Let me set the scene for you..... you are happily going about your day, have put your Bird out to weather on the lawn and giving it time to bath and drink, you turn your back and busy yourself with mundane bits and on returning to your bird your whole world falls down flat..she is gone.
Feathers and Fur is currently helping a friend find his very beautiful Gyr x Saker, Safah, who on Friday was sat happily on her block in the garden when one bate off and the iron ring securing her to the block via her equipment breaks. Now she is free but is still wearing her falconry equipment meaning that her tethers are still attached to a swivel and this to a leash, she is trailing rope and could easily become entangled.
I too have suffered this emotionally devastating experience and I did actually write about it so I just wanted to share with you a few lines.... know that this was written whilst sat in my car under a tree whilst my Harris Hawk Jack was sat high above me trailing equipment after scoffing all his dinner and then picking at his tether and managed to undo the knot and flew from the garden.
"its that gut wrench when you know something awful has happened that you could have prevented. The feeling that your heart just fell out and your dinner is slowly making its way back up your food pipe. So how should you feel? Me, I panic, cry and usually hyperventilate but when working with birds I find this achieves nothing but a soggy tissue and usually makes a bigger fool of you that you already are"
The diary then goes on to describe the other occasions I have felt like this and all involve birds! (I was in my Bridget Jones diaries phase!) So it is safe to say that I know exactly how Safah's owner is feeling. This is a very different feeling to the frustration when your bird decides to sit in a tree whilst you have been out flying or hunting, as in this situation you can use your tracking system and know exactly where they are at any point, doesn't however prevent the wet and cold bum from sitting under said tree for a few hours!
But now escaping from their perch means there is no way to track them and once out of view they can go anywhere, sit on anything, and hide on top of the tallest building. It's a feeling of complete helplessness, where do you start to look?
For some birds are just birds and many people believe they should be free and not captive but a bird becomes your life, it's a very different bond to that of a dog or a cat, because dogs know hierarchy and if you are the boss or alpha then they must follow but a bird has no boss, you are merely a food source like Tesco. So to spend time with a bird is to create and invest a love that is very one-sided, and to be aware that it is her choice to return to your fist not because she needs to but because she wants to and trusts you is a honour that cannot be described easily with words. And to lose that from the result of a silly mistake is heart breaking. Our hopes and thoughts are with the owners for a sighting and re capture. Please if you spot her get in touch via phone or facebook site.
By the way after sitting in the car for 9 hours over night, then chasing Jack through a housing estate he was finally bought down to the fist using another Harris Hawk to make him jealous! very very happy moment! and after that I learned that tethering in a secure avairy and not out in the garden is the best idea ever in the world. We all learn from our mistakes its just horrid that they are often such painful mistakes.