They used to be awesome. But something went wrong, and I'm not sure why.
Pluvialis' guide to what you need in a bowperch (apart from it 'not breaking' of course):
- Smooth bow-shape allowing the ring to travel smoothly across to the other side should the hawk bate.
- Padding that will neither hurt the hawk's feet, nor impede the passage of the ring.
- In indoor bows, a ring that falls to floor level when the hawk bates. Tail feathers always get broken by a leash that travels at an angle up through the train to an attachment point higher than floor level.
It's only three things.
Why can no-one get it right?
Seriously, pretty much everything out there fails to fulfil at least one of these.
Broken tail feathers!
Ring won't travel freely when the bird bates: too high an arc
I just have no idea what this is.
It's as if as soon as falconers start designing hardware, they've forgotten about the bird. None of them seem to have watched a hawk on a bow for very long:
Is it that we're all flying Harris' hawks these days? Oh no, it can't be. Or is it? Is it? Is it that Harris's never bate, so no-one worries about these things?
No, it can't be. Can't be. For starters, American perches seem to be better. Mike's falconry supplies do a nice one:
See? Harris' hawk!
Northwoods' one is a good shape, though it's let down massively by the wrapping. Now, where did that talon go? Also, has anyone any experience of this kind of strange double bow? It might work. It might not, but it might. What happens when the bird jumps down on the wrong side of the bow? Do you have to make the leash extra-long to stop it getting brought up short?
No, the more I look at this the more I'm just confused.
The best bowperches I've come across in the UK are Martin Jones' ones. They are bloody expensive, but worth saving up for. Which is what I'm doing, right now.
The coolest goshawk perch I've ever seen involved the bird being able to fly down the length of a steel cable between perches about twenty feet apart. One of the perches was under cover. That goshawk was muscly as a pitbull and in perfect feather. I wish my tiny town garden was big enough for a perch like that...
Rant over. Anyone any theories, though? Why and when did they get so crap?
Update: my god, I have never, ever sounded so self-satisfied and snotty as in this post, have I. Sheesh.