Rob Kirkman's peregrine falcon
Me with tercel Harris Hawk.
Why do we do it? The answer lies more with the "disease" definition of the art than anything else. It seems like once you try it, you can never leave! Sure there are people that put it down for a few years, but they almost always come back, some after many years. There is a certain feeling of accomplishment one feels after training (or being trained by) one of the symbols of the wild. Not only does falconry provide you with the ultimate thrill, but it also provides us with the ultimate mystery. Once a falconer has trained and flown his first hawk, he/she sometimes releases that bird back into the wild. This allowes two things. The first, is a bird that cheated the odds (70% of raptors die their first winter), and will more than likely contribute to the breeding pool. The second, is more of a human aspect. It allowes us to look up at a soaring hawk, and not being able to help ourselves, wonder if we wern't instrumental in THAT particular bird's life.
Falconry, at least to me, is the closest thing humans can come to raw nature. Even if you do not have the time or patience to practice the sport, make a point to see one of these birds up close. It will change the way you look at birds of prey forever. Their world is one of solitude, their habits and nature cruel, and their survival spectacular! Am I being overly romantic, some would say so, other's would claim I have not begun to scratch the surface. Falconry is not cruel, these birds kill, they do so not only for survival, but I truely believe some even like doing it! We are merely spectators in the cycle of life, sometimes we are even allowed to pick them up and take them back into our protective care *grin*. This is one reason we are drawn to them. Humans find their ruthless behavior very appealing, probably some deep primal urge within ourselves! They weed out the weak, feed on the old and the inexperienced, and yet, most of these predators die themselves! No, that is not cruel, it is merely nature in action.
Me with Gyr/Peregrine/Prairie Falcon.
I am currently flying a tribred Gyr/Peregrine/Prairie falcon......
My Mews and Pigeon loft
There are many wonderful sites that contain info on how to become a falconer, or just for interest sake, thus I will not go into the details of the sport. I will mention here, however, that falconry is regulated. DO NOT attempt to practice the sport without the proper permits. I stress this fact because we have a good image, we do not need a few rogues to ruin that image. I am not saying it is impossible to become a falconer, but one has to put forth the effort.
Go to the sites provided by the webring, they are very thourough in explaining the procedure. I hope this will point all interested parties in the right direction. If you can't find what you want, feel free to contact me and I will try to put you in touch with the right person(s).
* These are thumb-nail pictures for fast loading
This Falconry site is owned by|
C.J. van der Merwe.
Want to join the Falconry Web Ring?
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