Category Archives: Black Sparrowhawk

Raptor Camp Update

September 2013 update
The terrorist attack in Nairobi has left us all in confusion. None know their objectives, but one thing is certain. There has been a show of national unity that has allowed all of us to feel a sense of patriotism.
In the last few months I have had much to do. First I have committed myself to moving to Soysambu Conservancy. At the Little Owl Sanctuary, run by Sarah Higgins I have been busy tending to 4 free flying hawks and doing multiple operations to save the wing of an eagle owl and the leg of a sparrowhawk.

Female Black Sparrowhawk pinned leg

Female Black Sparrowhawk pinned leg

There are now some 40 birds and it could grow forcing big changes upon both of us.
We had a visitation from Prof’ John Cooper and his wife Margaret, both very much involved in raptor work, the former a vet the latter versed in law with respect to raptor care in the UK. It was a testing period as the basic foundation for accepting any public participation in all matters to do with wildlife remains absent. Thus for them to present a series of lectures on raptor rehab (on 3rd July 2013) opens a can of worms that could have devastating consequences unless very cautiously worded. Thankfully although KWS stated the legal difficulties of public participation, at the same time all acknowledged the value we collectively have contributed. It highlighted the inconsistencies prevalent in conservation policy in Kenya where legislation and government resources do not meet the facts on the ground. It brought to light levels of ignorance in the understanding of raptors by our veterinary departments that must be improved. We were repeatedly reminded that raptors were a nuisance (in eating chickens), and were disease vectors (in anthrax…which they are not). It ended on a positive note; the need to know more, and Prof Cooper gave us no excuse as he reminded us all that Kenya was one of the first countries in the world to take on raptor medicine. If only bureaucracy gave us a chance!
Not coincidently I fell victim to recurrent exotic disease that may be a Lyme disease type as I fretted and stressed over the outcome of the above. I took the period of enforced “go slow” to recover and focus on treating the hawks and owls at Naivasha.

Dave the male African Goshawk

Dave the male African Goshawk

As if to illustrate the point KWS from Nakuru bought in 4 baby Barn Owls. Unfortunately they had contracted severe enteritis and one by one they died (leaving only one). Usually they are very simple to raise, but one day of sliding around in a box covered in minced meat and a cold damp night may have begun a series of gut infections. Few who do not care for the very sick know the anguish and sense of overbearing responsibility of tending to critically ill patients. I found myself driving to Nairobi, then to Nakuru so as to pop in to help Sarah give them their injections.
A couple of years ago I helped out in doing a documentary in Zambia for Tigress Productions. I was the “expert” vulture man that on occasion was asked a few questions on camera. But my main forte was in dashing about off-screen helping putting in cameras and such. It was something I did as a boy when helping out my father when he did wildlife films. I was asked to help out again for an upcoming documentary on the rains and how it resuscitates a dying eco-system in drought. I shall be off overland in a car next week. That required that I release what I could and this includes a very neat and exceptionally well behaved male Black Sparrowhawk, one of three rescued nestlings whose nest tree was felled. It is often the case that I must release star performers and birds on which I have spent so much time and I confess this time I felt as though I was losing an important asset as well as a companion.

Fidget, now released

Fidget, now released

With what I hope to earn I shall plough it all into building a raptor centre at Soysambu. It’ll be an extension of Sarah’s Little Owl Sanctuary that focuses on the free flying and release of raptors that were first treated at her centre in Naivasha. Naivasha is now built up with a huge human population making little but the immediate shoreline a suitable place for wildlife. Now that the lake has risen that strip of land has submerged and it is not possible to exercise most of the raptors, which in less than a few seconds can be on adjacent properties. Both Sarah and I have realised that the birds and our objectives will outlive us (some live longer than elephants and many are much rarer!) and there must be a long term plan. The last decade has seen the absolute minimum of financial support for wildlife conservation. Formerly it was not that impossible to scratch along getting the odd donation or grant, but today that is not the case. Perhaps if we formed a long term plan with a trust and a board we would get surety asked for by some funders. It had to come one day.
The plan is to meet the demand. Sarah has an ideal location and already existent farm buildings that could be turned into huge captive breeding facilities worthy of condors. There are offices and rooms perfectly suited to state of the art veterinary facilities that could revolutionise veterinary care of raptors and the study of their diseases. All it needs is a little imagination and support.
For my part I do terribly miss my former bush life and must return. My move to Soysambu took a few stages. First was gaining familiarity with the land through Juliet Barnes and Kat Combes. I was only partly familiar with it previously and very anxious to know more. Birds of prey and especially the migrants tend to gravitate towards the Rift Valley lakes. Soysambu Conservancy fringes ¾ of the lake and is alone in the entire Rift (from Israel to Mozambique) in being mostly under private ownership.

The Raptor Camp forest glade, Soysambu Conservancy

The Raptor Camp forest glade, Soysambu Conservancy

The other lakes are either public land, multiple privately owned or protected making it difficult if not impossible to conduct research or conservation management. Here I was free to wander about, climb trees and cliffs and learn. Such accessibility allows flexibility and frees one from the enormously inhibiting, though well meant, restrictions imposed by our national parks and reserves.
As predicted the lake shore is visited every year by over-wintering raptors such as Lesser and Greater Spotted Eagles, 3 species of Harriers, 6 species of small migrant falcons, two species of large falcons (the Saker and the Russian Peregrine), and virtually all the others. Here too is a curious cross over point between species found in West and North Africa converge to meet their eastern counterparts. The Grey Kestrel and the Fox Kestrel as well as the rare Mountain kestrel occur there and in adjacent Lake Nakuru. It is also rich in vultures which are today uncommon in much of Kenya. It remains to be seen what else is there, and that will be recorded in time. Perhaps I can invite the various interested NGOs whose focus is on the research and conservation of migrant raptors and help set up a field base for their long term studies. Such a programme is vitally important and although widely understood as such the very protection that shrouds nationally protected lands works to oppose and profit from it and effectively turns such concepts away. To financially profit from critically needed research is to actively discourage it and we should consider the reverse…paying people to come and research and thus conserve. It was what I used to do in the days when I had financial backing and I have every intention of making sure it happens again.
I have chosen a little glade in the forests, some 7km away from the lake shore. In a quiet moment one would imagine wood nymphs among the myriad butterflies and birds that inhabit this odd forest patch. But the permanent residence of some 70 buffalo and a nightly visitation by the leopard bring one back to a good reality. I have every intention of integrating the structures with the surroundings and its animals. The rule is that no-one should see it when overhead or within 50m of it and that no tree or animal is displaced. I just have to befriend the leopard, who a few weeks back sat within 15m watching me cook my dinner on a camp fire. Some 400m to the east is a hill overlooking lakes and distant mountains and a small patch of the Mau Forest on Eburru. Here I aim to once again fly and release eagles, hawks, falcons, buzzards and owls and to regain the ability to focus others on specific areas of concern that I feel needed. I will for the first time have to consider donation paying guests or visitors so as to keep the objectives alive and self-sustainable. In the past I used to pay for visitors to come and get exposure, but now that must change.

My neighbourly Leopard

My neighbourly Leopard

When I return from Zambia I will have a busy end to this year.

Taking the Expedition On a Trial Run

In our quest for raptors, Laila and I drove first to Sungare Ranch where we stayed in a friend’s house on a small conservancy before taking a drive early this morning through Solio Sanctuary. It is dominated by Yellow Fever Acacia which grows by the banks of a swamp and small stream. White Rhino teamed everywhere. We stopped to see some 125 vultures feeding from a carcass. Comic relief was provided by a lumbering White rhino that decided to mud bathe behind the vultures. Amused and curious many vultures filed over to have a look.

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Vultures at the cinema (watching a Rhino mud bathe)

We saw numerous Augur Buzzards, one Martial Eagle, a few Tawny Eagles, one migrant Steppe Eagle, a Bateleur Eagle and a few harriers. The Crowned Eagle which we were so desperate to see evaded us. There were no other or very few migrant raptors despite threatening rain. Solio does have an enormous variety of raptor species in a small area, and because of the road network and see-through forest habitat it is usually a fantastic place to photograph raptors. It is fairly dry now at the end of the dry season. A number of buffalo and zebra had died of drought, or perhaps from a form of colic brought about by eating fresh shoots on an empty stomach.

We were invited for lunch at Annie’s house just outside the sanctuary. She is setting up a Chimpanzee Sanctuary for abandoned chimps. We met a Swedish overlander couple. “Overlander” is a term I am rapidly having to understand. The discussion centered on suspension and engines, then where one was going and where one had come from. Our beat-up ancient Range Rover looks like it has a few trans-African safaris under it belt, but in truth we only arrived from Nairobi, while they had driven all the way from Sweden!

Annie talked of the chimpanzee smuggling and her own plans to expand the sanctuary to include an area set aside for chimps. Her frustrations and passion reflected that of so many conservationists. But never for a moment was there a hint of giving up. She insisted that we return later again on our next visit.

We went back into the sanctuary to meet Benson the warden to discuss the raptor situation. We asked him to keep an eye out for nests and he was shocked to learn that a Crowned Eagle nest can measure about 2.2m across by 2m deep. He told us of a disturbing incident whereby an eagle got poisoned with what he believed to be furadan.

We had a good day watching the rhino but we were a little disappointed at the few raptors we saw. We vowed to return once it rained as the migratory birds pass through in large numbers with the rain.

Quasimodo

The small male Black Sparrowhawk with spinal injuries died recently. Quasimodo was very ill. On post mortem, I noted that the urates were hard and granular with bleeding extending from his kidneys to the vent. He had always a history of difficulty in defecating. For the first few months, he had to have a moist cotton bud inserted in the vent to excise the feces and urates.

When I was away in Costa Rica, he was put in a low and quiet shed to moult. He moulted nicely, and when I returned I was happy to see him sporting a new white chest and a good array of smart tail feathers. I went inside the shed with him and he jumped onto my fist for food as always. It seemed to me that the uncoordinated limbs were much improved, and for a moment I thought he may one day recover completely. Spinal injuries in animals can sometimes take years to resolve. I tickled his toes and noted he pulled away only on one side.

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Quasimodo

When showing a couple around the birds, I noticed Quasimodo behaving in a frantic manner. He jumped to the floor and ran around in an excited manner. Later that evening, he looked composed as ever, one foot up as night fell.

The next day I had to bring a vet from KWS to see Rosy, but as I entered the ranch, my cell phone rang. It was Jonathan who said I must come quickly as Quasimodo was very sick. I arrived 5 minutes later to find him dead.

He had defecated pure blood, and his vent was damp and soiled. I held him in shock for this was totally unexpected. There had been no prior indication of ailing health. No time to check him over and start therapy. He was a very special hawk. Unlike his kind (which are usually aloof and hard headed), he was exceptionally kind natured. He would fly any distance to follow me around on long walks. Always clumsy, sometimes crashing into objects and my hand, he clearly became a pet of sorts. I knew he would be in captivity all his life, but I hoped it would be long and fruitful. He’d have made a dashing suitor for a young lady Sparrowhawk.

It appears that the back fracture was in the ilium, the fused area of the lower back where the kidneys are protected in a sheath of bone. This would explain his renal problem and the partial paralysis of his legs. It seems likely that the function of the kidneys was impaired and that a haemorrhage had led to his death.

I have dealt with many deaths. You have to in this business. Usually it is not shared. But with this blog, I, perhaps unwisely, chose to share his story with others. I think I might have written cautiously about his prospects from the start, so as not to upset anyone in case he died.

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Sketch of Quasimodo (By S Thomsett)

Black Sparrowhawk.

Quasimodo the Black Sparrowhawk.

The young male Black Sparrowhawk with a fractured spine and brain injury is doing well. Because he is a mess, stands crooked and leers at the world with his head slightly to one side I have named him Quasimodo after the Hunch-back of Notre Dame. When I received him back in Oct 2007, he lay as so many new arrivals do in the bottom of a cardboard box in a pitiful heap. His head curled round and round insanely and none of his limbs worked. I suspect that had any vet’ seen him they would have put him down immediately. But when I gave him food he tried to take it. He missed the morsel at the end of my finger tips by a good inch, but he tried until he got it, head reeling like a drunk. He had guts and wasn’t going to give in easily! I liked him immediately.

Quasimodo. Christmas day 2007. (note droopy left wing)

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Scrambling about on his side I noticed that one side was more paralysed than the other. I guess more paralysed is like more pregnant. It is either one thing or another. But in his case the lack of movement was partial and it came and went. I cannot remember which side was worse because as time went on he swapped his ‘good’ side a few times. This was important as it possibly meant a brain injury rather than a spinal one, not that it matters because there was nothing one could do about it.

Even if he was fine and not spinning on his head like a break-dancer it is customary among falconers (but sadly not all rehabers) to immediately wrap up the tails of raptors and sometimes their wings in water-soluble gummed tape. Even with the best of new arrivals (and accipiters especially), they tend to throw themselves around and snap these flight feathers. Little else could be as bad. A fractured wing can take weeks to heal, whereas a fractured tail feather or primary will take one whole year before it is replaced. In some ways a fractured flight feather is worse than a broken wing. A broken flight feather will add stress to its neighbour and have a dominoes effect, making the whole lot snap. Even the loss of 2 adjacent primaries or tail feathers can so incapacitate a raptor as to render it useless in trying to catch its prey and this explains the almost fanatical idolatry falconers have for the quality of feathers. Those “rehabers” that let hawks loose in chicken wire “flight pens” for “exercise” are one of my pet annoyances. They all too often see nothing wrong in throwing tattered hawks with missing feathers into the wind and claiming that “it must be fine, because we never saw it again”.

With Quasimodo I decided to go the extra mile and wrap him up from his shoulders to his tail, leaving room for his legs and backside to hang out. He lay like a mummified pharaoh and looked even worse. The idea was to minimise any fracture or damage that he may have. I did not take him for X-ray for two reasons: One. The drive there and back will take the entire day and possibly kill him. Two. I admit to a growing alienation with the vet’s’ I use. They are overly pragmatic and given to putting hawks down when little realising the value of the animal in the bird orientated world in which I live. Quasimodo wouldn’t have stood a chance. To make him happier I hung him from a cord tied behind his back. His feet peddled madly in mid air, so I put a cushion therefor him to hold onto. He sat suspended in a large dog box during the night, and suspended outside under a large eagle perch during the day. I wrote about him back then in this “blog”, but wasn’t too sure if I should make his progress known just in case he died, or I had to put him down. But steadily he improved, and by the time I left for a two week trip to India he was able to stand and flop about so well that he was retired to a small enclosed shed some 16 by 24ft by 12 ft high. Not big enough to cause him damage, not small enough to drive him crazy. The shed had solid walls and perches so arranged as to allow him to progress from the ground up and without danger of harming himself. There he sat for two weeks but each day he was fed on the fist by either Mwanzia of Jonathan each day. He had earlier grown accustomed to feeding on my fist. Indeed when he was wrapped up, the only way he could eat was with assistance. The only way he could defecate was if I stuck a cotton bud up his rear and massaged the stuff out. You can imagine that this level of high maintenance meant that other chores such as making a living had to be put aside. The assisted defecation bit was my sole duty, as it was a little too subtle an art for Mwanzia or Jonathan to complete successfully. There came a point where I thought that I should have to put him down and get on with life. I set a date just before leaving for India and you cannot believe the relief (of us all) when Quasimodo managed this task all on his own!

When back from the Indian trip I got him out of the shed in mid December and quickly trained him using falconry techniques to hop to the fist for food. I increased the distance each day until he came some 20m on a thin cord. The process is simple enough but anyone who has trained an accipiter will know that they are often difficult and very nervous. They are usually distant and unfriendly, misinterpreting every move as a subversive attack. But despite their suspicion they are usually very fast learners and quick to fly free and hunt. Quasimodo’s problems and his prior experience meant that he was the reverse. He was and remains very well behaved and is quite happy around his select company, but his flying skills lacked co-ordination.

Flying upside-down to lure!

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He would miss the fist for example, zoom past, and suddenly put on his breaks and turn around to come back. This process may have required falling to the ground, turning around and rethinking what his mission was, before getting it right. It all happened so fast however that one second he was on his perch 20 m away the next he was on the fist, but he had gone around a few times in a flurry of wings. There was something not quite right. On the fist he could sometimes stand fine with both feet gripping the glove, but when excited his right side collapses and he starts flopping about. He isn’t having a “fit” although it may look like it. His face registered intense concentration as he struggled with his body. Although it looks as though his right wing and leg are weak or not “wired” properly, it is his right foot that always catches the glove or the lure. His left leg is often left out of the business and isn’t used for clasping. There is something not entirely consistent with a traumatic injury to the brain or spine. I wonder if it may not be a decease that interferes with his motor control? This may explain why it is that at times he seems much more controlled than at others.

Flying right way up after lure.

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Normally with training hawks you have to take your time and fly them on the long line for up to 50m and spend a few weeks in this process. But I knew Quasimodo wasn’t going anywhere even if he tried so I flew him free only after a few days. I noticed that once in the air he flew quite well despite the landings and take-offs. By the end of the week he was flying all over the place from tree to tree as free as any bird. He continues to crash into the glove or lure, and I wince every time he tries to land on vicious thorn trees. We go for long walks and he flies from tree or to glove for at least 2 km each day. I took a number of pictures of him standing and flying. You can see that each time he takes off his right wing is last to open and his body rolls to the right. Sometimes this is so dramatic that he is almost upside-down! I have been able to see him hunt seriously only once, after some Babblers that happened to be in a bush beneath him. He was very excited about it and although made a brave effort and pursued one over 50m to the next thicket (in which it refused to come out) I noticed he has a lot further to go before one can even think of release. He does know how to kill however. He disgraced himself by flying down to my chicken-rearing pen and nailing a chicken a bit bigger than he. I know that Black Sparrowhawks can be terrible chicken thieves. They give all raptors here a very bad name, despite nearly all not being physically incapable taking chickens. But I had no idea that he’d find them so quickly. The chicken pen is next to the staff quarters about 200 yards away. He must have heard them, and he must have had previous chicken encounters to know what to do next! I have never had any of my hawks or eagles take these chickens before, because they are well protected by thickets and pens. While the chicken definitely didn’t benefit the hawk at least showed just how powerful he is, for it was all over in seconds.Had I a bird dog I would fly him at francolin and quail, but in just over one year I had three pointers die. I have a neighbour with a pointer and perhaps we can put the two together and go out and try. I think he will be quite good at it.

Right-side-down style of flight.

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Although we took great pains to keep his feathers in good shape, his constant falling about and rough treatment has meant that a few have broken. They have been “imped” back (replaced with a pin stuck in the shaft). But I see that he never preens. In handling him I noticed too that his uropygial gland (oil gland at the base of his “parsons nose”) is swollen and unused. I question if he will be able to moult properly.This illustrates a few important points about rehabing predators. The average person would see Quasimodo today sitting outside on his perch and flying kilometres from tree to tree at top speed and assume that he is fit enough for release. Most would not even have given him a chance to fly in a shed that we considered “small” and inappropriate for exercise. That he can demonstrate his flying ability 100 times more than any confined raptor is no qualification if he cannot hunt. Even if he does manage to catch things with me I have every reason to doubt that he could survive if released.

I use the term ‘release’ in a muddled way. One could assume that in wildlife rehabilitation “release’ is that dramatic moment when the cage door is flung open and the animal bounds away to freedom for its first time since capture. Release to a falconer is a very different thing. In effect they fling the doors open many times each day, whistle and it comes back. They experience a field that few rehabers ever have a chance to duplicate. Namely the ability to observe the animal in the wild state act out its various functions uninhibited by cage walls with unlimited freedom to move. The whistle brings them back. In reality they are released each day. But in falconry parlance this is simply called ‘flying them free’. To release them permanently into the wild is a lengthy process that is termed “hacking back”. It is that period in which the hawk is allowed to disassociate itself from its human partner…but in which it is still looked after. It learns slowly how to fit back into the wild. It is an anti-climax with little theatre and no tearful moment. The release should take weeks and in some cases it can last for years. If it doesn’t it is likely to be a failure, even with birds that are well proven as hunters. This should be of vast significance to those rehabers who make no such provision for their birds who have not even been allowed to fly free. The rehabilitation of raptors would be a hopeless exercise if there wasn’t the recognition of a few basic requirements. The raptor being released should be able to fly like an athlete, and no cage managed bird can ever hope to achieve this first goal. It should know how to outwit and out-fly its prey, catch and consume it away from pirates. I would have to acknowledge that this particular Black Sparrowhawk is getting close to fulfilling most of these stipulations. But finally there is another condition that needs to be met, and that is “gut feeling”. My gut feeling isn’t good. Quasimodo won’t make it. He might in a year or two. But until then I want to see him flawless in his behaviour and I should wait to see if he moults normally. Meanwhile I shall take him out flying as often as I can allow and give him as good a life as he can hope to have.

4th Nov 2007

4th Nov 2007.

The Black Sparrowhawk (B Spa) that had a head or spinal injury is much better. At first the bird could not stand and reacted to stimulus slowly. He had partial use of one leg and one wing and held his head at an angle. He was placed in a sling that suspended him upright with his feet just touching a cushion. Initially he was force fed, but even though he lacked co-ordination he soon tried to take chopped up food from a dish. When he failed to defecate I had assumed that his chances of recovery was poor. Because he remained without improvement for days I tried giving him tasks such as lowering the sling until he had to try to support his weight. When food time came round I gave him a whole dead day old chick to eat. He couldn’t of course but it kept him busy. When I returned from 2 days away the slow progress that seemed to stand still, was obvious. I took him off the sling and he collapsed on one side craning his head behind his back. Previously I had assumed the head craning to be a reaction to the annoying bandage sling from which he hung. But it was now obvious that this was part of his brain damage. He is being given thiamine, Vit B complex and Vit A as well as calcium rich diet, in a shotgun approach to solving any particular vitamin deficiency.

Today he stood up for the first time. When placed in a shed alone he managed to half run and half flap his way about the floor. He also was very quick to grab his food and could pluck and eat it unaided. His tail however remains at an acute angle. Sometimes his sits back on it and rolls over. But by and large the slow recovery is rewarding to watch. Even if he does not regain full use of his tail he may be useful for captive breeding in the future. Not that Black Sparrowhawks are an endangered species. In fact they are one of the very few that seem to be doing well and increasing and even colonising areas where exotic plantations of gum trees and high human densities occur. They also like doves, and in most small scale farms doves still do reasonably well. Regrettably they are also partial to domestic fowl. They have inadvertently done more damage to the reputations of all birds of prey by this habit. But the habit pays off, because they can still survive in areas long vacated by those raptors that do not take domestic livestock or chickens.Black Sparrowhawks are bold and aggressive. They ambush their prey at lightening speed. The late Leslie Brown wrote of one taking a chicken between the feet of two old men who were haggling over the price of the chicken!

Although I would have agreed that their range has expanded I have noted a decline in their numerical density in and around Nairobi in particular. In the late 1980’s I could guarantee finding as many as 5 nests spaced about one kilometre apart, in an area where Leslie Brown had considered them (in the mid 1970’s) “rare”. Here their population had exploded. But today these nests are not as numerous and I would put this down to more hazardous conditions such as security fences that now straddle every high wall, gate or circumvent each household. Razor wire coiled on high wall tops have killed Black Sparrowhawks. But much worse is the thin diameter high tensile electric fences that are virtually invisible. I once watched a Red eyed Dove flying at top speed through an avenue of trees in Nairobi, skip over a wall and hit this type of fence at full speed. It died on impact. I thought it may have been flying away from a hidden assailant at the time. Pane glass windows are notorious for impacting birds. It may be fair to say that for every square meter of pane glass window there is so many dead birds. Today it is fashionable to have large patios in the sub-urbs surrounded by panoramic pane glass looking out onto lawns. Birds are not very stupid and would avoid impact if we were not so very clever at making an invisible obstacle. People, myself included put cut outs of raptors on such windows. Birds simply fly around them and still hit the glass. This Black Sparrowhawk was almost certainly one such casualty.

I flew Vero’s the Verreaux’s Eagle this afternoon and she disgraced herself by chasing my dog around. The dog, a complete “Shenzi” (Heinz multiple mix purchased for $3 from a nearby cattle boma) is a brainless dingo-type, with no name. But she is full of beans and likes to taunt Vero’s. I suspect she thinks Vero’s is a potential friend. But Vero’s would much rather eat her.Vero’s has so far failed to catch her and I have a sneaky suspicion that Vero’s actually likes the game and would never hurt her.

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Vero’s flying.

Tiny Tim the male Lanner flew well. He chased Crowned Plovers so hard that they dived into a herd of wildebeest and zebra to escape him. He has a messed up tail. Although it has been imped (old term for fixing flight feathers with pins in the soft part of the shaft) he has broken them again. He has only one dove to his credit. Although he looks fantastic in the air and can fly hard for 20 mins at a time he still has a lot to learn.

Rosy and Girl the Crowned Eagle pair seem to have given up on their egg. Rosy (the male) persists in incubating it. I was not sure when it was laid as it appeared next to another egg that died at pip. But I think their time is up. Girl knows, but Rosy still holds out hope.

The B Spa spends his first night standing in his box in the living room tonight.