December 4, 2022

Meet Coyote, a Harris’s Hawk that was bred in captivity for the purposes of falconry and service.

One doesn’t usually associate blueberry picking with birding, but when we chose our destination for reaping a winter supply of blueberries, we did it in mind to meet a Harris’s Hawk. Photos of the feathered guardian at Wilmot Orchards had crossed our facebook feed a few days earlier, so it was off to Clarington, Ontario, Canada, in hopes of meeting this stunning bird of prey.

When we disembarked from the car, Bob noticed the handler heading back to her own vehicle with a hawk on her arm. We hastened to catch up to her in case she was leaving. Maureen was more than willing to spend a few minutes chatting with us before moving to another blueberry field.

Coyote is one of the birds trained by Royal Canadian Falconry, and he annually sees service at the orchards to keep at bay all the birds that would otherwise feast on the blueberries.

We learned from Maureen that tours are available for an interactive educational falconry experience at Royal Canadian Falconry.

Even as Coyote perched on Maureen’s glove, he was alert to birds in the sky moving in to feed.

Bob snapped a quick pic of some Robins that had been stripping berries off the blueberry bushes a ways across the field.

Maureen explains about the falconry experiences to be had at their establishment.

And YES, we did get down to picking some blueberries.

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