Major Meet February 18th Alona area.

January 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

February 18th Algona area, we will stay at the Burr Oak hotel for 50
dollars a night the number is 515-295-7213. Please see forums if you have
any questions or you can email Larry @ dodgerblue64@mchsi.com and I will
direct you to someone that can help.
Thanks Larry

Humbolt Area Meet, January 22nd & 23rd

December 22, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Humbolt Area Meet

 I’ve reserved 10 rooms at the same hotel as last year. Fred (the hotel manager) gave us the same rate and is waving the $5 pet fee again. Rooms are $59.95 per night. I’ve requested the same rooms as last year because it worked out so well being on the first floor along the wall with the plug ins for the trucks.
Meet will be January 22nd, 23rd. I told Fred that some of us may be arriving on Friday. PLEASE!! Call in and pull rooms off the block at least a week before hand. Thanks.

See you there!

Budget Host Inn.
116 Kenyon Road
Fort Dodge, IA 50501-5711
(515) 955-8501

Summer Picnic

July 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The IFA would like to welcome all Iowa falconers to the summer picnic to be held August, 28th in Van Meter, IA at Trindle Park. We’ll be firing up the grill at 12:00 noon. Paid members will be provided meat by the IFA. Feel free to bring your new birds. An update on the Iowa falconry regulations will be given and the 2010/2011 major field meet date and location will be decided.

To pay your dues please contact Larry Hayes

We hope to see you there.

SPORT OF KINGS LIVES ON

February 2, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

SPORT OF KINGS LIVES ON
Falconry Alive & Well In Iowa
By Lowell Washburn

FT. DODGE, IA—According to Webster, falconry is defined as
the sport of pursuing wild game with trained hawks.  For centuries,
the sport remained a time honored tradition among tribal desert
nomads, Mongol chieftains, and European royalty.  But with the
invention of gun powder, falconry’s popularity plummeted.  By
the late 1700s, the ancient practice had nearly disappeared. 
Nearly, but not quite.

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, falconry is currently
enjoying a remarkable modern-day return.  Practitioners of the
art may be closer than you think.  This past weekend, for example,
the Sport Of Kings was alive and well in Fort Dodge as members
of the Iowa Falconers Association assembled to conduct their
official winter hunt.  Although the three day, outdoor retreat
may have lacked the pageantry of the highly organized hunts led
by the likes of Genghis Chan or King Henry the VIII, it was
nevertheless clear that the passion for “pursuing wild game
with trained hawks” continues to burn.

“This is our major winter meet, and things have really worked
out well,” says Iowa Falconers Association president, Steve Lohrer. 
“The weather has cooperated, there’s plenty of game, and the birds
are flying great.  I don’t know exactly how many people there are
this weekend but, so far, I know there are falconers from at least
three states.”

“Although it is a hunting meet, a lot of people come for the
camaraderie and to see other people fly their birds,” noted
Lohrer.  “We’ve had a good variety of gamehawks represented
— the list includes red-tails, goshawks, and peregrines. 
Falconry meets offer a great opportunity to see how other people
do things, a good chance to learn.”

Among the participants most interested in seeing “how other people
do things” was Steve’s dad and third year falconer, Gary Lohrer. 

“Steve has been practicing falconry for about 15 years, and I really
became interested after seeing him train his hawks,” says Gary. 
“These birds [immature red-tailed hawks] are trapped from the wild,
and each one has its own temperament.  Training a bird to hunt with
you is very challenging and I enjoy that.  I still make mistakes,
but I’ve learned a lot.”

“The hawk I’m flying now is a first year, female, red-tail that
I trapped late this fall,” says Gary.  “She’s the third red-tailed
hawk I’ve trained, and she’s really beginning to understand that
if she stays close to me and the dog that we’ll probably produce
something for her to chase.  Yesterday, we caught our tenth
cottontail rabbit.  We‘re becoming a team.”             

To learn more about falconry in Iowa, visit the Iowa Falconers
Association on line at www.iowafalconer.com.

_______________________________________________________ 
Photo:  Rabbit Hawkers — Steve Lohrer of Van Meter [left] and his father Gary Lohrer, of Urbana display a cottontail rabbit bagged near Fort Dodge during last weekend’s official winter meet of the Iowa Falconers Association.  The rabbit was captured by a young of the year, red-tailed hawk currently being trained by Gary Lohrer.   Photo By: Lowell Washburn

Meet Update

December 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

We have blocked off 10 rooms at the Budget Host Inn for Saturday night January 30th.  The price per night is $59.95 plus tax. I spoke with the manager of the hotel Fred and he agreed to wave the $5 charge for pets in the room.  He asked that we call at least a week in advance to book the rooms. The hotel has an adjoined steak house restaurant that I was told by several locals was very good.

Buddget Host Inn.
116 Kenyon Road
Fort Dodge, IA 50501-5711
(515) 955-8501

2010 Meet

December 4, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

 It’s been officially decided that our major meet will be held in Fort Dodge the weekend of January 30th and 31st.   We have set a weather related backup date for the following weekend of February 6th and 7th.

Hotel information to follow.

Maps for Picnic & Picture of Pavilion

May 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

 

Picnic

May 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Tentative Picnic scheduled July 12th

Rock Creek State Park. It’s near Newton

More information to follow

 

Peregrine Super Star

March 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

PEREGRINE SUPER STAR

ALIVE AND WELL IN DES MOINES

NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD FALCON STILL DEFENDS DOWNTOWN TERRITORY

Article and Photos By: Lowell Washburn

DES MOINES—-For any red blooded raptor enthusiast, the ear piercing wails were unmistakable. The nesting peregrine falcons were agitated.

Sensing an eminent threat to their young, the falcons lost no time in launching the attack. With ear piercing screams and high speed dives, the pair engaged in a valiant effort to defend their nest. But in spite of their bravery, the falcons were clearly outmatched. Armed with helmets, protective clothing, and miscellaneous repelling gear, the intruding humans were as committed to their mission as the falcons were to theirs.

Within the span of a few short minutes, the peregrines’ four downy chicks had been extracted from their cave-like lair in an alcove at the top of Des Moines’ American Republic Insurance Building. After being placed into a plastic pet carrier, the birds were hoisted to a waiting team of DNR wildlife biologists. First order of business was to collect a blood sample from each nestling. Then, after being weighed, measured, and banded, the chicks were quickly returned to the nest. Although the adults remained clearly [and vocally] distrubed by the proceedings, life soon began a return to normal for Iowa’s most famous urban raptors.

Regardless of whether you’re a politician or a peregrine falcon, it’s hard to keep a secret in downtown Des Moines. By now, the morning’s audible commotion had drawn the attentions a sizeable crowd of gawking onlookers. None were more excited than veteran wildlife watcher and peregrine enthusiast, Todd Hill.

“The day we come up here to band the baby peregrines is my very favorite day of the year,” proclaimed Hill, a former employee of the American Republic maintenance staff.

Hill has enjoyed a long, and sometimes painful, association with these unique downtown residents. While working on the building’s roof, he’s been soundly thumped on more than a few occasions.

So why would one of America’s rarest bird nesters make the Metro area its home? The answer is simple. Located in the heart of Capitol City’s downtown business area, the insurance building’s upper level is pocked with decorative alcoves. For cliff dwelling peregrine falcons, the concrete recesses represent the perfect place to lay eggs and rear young.

“We see all kinds of people here,” says Hill. “Many bring binoculars to view the nest — especially when the young are visible. People come from all over. This has become a very popular attraction.”

Peregrines first began nesting at American Republic in 1993. Since that time, the nest has become a statewide attraction, partly due to the fact that the rare birds can easily been seen and heard from nearby sidewalks and courtyards.

But there’s more to this story. A central focus of the fame surrounding the site is that American Republic is also home to peregrine falcon number 93T. He’s the male of the territory. A super star among peregrines, 93T is currently the best known, oldest, and certainly one of the most successful falcons in the entire history of the species’ thirty-year, modern-day recovery.

Released in Des Moines as a 45-day-old fledgling by the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Team in 1990, 93T returned to claim the downtown area for his own during the spring of 1993. He’s returned every year since, and has produced an incredible total of 42 young. He has outlived two mates, and is currently on territory with his third partner —- a four-year-old, wild produced female [63B] hatched at Woodmen Tower in Omaha, Nebraska.

Peregrine falcons are the planet’s most dynamic bird species. Top Guns and masters of flight, peregrines feed exclusively on other birds which they obtain by means of spectacular high speed chase. It’s a dangerous way to live, and wrecks can be fatal. It’s easy to understand why most falcons never reach old age. Nevertheless, it is probable that during the past 15 nesting seasons, 93T [while providing for himself, his mates, and his young] has survived somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 successful kills —- all without so much as chipping a talon.

“This bird is a real hunter and takes good care of his family,” says Hill. “We find all kinds of evidence on the sidewalk beneath the nest. Most of the prey he brings in are starlings and flickers. We also see bigger things like pigeons and, once in a while, a duck. Most interesting is the really unusual stuff. The other day we found the head of a screech owl. That was surprising,” said Hill.

“Watching the falcons is really exciting,” he added. “Usually we just see them carry in food from somewhere else. But one day when I was leaving work, I saw him [93T] smack a pigeon right out of the air. That was the best.”

“Another time I got to assist one of the young. The baby falcon had just left the nest and was stuck in a small tree in our courtyard. I called DNR and they said to take the bird back to the roof. I did, and its next flight was successful. We still have a picture of that bird on the wall in our office.”

Live video of the American Republic peregrines can be viewed online during this year’s nesting season. Go to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ home page and click on “Live Falcon Cam”.

___________________________________________________________

PHOTOS:

1 —- An adult female peregrine falcon [band number 63B] returns to her nest site at the American Republic Insurance building in Des Moines. The bird was unidentified until Washburn went atop the building and secured this photo late last summer. The band number revealed that the three-year-old falcon was produced at Omaha’s Woodman Tower.

2 TOP GUN 93T —- With sizzling high speed nose dives exceeding 250 mph, the peregrine falcon is our fastest and most dynamic bird species. But few peregrines can match the aerial prowess of downtown Des Moines’ number 93T — a seventeen-year-old, tiercel [male] currently residing atop the American Republic Insurance Building. Hatched in 1990, the falcon returned to stake his Des Moines territory in 1993. He’s returned every year since, has outlived two mates, is currently with his third partner, and has fathered and raised 42 young. In the process of caring for himself, his mates, and those 42 babies — it is estimated that 93T has made an astounding 10,000 successful kills.

3 —- Peregrine tiercel, 93T patrols his territory above downtown DesMoines.

FEBRUARY MEET

December 31, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

February 6th & 7th. Arnolds Park, Iowa.

Hotel:
4 Seasons
333 Okoboji Grove Rd, Arnolds Park, IA‎
712-332-2103
$55.oo a night

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