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Old 04-11-2012, 01:05   #16
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Buy a parrot.....
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Old 04-11-2012, 01:29   #17
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Re: Taming Seabirds

We had a hermit/hoarder liveaboard guy in our marina that fed the ducks. his dock and especially his finger were covered in poop. you couldn't really walk the dog on that end of the marina cuz he went apesh*t over the twenty or so ducks covering that boat.

I think I saw three or four ducks turn up dead in a year... It's really just an all around bad idea all around.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:08   #18
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Got a couple of freindly geese in my harbour........
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:19   #19
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Re: Taming Seabirds

The tamed seabird is attractive for the very reason of avoiding the busybodies.....when some meddler comes along and sees me with an African Grey, he will likely ask to see my Parrot License and Vet's bills. If on the other hand there is a seagull or some other seabird sitting on the rail, less likely to be hassled, and even then; "Oh him? He just hangs about waiting for a fish". The cormorant is coming back into my thoughts as a viable candidate. Just have to shampoo him from time to time.

A pet bird needn't live in misery....probably a pretty cushy existence actually, considering all the free food and medical care, not to mention being guarded and protected. The falconry angle also appeals....at least the seagulls-pooping-on-the-deck problem would be solved, kind of.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:28   #20
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Re: Taming Seabirds

On long passages its not unusual for birds to hitch a ride. The thing that always surprises me is the seem to loose all fear of man and will perch quite close and even sit happily on your finger.
It would be a travesty to try and tame something like that.
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Old 04-11-2012, 05:46   #21
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On long passages its not unusual for birds to hitch a ride. The thing that always surprises me is the seem to loose all fear of man and will perch quite close and even sit happily on your finger.
It would be a travesty to try and tame something like that.
Becalmed between Caribbean/ Bermuda I went for a swim round the boat and a couple of shearwaters which had been following for days paddled over and let me stroke them. One let me pick it up. Amazing feeling alone in 3 mile deep water.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:09   #22
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Re: Taming Seabirds

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Ducks, geese and some upland birds such as grouse are wonderful table fare with none of the fat or hormones the domestic variety have.

Healthy living by eating right.

I'm all for this! I skip the "table fare", but highly recommended road side!
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:12   #23
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Why tame a wild thing?

Animals are not toys. Mate, get yourself a teddy gul!

b.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:55   #24
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Re: Taming Seabirds

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Why tame a wild thing?
Maaaaate.........if it weren't wild, it would be tame already!

As I've already mentioned, people have tamed just about everything else, so I was curious about seabirds; and this being a cruising forum full of sailors seemed the logical place to ask what the current progress is with seabirds.

So far, no accounts of a proper taming/adoption of a seabird apart from the famous Chinese cormorants, but two accounts of seabirds already tame enough to permit contact. That in itself is encouraging for me.

I've had several generations of butcherbirds call our garden home (back when I lived in Aus...they don't fly this far north). They knew they could always get a free feed of chopped liver. A tray with wholemeal bread covered in sugar & water brought the rosellas in great numbers. The pecan tree in the front yard had the sulfur crested cockies show up for breakfast, though they made themselves a bit unwelcome with all their noise and waste of the nuts...but they were still nice to have around. We adopted a budgie that fell out of the sky...he escaped from his home somewhere, and could never find where he came from. Our cats were descended from the kitten of a stray that we befriended on the local beach...she got sick & died, as did her whole litter, except the one we found and nursed. Our first chihuahua was a runaway from an abusive home that sought refuge in our garden and was adopted, and we bought a mate for him. Our first german shepherd was a rescuee from the pound, and his descendant that we kept was from one of the many local bitches he attended in their hour of desire.

More about seagulls...yes, they can show no fear. Like when I bought a kebab and sat down by Sydney's Darling Harbour to eat it. By the time I got it out of the bag, I had about 20 gulls in a little flock about my ankles. When I had the wrapper open and could bite into it, there would have been about 50 with reinforcements flooding in. As I was chewing the first mouthful, the cheeky buggers in the front rank were hopping up to snatch stray strands of lettuce from my kebab. At that point I tried shooing them off, worried that they'd mob me and get away with my lunch. Kind of like cats...got something they want, they're all over you. Empty hands...not worth even looking at.

My thinking is, to properly tame a seabird one would need to come across an abandoned or orphaned chick and hand raise it. Whether or not it would stick around once it could fly, is another thing; and I wouldn't insist it stayed, though I would be pleased if it did.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:06   #25
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Re: Taming Seabirds

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Osprey....now that would be cool
Maybe you could entice a pair to build a nest on top of your mast?
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:19   #26
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Re: Taming Seabirds

had a gannet live on board for over a week mind you he dove out of the sky onto the deck of the boat while we were hauling nets and there was a load of fish sloshing around the deck so i think he thought it was the water, the guy on the hauler got some shock as he missed his head by a hairs breath, the gannet actually stuck his beak in the wooden deck and was fairly dazed when we freed him at first i thought he had broken his neck but when he went to bite me i knew he would be alright. we gave him fish while he stayed on board but he wasent really happy when you tried to get near him so we just left him run around the deck untill eventually he just flew off about a week or so after comming onboard
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:27   #27
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Some local buildings hereabouts have pre-built stork platforms. Kind of a summer home for migrating birds.

An own Osprey nest would indeed be a unique accessory...if it catches on as a trend, Wastemarine will sell them made of 316 SS, in various sizes to almost suit every wallet, ahem, boat.

Harken, Ronstan and Lewmar will improve on the design and make them of carbon fibre composite with detachable thinsulate & goretex liners, and someone will develop a retronaut version hand-woven from biodegradable carbon-neutral renewable rattan.

Factions will form in the cruising community, pushing their favourite variation; some extolling the advantage of an eco-friendly foil-top vortex-fence for the bermudan sailplan, others claiming the drag penalty is acceptable for the stability gain, still others arguing that the yawl rig is best because one can mount their floating eyrie over the taffrail so most of the mess ends up in the dinghy or the water.

Still, a hand-reared Osprey, trained to hunt on command, might be a handy thing. Think of the moulah one could make by being a kind of private anchorage gull-police. Shoo them off one boat, and they'll just congregate on another. A nautical protection racket. Got a million gulls crapping on the deck? Call Micah's Maritime Falconry Company, satisfaction guaranteed!
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:35   #28
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Re: Taming Seabirds

I have never heard of or come across anyone having tamed a wild seabird. For me I would suggest that you enjoy the privilege any seabird/s give you if and when it allows you within a few feet of it. Providing a source of food is likely to encourage it to hang around but the problem is that seabirds are excellent hunters of their own prey and with an ocean abundant with their food they are unlikely to hang about for any great length of time. Seagulls are obviously an exception, as they will flock to a known source of food, as they are a very opportunistic type of bird. I don't think it is what you have in mind but I would be completely opposed to caging any seabird except to ensure proper recovery from an injury it may have sustained.

For me, the bottom-line answer to what you and many others would like (ie: have a seabird as a pet), is that no attempt should be made to "tame" it but rather allow the bird itself to decide on the extent it wishes to share itself with your world as a human being. That way you have the privilege shared naturally and the bird has the freedom to do what nature intended for it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:00   #29
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Quote:
For me, the bottom-line answer to what you and many others would like (ie: have a seabird as a pet), is that no attempt should be made to "tame" it but rather allow the bird itself to decide on the extent it wishes to share itself with your world as a human being. That way you have the privilege shared naturally and the bird has the freedom to do what nature intended for it.
Agreed. I'm thinking of getting a cockatiel while I'm forced by external circumstances to remain dogless and landlocked, but that is a captivity-bred bird far from its natural habitat. If I do get one, it would have a well-engineered perch but no cage. Screens on the windows to stop him flying out into the European cold and wet, and if the little scoundrel eats the wallpaper I can fix that easy.

I'd adopt a seabird if it chanced to come aboard or I found a perishing one, but I wouldn't go seeking to capture one out of its freedom. Seducing one with food to entice it to stick around is stopping short of birdnapping it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:29   #30
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Re: Taming Seabirds

if you've seen seabird sh*t and smelled it.... you wouldnt be asking this question!
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