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WATCH OUT - Wyoming Ground Squirrels!

Ensenada, Mexico

sunny 63 °F
View Around the World! - Part 1 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

Meet Cassiopea - a Harris's Falcon, with its tawny feathers and yellow legs. Today we were in the famed wine region of Baja California at the El Cielo Vineyard in the Guadalupe Valley. Here we learned about these versatile raptors and their involvement in sustainable wine production. Harris's Falcons, also known as Harris's Hawks, are used in the vineyards of Ensenada, Mexico, as a natural method of pest control. These birds hunt in groups and are considered the most social raptors. They have intense eyesight, which allows them to spot prey from high in the sky.


The use of Harris's Hawks for pest control is part of a broader practice known as falconry, which involves the training of birds of prey to hunt or pursue game. In the context of vineyards, this practice helps to protect the grapes from damage, ensuring a successful harvest. A Harris Hawk, typically weighing around two pounds, is capable of hunting animals that are three to four times heavier. In the accompanying image, Cassiopea is pictured alongside her handler. The purpose of placing a hood on a falconry bird is to induce tranquility and manage the bird's behavior. Since these birds depend greatly on their vision, the absence of visual stimuli under the hood means they remain unafraid. The hood is utilized to keep the bird from experiencing stress in potentially frightening situations. Once it was removed, we all enjoyed an "up-close and personal" meeting with this beautiful creature.


All I can add is .. "Beware, Wyoming Ground Squirrels. A falconer and their Harris's Hawk might soon be patrolling your area."

Posted by Where2FromHere 23:27 Archived in Mexico

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