Stolen Goshawk Found

Joy as stolen bird of prey found in bush

A nice uplifting article about a goshawk who was in a vehicle when the vehicle was stolen. The thief apparently dumped the goshawk out of its travel box. The falconer put out a request for information in the local newspaper with a reward, and while there were a lot of responses, one of them turned out to actually bring falconer and goshawk back together. The big issue was that the goshawk had its jesses tied together to a glove, and so any snag could immobilize the goshawk and prevent it from hunting for food. That put a time limit on how long the bird could survive after the theft if not found.

I recall a kestrel I had that made an escape with a yard-long leash on. Though I didn’t recover the kestrel, I’m pretty certain it was fine, since it knew how to divest itself of its leash and jesses in minutes on its own. As various people have noted since, when working with animals, it pays if the trainer is somewhat more intelligent than the animal; some of the raptors I’ve encountered apparently tip the scales in the other direction.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.