Freshman gets a bird’s eye view

Sophomore Angela Tsao's hawk, Frightful.

Angela Tsao

Sophomore Angela Tsao’s hawk, Frightful.

On Jan. 31, sophomore Angela Tsao trapped a hawk, whom she called Frightful, from the wild. Right before she got her hawk she contacted different Falconers.

“To trap a hawk from the wild I needed a legal permit,” Tsao said.

To get her legal permit, Tsao had to find a falconer who has had five years of experience to help train her. With the falconer’s help, Tsao spent a few weeks training the hawk.

“I learned to train her by calling her with a whistle and giving her food every time she came. It was really time consuming because I had to build trust with her. After I built the trust up she just got motivated by food which made the training a whole lot easier,” Tsao said.

Tsao kept her hawk in a facility called a muse, which is like a giant bird house. Her hawk needed to be fed daily, and it ate the food it hunted. Tsao tried to go hunting every weekend, and as many week days as she could. She used her hawk for hunting small mammals like rabbits, squirrels and mice. Tsao has had an interest in birds since she was little.

“My favorite thing is that it’s just an amazing experience to be able to work with a wild animal and know that you have a partnership with it. The way a hawk’s brain works is not in a friendly and loyal way, but it eventually got to the point where she would let me pet her and stuff because she started to tolerate me,” Tsao said.

Tsao kept her hawk for about six weeks before the hunting season ended and she released it back into the wild. Before she released it she fed it a lot of food for it to gain weight before being alone again in the wild. Tsao plans to get another hawk next October when the season begins again.

“My favorite part about hunting is being out in the nature and just experiencing everything,” Tsao said. “I have been hunting since I got my hawk. I wanted it because you meet people who are into things that you are realize that so many different things exist and you can really do anything you want to. Everyone is interested in different things and to know people that are interested in the same things as you is really cool,” Tsao said.