Thursday, March 3, 2016, 7:30 AM: I haven't written much here since late January, but a lot has happened since. Moxie has been "chupping" and scraping on his nest ledge almost daily since I put him up - it makes me feel bad that he wants to breed this early and I didn't want to start working him on the AI Hat until the 20th of February - even that is early. I won't need semen from him until the second or third week of March when I expect Big Red my imprint Southern Anatum Peregrine to commence laying. After 11 days working Moxie on the AI Hat he finally started depositing semen - and as near as I can see (under the microscope) it appears to be voluminous, dense and motile. The first collection was nearly half of a 75 mm X 1.2 mm ID capillary tube! The weather here in southwestern Utah has been absolutely marvelous, sunny, bright and unusually warm and I'm hoping that Big Red and Peaches (my egg-layers) come in early this year as has Moxie. Since I don't think I'll be needing any semen for the next week or so, I'm going to offer it to other breeders on Raptor's Nest and also do some experiments with semen extender, storing and shipping. If you're interested, give me a call or send an email. Moxie has been without a doubt if not the best falcon of my life, a very close runner-up, and would make a fine father to any falcon! Everyone that has witnessed his flying and hunting skills, as well as his demeanor, is rightfully impressed... A real jewel!
"Moxie" December 2015
Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 7:30 AM: It's
been nearly two weeks since I last flew Moxie and I do miss flying him,
but he has been free lofted in his chamber and spends a lot of his time
on the nest ledge "chupping". Actually he's made several scrapes and
tries to lure me over. I'm holding off working him too seriously as I
don't want him to come in to soon without having Big Red in at the same
time. I was only able to get semen from him 4 times last year until he quit
volunteering. Last season Big Red laid her first egg on March 21st and Moxie stopped copulating on the hat a week later - not good... This season I'm expecting Big Red to lay a little earlier and Moxie to give a little longer and hopefully make some fine hybrids!
Moxie on another duck (a male Redhead) in December 2013
Moxie, my male imprint Silver Gyrfalcon
"Moxie" at ease...
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 8:00 AM: Moxie is molting right now and still in the breeding mode. I flew Moxie in the 2014 Gerald Richards Utah Sky Trials in February and on Friday the first day he flew nearly flawlessly. He even flew over the crowd of spectators while he was ringing up and came back in waiting on over me and the judges. He has never been given pigeons before so I wasn't sure he would press them, but he did and put on a great show. He earned a position in the "play offs" on Saturday, but he was more interested in breeding with me than flying. He chased several horned larks through the sage brush then landed near me and the judges chupping and bowing all the while... I was a little disappointed, but proud at the same time as he is quite a falcon and a super pleasure to watch fly. If I fly him in the Sky Trials next year I'll try to keep him gamey so he doesn't go into the breeding mode again.
January 2014, I changed my silver gyrkin Flan's name to Moxie as he is very aggressive to everything except me. He hoods easily and is a little nervous when perched for weathering before I fly him. After I fly him he's as calm as can be. So far, he's as sweet a falcon one could ever want to me and a menace in the sky. He toys with ravens, red-tail and other buetos, harriers and falcons - even eagles and accipiters when one comes too close or into "his" territory. I've adjusted his weight from 1,030 grams to 1,150 grams to find his "duck killing weight", that seems to be around 1,080 grams. Sometimes he flies higher than I can see and I have to take my receiver in the field with me to locate him before I flush the ducks. Almost always, after 10 minutes or so, he's directly straight up overhead at somewhere around 2,000 feet. Unless I get a clean flush the ducks make it back into the ponds or creeks faster than he can stoop down and they show little or no regard to me or the other flushers showing their fear of Moxie! He is an incredible falcon and I really like him. My only regret is that I waited so long to fly eyas gyrfalcons always fearful I would loose them to long pursuits in difficult areas like passage gyrfalcons. Suffice it to say they will chase game a long way off, but they do come back almost like the peregrines I've flown my whole life. After Moxie's been gone over 10 or 15 minutes I do worry, but so far he comes back and is ready for a re-flush if available or he'll simply land on the ground next to me. Once when I left the field after him and returned, he immediately landed on my truck before I got out. I really think he likes me... I may enter him in the Utah Sky Trials next month to see how he'll fare and I intend to fly him until the middle of March as I will Big Red.
Another regret is that I'm not breeding pure gyrfalcons, but will try to make a few Gyr X Peregrine Hybrids the next couple of years. I'm certain if I had Moxie several years ago, gyrfalcons would be amongst my breeding hawks and falcons. All true falconers should try eyas gyrfalcons or at least hybrids as soon as they can (why miss years of enjoyment as I have). Hopefully Moxie will donate semen and Big Red will lay this year and Kanarra Raptors produces a few hybrids, my fingers are crossed!
August 2012: Just a few days ago, Michael Kane from England (Powder's new owner) posted on Facebook some photos of Powder and some very nice comments about me, Thank you Michael, you know how I feel about Powder. I wish you much success with him in the upcoming breeding seasons - may you both have long lives! Please keep me apprised of his progress and successes.
As of August 30, 2012 Powder is in his new owner's hands in the United Kingdom. One of the saddest days of my life was to load Powder into his Carrier, set him on the scales at the Continental Cargo Terminal in Denver, Colorado, bound for London's Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom, and watch him loaded into the van taking him to the airplane. I was pleased to be emailed upon his arrival and hear that he was safe and sound, albeit hungry and tired and that his new owner couldn't take his eyes off of him - God be with you old friend, I will miss you for all of my days! Perhaps one day I'll have one of your offspring...
Powder, a magnificent 2008 super tame heavily imprinted voluntary semen producing gyrkin
Powder on the scale at: 2 lbs. 14.6 oz. or 1321 grams in 2008, his first season
Powder is a super tame and heavily imprinted 2008 imprint eyas. As of 2011 he became a voluntary semen producing Gyrkin. He is without a doubt the nicest mannered and most intelligent falcon I have ever had the pleasure of working. Many people came to visit Powder; falconers and non-falconers alike. All will miss him, but not nearly as much as me, thank you all for caring. In 2012 Powder was shipped to his new owner in the UK. For several weeks in 2008 I flew Powder at over 1,300 grams (46.6 oz.) though we didn't pursue game, I was developing our bond and his value as a semen producer outweighed my desire to continue flying him. An overnight loss was taken as an omen to stop.