Harris Hawk

I forgot to include the story of our end of the summer adventure. About two days before Nick joined us in NJ, our neighbors informed him we had a bird of prey nesting on our terrace. I guess with the kids and I gone it was a rather quiet place for the bird to vacation. She was however concerned about the dogs and our kids, as well as her own dog. Nick couldn't do much but ask our dog walker to keep an eye out and call the local Forrestry people. According to Jane, our dog walker, the forrestry people came out daily for an entire week in teams of six, with nets and rigging determined to catch the bird, which was now identified as a Harris Hawk. They only succeded in scaring her away. So, Jane contacted a falconer who talked her through luring the bird in by feeding it daily in the hopes she would stay still long enough to get a net over her. If we succeded in this then the falconer would come and retrieve the bird, take her home to his place and read the band around her foot so she could be delivered home.

On a tree by our house: The second day after we were home, Jane once again showed up on our porch to feed the bird and as luck would have it caught her in the net. She placed a large vented box over her and shakingly called the falconer. I'm not sure if she was more afraid that the bird would hurt her or if she had hurt the bird. There are some sharp talons and beak on that bird. The falconer arrived and was able to get her out of the net, put a cap on her head and then leather lassos around her legs so she couldn't fly away.

She got her talons caught on the blanket we used to keep her wings contained as he put the hood on...either that or her grip was too strong.But either way the cap had to come off to help get her to release herself from the towel so she could sit on his gloved hand.

Success and a few pictures for posterity. Here is our beloved dog walker Jane with her Hawk.

Even Leticia our housekeeper wanted in on the action.

Then they talked me into it too...I didn't want to stand too close. She was still pretty unsettled.

Once again though the neighborhood is safe for stray cats and small animals. The dogs and kids were never in danger. Apparently they use these birds by the airport to get rid of the geese so they don't fly into engines...as well as several taller buildings in the city to control the bats. It's illegal for them to be out free as this one was because they are not indigenous to Spain.
We were all relieved to know she was well taken care of and on her way home.


First Day of School...

Hi Everyone!
It's been a fabulous summer. We spent our days visiting family and friends in the States...and playing in Orlando. Now we're back in Barcelona and looking forward to a successful school year. This morning the kids were up and ready to face the challenges that await them... at the bus stop... Our Sophomore
Joe...8th grade

and Alexa ready to start highschool...

Not an elementary school student in the house.