Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jesses and Leashes

The safety of the bird you're presenting and your audience is very important. It's only as good as your bird gear. As a possible Bird TLC presenter, you're required to complete a lot of training and some of that involves making your own bird gear.

Presenting non-releasable wild birds has a relationship with falconry. One of the things that relates the two is the equipment used. If you're independently wealthy, you can buy your gear at one of the many falconry suppliers throughout the country. Or you may make your own at a fraction of the price.

Cindy scheduled a class and there was a huge response. She got lucky when long time volunteer and master falconer Bob Collins had recently moved closer to Bird TLC and she recruited him to help.The large group was split in two. For half the class we stayed with Cindy or Bob and then switched for the other half.

Cindy taught leashes. There were the braided type (which I wasn't so good at) and the leather type. There are several types depending on the size and type of bird you will present. We have small song birds all the way up to eagles. By the time her shift was over, we all knew how to make both types of leashes. We also learned how to tie the falconers knot. Safety was discussed through out the clinic.

Bobs part was a little more involved. He showed us how to make aylmeri's, jesse's, traditional jesse's and anklets (bracelets). What tools and supplies that are needed and where's the best places to buy your supplies. The types of leathers were also discussed. And again safety was covered.

Everyone had a chance to make all of the different types of bird gear so once they have a bird to present they can make the gear that's right for it. Back up gear is also handy just in case something breaks at the wrong time.

It was a fun class but most importantly it was a very educational class.

All of the links in this post are for the Modern Apprentice by Lydia Ash. This is an excellent site to learn more about bird gear, falconry and falconry equipment..


Susan Gets Native said...

A post after my own heart, Dave!

I'll tell you about the jesses on our birds...
It really depends on the bird as to what jess we use. Most of our birds have the traditional jesses, while our peregrine, red-tails and turkey vulture have anklets with grommets. I think we have less to worry about than falconers, since our birds are for the most part, NOT going to fly away and get tangled in a tree.

Well, Earl the TV could escape (and HAS, twice in the past 24 years), so it's imperative that we have jesses she can pull out if necessary (and she does...the goofball).

We find that kangaroo leather is excellent in strength and softness. We do, however, have a screech owl who seems to be sensitive to certain types of tanning chemicals, so he gets his own special jesses.
: )

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