I do not breed Gyrfalcons, nor do I intend to in the future as I'm trying to phase out of raptor breeding altogether within the next two years. If Moxie, my imprint male Silver Gyrfalcon and falconry bird yields semen this upcoming season AND if Big Red, my imprint female Southern Anatum Peregrine lays eggs (they're both 5 year-olds) I will try to inseminate her with his semen - come what may
Moxie on another duck (a drake red head) in December 2013
Moxie, my male imprint Silver Gyrfalcon
"Moxie" at ease...
Sorry, I am not producing any Gyrfalcons or Gyrfalcon Hybrids in 2014
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 the landed near me and the judges chupping and bowing all the while... I was a little disappointed and proud at the same time as he is quite a falcon and a 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 to 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. 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!
April 2013, New addition: I recently acquired a 2010 imprinted Silver Gyrkin from Burt Russell, a falconer in Oklahoma. I'm always apprehensive when acquiring a previously owned and trained raptor because we all don't do things the same as each other and often is the case that the birds are a disappointment in one way or another. Not this time, this gyrkin is as sweet a bird I could want and apparently with no bad manners at all! If I work him a few more weeks I'm sure he'll even donate semen this season. I believe he was raised, handled and flown properly - good job Burt. He is much like Powder in all respects, except he's quite a bit smaller; around 1,200 grams. This will be ideal for producing Gyr X Peregrine Hybrids this season or next. I'm really anxious to fly him, too, and I will...
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’s "out of jail" (quarantine)-in his new imprint chamber, settling in fine. Mick, his new owner has very high expectations and I'm sure Powder won't let him down!
August 29, 2012; Powder’s first day in the UK, a new future!
Powder, a 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