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Old 03-11-2012, 15:17   #1
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Taming Seabirds

Ok, I've heard of all kinds of weird pets aboard, but never of anyone taming a seabird. Are they all inherently too wild to tame, or is it just something nobody has thought of?

I've thought about the cormorants the Chinese fishermen use, but not sure whether those can be called properly tame. Plus, they can get a bit whiffy. Ok, a lot whiffy, positively reeking, in fact. Perhaps only a useful addition to a sailor with an eye on easy provisioning but without sense of smell. Most likely a bachelor, if not before, then certainly after.

Albatros; too big. Same goes for most penguins, though the little ones from Sydney Harbour seem cute. Not game on catching one though, might get in a spot of trouble with the local greenies. Wouldn't want one of those as a pet, for sure.

Osprey....now that would be cool, but perhaps a mite too dangerous, and messy and expensive to feed. Also, probably need a supermegayacht to keep it on.

Seagull would be an easy choice, given that they're everywhere, seem to be somewhat gregarious, intelligent and hardy. Mind you, they're also thieves, scavengers and utterly ruthless, so perhaps not sufficiently pet-like, except perhaps for certain types.

I'm thinking of something more along the lines of a frigate bird. They don't land on water, so at least they have an incentive and instinct to stay aboard.

Anyone ever seen a tamed seabird, or is game to try adopting a fledgling and raising it? Are there any other species of seabird that would be a likely candidate as a pet? Has anyone got an example of a tamed seabird pet?

People seem to have tamed most any other kind of creature, so I'm confident I'm not asking the impossible....
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Old 03-11-2012, 15:38   #2
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Re: Taming Seabirds

There's a reason most jurisdictions make it illegal to keep wildlife as pets.

We have enough domesticated critters around already; why add to them? It's not like it is 1769 and some pirate thought, hey, a wild parrot would look cool with my eye patch and peg leg
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Old 03-11-2012, 16:19   #3
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Re: Taming Seabirds

And talk about jurisdictional problems taking any unusual pet into a foreign country. I wouldn't have ferret for the same reason (and many others lol)

But if yer gonna do it, I mean C'mon there can be only one: Go Seahawks!
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Old 03-11-2012, 17:01   #4
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Check your laws. I know in the US that it is illegal to keep birds born in the wild as pets. It's ironic that on the other hand some can be shot for food.
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Old 03-11-2012, 17:41   #5
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Never met a sea bird that had any interest in being tamed. I've rescued a few and they always put put a fight.

Watched a special on the Chinese fishing cormorants and many of them have been tamed for generations, in some cases generations of the human family have fished the same family of birds...so I think that is a very different situation.

I can tell you that traveling with a legal parrot is a paperwork pain. Traveling with an illegal wild bird is probably not practical.

Although, it is not uncommon for birds to drop in for a rest offshore -- especially after severe weather (Pic attached. Note the dried salt spray clouding the dodger window...pretty sporty conditions the day before...and one tired pelican on the forward beam).
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Old 03-11-2012, 17:47   #6
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Re: Taming Seabirds

I found a gull on the beach nearby. It was tangled up in 20 feet of string. Getting in touch with my inner 10 year old boy, I went to the rescue. No problem untangling the string. But after the rescue the gull was not grateful. Not at all. Do a good turn alright, but beyond that, fooling with a sea bird will not end well.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:00   #7
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Re: Taming Seabirds

I'm voting ganon . I caught one with a gaff once by Sable island(100 miles off shore). It was a cool looking bird until i tried to get a pic with it, darn near pecked my eyes out. I let it go. I will post the pic when I get back to my country house.
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Old 03-11-2012, 18:04   #8
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Check your laws. I know in the US that it is illegal to keep birds born in the wild as pets. It's ironic that on the other hand some can be shot for food.
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.
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:13   #9
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Ducks can be pretty docile / people tolerant - and are a quick study on people = food.

Or a bird of prey?
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Old 03-11-2012, 19:49   #10
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Re: Taming Seabirds

The irony of it all,I was talking to my girlfriends son just a few hours ago about a hawk that they had found at the DEI family farm(he manages the farm) and he said that he looked into getting a Falconrey(sp?) license...He said that you are required to have a sponser that has experiance and a license and he or she has to mentor you for a certain period...Then you have to go out and get a Raptor(bird of prey) from the wild ,either catch one or adopt it from a Raptor society...He said that you could chose between different types of birds such as Peragrine falcons(kestrel?),Red shoulder hawks(commen chicken hawk),Osprey,and Eagles...I dont know if he was talken a bunch of BS or being serious as those NASCAR people can shot a lot of "stuff" but he seem to be familiar with the process...I would look into this before getting any bird of prey because they are protected in the US ...
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Old 03-11-2012, 21:27   #11
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Re: Taming Seabirds

In Maryland the State government kills swans. They had to blame something on the environmental degredation of the Chesapeake.
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Old 03-11-2012, 22:47   #12
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Re: Taming Seabirds

I don't think you could call it a pet but I once saw a pelican who had developed what looked like a friendship with a fishing guide. My wife and I were staying on Captiva Island in Charlotte Harbor Florida. Each morning we'd see the guide heading out with his clients and a pelican would be sitting on top of his outboard. The pelican didn't seemed bothered by the running motor or moving boat. The guide wasn't bothered by the bird. I suspect the bird was given the occasional fish.
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Old 03-11-2012, 23:38   #13
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Re: Taming Seabirds

Ducks can be fairly tame. Many ducks at my marina can be approached almost within arm's reach. Here, several are posing for a picture on a neighbor's boat. Gulls will approach if food is provided. Grebes and Coots, however, are wary and keep their distance.

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Old 03-11-2012, 23:52   #14
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Re: Taming Seabirds

You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea. It goes, that's all......



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Old 04-11-2012, 00:58   #15
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Re: Taming Seabirds

With respect, why on earth would you want to remove a seabird from its free and natural environment for a life of misery and captivation?

In Australia at least, it is forbidden to remove any indigenous creature from its habitat for the purpose of keeping it as a 'pet'.
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