taking a ‘break’ for two years, my plan for the 2013 season was to imprint a musket and fly it at lark and blackbirds as well as other licenced quarry. I then intend to moult him out on a bow perch and if he is willing, try and get him to donate semen before flying him the following season.

In the past, I have experienced two major interconnected issues with imprint muskets. The first is within my control, the second is less so. The former revoles around the in-built preponderance of the musket to carry, the latter the shape and texture of the land I hawk over (making the first problem worse if the cover is heavy). With the issue of carrying I find there are several factors that come into play throughout the season which can heighten or reduce this characteristic. This being hawking while too heavy, manhandling the hawk around kills, and not using a lure correctly. With Max, my main focus was to reduce the chances of carrying from the outset. For a number of reasons I was unable to collect Max from the breeder Rob Cole until he was twenty days old. However, due to Rob’s extensive knowledge and approach, Max was raised by Rob in his house with his sisters and one or two merlin’s right from the start. The very beginnings of his life were saturated in human and animal contact. Once home and almost immediately he was fitted with his equipment and



taken everywhere I went that would be familiar to him as a young adult. I am not one to subscribe to over imprinting or ‘exposing them to everything’ as it is hardly likely that Max would ever come into contact with anything other than cows, sheep, tractors, humans and dogs. My main focus is to move onto each success stage as quickly as possible and get the hawk hunting as soon as possible. With muskets in particular through an process of anti-carrying has to be in place from the very moment he arrives in the house. Max penned at around 170 grams and was initially reduced to around 145g for training. He is now hawking properly and making determined flights at 150g, but becomes overly aggressive and difficult to handle at 154 grams or higher. He entered in under 10 days and has made further progress in as much as he is making determined flights at both cock and hen blackbirds. He, has also been rewarded heavily and the day called short if he has made a particularly impressive flight. At this stage, I am concentrating on rewards, motivation and fitness rather than numbers and the process seems to be working accordingly. Max is also remarkably steady to the dog and she has ‘set-up’ several of his most spectacular flights, thankfully he is beginning to see the point of her being there.


October 2013



Max in pursuit


October 2013

Max with my number one beather

The plan now (in early October) is to continue hawking daily but with at least two days resting or flying to the lure or small pieces of chick in wide open spaces. This will keep up his levels of obedience and trust when cover begins to turn and the blackbirds are forced to venture further than the thick tangle of blackthorn and blackberry bushes in Gloucestershire.


Pursuit October 2013  

Falconry magazine dedicated to promoting responsible falconry to the falconry community worldwide

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