ORIGINAL: LGM Graphix
Well, on a glorious sunny friday morning, (yesterday) I had the best maiden I have ever had in my years of flying! It was also the most nervous I have ever been during a maiden voyage!
In typical fashion, all you really have to worry about on a maiden is how well your thumbs will work, how the equipment will perform, how good the design is etc.
Well, this maiden was different, I knew my thumbs wouldn't be an issue, I knew the equipment would perform flawlessly, and the design, well, nothing out there will ever match the design, the only variable was....
She could think for herself, and would she come back??????
Yes, yesterday morning my young Peregrine falcon took to the skies for the first time free. No creance (line) attached to her, nothing to keep her from flying away except for her training.
This is the first bird of prey I have ever trained, and what a feeling to see her come back to me! She left from the perch I set her on, flew past me, turned, flew past again, and after one more turn, she grabbed her lure and landed, ate her reward and happily jumped up onto my glove again.
If it wasn't for the sick to my stomach feeling from the nerves, I really think I would have had tears in my eyes! It was truly one of the best moments of my life, nothing in RC has ever matched that feeling.
These birds are not like dogs, they don't come back because they love you, they don't come back because they're scared of not being with you, they come back because it's what you've taught them and they know you will give them a reward, it might not be an emotional attachment, but to be able to train a wild animal, and one that will always retain it's wild instinct, is a feeling like none other.
After I flew her, one of the master falconers I was with told me ''I have seen more falconers, new and very experienced alike lose peregrines on the first flight. They are probably the most difficult bird to train and have them come back. Your bird did just what she was supposed to do, good job''
Had I known that about Peregrines, I probably wouldn't have taken a Peregrine as my first bird, but I am so glad I did, she is a wonderful bird and I can't wait to fly her again! Oh, guess I should go, I'm going to go fly her again