Bob is progressing beautifully! He has an immediate response to both the fist and the lure, he trades off like a pro and he has been completely reliable in every flying location we've been to. He's also now experienced so many different situations and objects (livestock, dogs, crowds, vehicles, machinery etc.) and shown no fearful reactions, so I am confident he is ready to go free.
I am waiting for one last thing before we take that step, which is the arrival of his IBR (Independent Bird Register) ring. It is important that precautions are taken should a falconry bird ever stray too far and get lost. It is essential to fit your hawk with a telemetry tracker to ensure that the falconer has a good chance of locating their hawk should they go out of sight. Another very useful tip is to register birds of prey with the IBR. This provides them with a unique ring number and puts them on the IBR database so that should the bird be recovered by somebody else they can be quickly reunited with the falconer. Once Bob has his one fitted then he is safe to free fly and I cannot wait!