During the summer months, in central Washington, isolated thunder storms are not uncommon. When ripe cherries get drenched with rain water, the purity of the distilled water allows it to penetrate the cherries through the skin causing major swelling. These gorged cherries exposed to the heat of the sun, after the storm clears, often split due to the extreme stretching of the skin. During certain years whole regions of growers end up with a complete loss of annual crops due to frequency of the summertime isolated thunder storms. Those larger growers who can afford the service at $1,200.00 per hour, employ helicopter pilots to immediately follow each storm and hover a few feet above each row of cherries to blow dry as much of the rain water as possible in order to prevent crop damage.
A local construction company brought us a bucket full of downy Kestrel babies, collected from a construction site nearby. The nest site was unfortunately destroyed and these babies had no chance of surviving on their own; they were at a very critical stage in their lives and keeping them would mean imprinting them to us. We had the fortunate privilege of caring for them for a short time before they were turned into a rehab facility. They will be released when they are old enough to feed themselves.
This spring we welcomed two prominent clients to the Falcon Force family, and have been providing our bird abatement services to very large theme parks in Southern California. Due to this recent expansion we purchased 5 Harris’ hawks for abating seagulls and pigeons. The new female additions are named Tex Anna, Blaze and Oakley (named after Annie Oakley the sharp shooter). The other two are males named Hit-man and Jingo. It had been a while since I worked with Harris’ Hawks and I have to admit, I had forgotten how amazing these birds are. The Tiercels (males) are so incredibly fast on the wing and they are so agile while turning corners. Their acceleration rate on a direct pursuit can only be compared to the speed of Accipiters, (the family of cooper’s hawks, Goshawks, and the Sharp shinned Hawks). The females though a bit slower on takeoff have such a sweet personality and their larger size has the advantage of presence to the seagulls. These new birds are now fully trained and their effectiveness is very remarkable.