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Thread: Falconry

  1. #11

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    I've tasted the art in the past, and it is exquisite. It is an ancient sport - hawks being our second longest hunting partners, after the hound - and the bond forged between bird and man is a dangerous, raw, sublime thing. Falconry holds an international and darkly complex history as well - the antique records of the practice make for a fascinating read. I have never been able to become fully dedicated to the art, due to a fairly nomadic lifestyle, but I would if I was able to do so. It will require endless dedication, patience, and blood, but it is a beautiful, breathtaking experience to behold. I wish you luck if you choose to proceed with it.
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    If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago.
    If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.

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  2. #12

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    This is a little late, but it doesn't lose its relevance. I hope you took the opportunity.

    If you did, I recommend being an apprentice as long as possible; having a bird is a huge commitment, yet falconry is not really about "having" a bird, but the experience of caring for and flying one. In this case, the opportunity is even more valuable because it's about the mentorship about as much as the art.

    Having a mentor for something as closely tied to a way of life as falconry is not having a mentor just for falconry. It's having a mentor for life. And you should seize those relationships whenever you are able. A mentorship relationship is rare and more valuable than the topic of the mentorship itself, because someone worthwhile is sharing a part of his/her life with you and vice versa.

  3. #13

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    Just curious if there are any other therians out there who are also falconers? I ran into one on a facebook group a while back. I'd forgotten what a small world it was. haha!
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  4. #14
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    Hey, long time no see!

    I'm not a falconer myself, but I have several friends who are! One of them is definitely an animal person, but tends to frame her animality around totem-like terms; that friend left the therian community quite a while back after finding not a lot of common ground with the moaning about being an animal "trapped" in a human body.

    The other friend who is more local... I don't know. It's not likely, but I occasionally wonder.

    I've been hunting with the local friend and her sponsor, so I have had the chance to have both red-tails and Harris' hawks on the fist. The hunting is very fun, the people I've met through falconry have been really cool, and I'm always amused by the really old-fashioned sounding terminology of the community.

    What kinds of bird do you keep?

  5. #15
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    Not yet, but my husband and I have a falconry experience scheduled when we're in Scotland in May! We'll also get to work with owls!

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  6. #16
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    Also not yet, but after I get a job, hopefully in late spring, I might volunteer with a guy who raises falcons to chase seagulls and pigeons away from airports and construction sites. He has been super-friendly so far, and he even offered to help me with an injured raven that somebody found in Thunder Bay and posted about online. I adore birds of prey. The prospect of working with one gives me chills.

    Elinox: Owls? Awesome. You lucky beast. Take pictures and tell us all about it!

  7. #17
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    Welcome back!

    Anyway, I've never been a falconer, but it always seemed like an interesting sport to me. I don't think I'd be comfortable taking falcons out of the wild, but with a captive-bred falcon, or one who couldn't return to the wild, it seems like it might be a fun enrichment activity for both human and bird.
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  8. #18

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    Hey everyone! Thanks for the replies! I've been super busy lately and ended up just lurking more and more on the forums. :/ I went back to school for a career change and now falconry takes up the rest of my time. lol.

    I'm not a falconer myself, but I have several friends who are! One of them is definitely an animal person, but tends to frame her animality around totem-like terms; that friend left the therian community quite a while back after finding not a lot of common ground with the moaning about being an animal "trapped" in a human body.

    The other friend who is more local... I don't know. It's not likely, but I occasionally wonder.

    I've been hunting with the local friend and her sponsor, so I have had the chance to have both red-tails and Harris' hawks on the fist. The hunting is very fun, the people I've met through falconry have been really cool, and I'm always amused by the really old-fashioned sounding terminology of the community.

    What kinds of bird do you keep?
    That's cool! I haven't met any therians in person for a long, long time. But I did notice a falconer in one of the groups I'm in with the theta delta tattoo. It makes sense to me that there are a few of us out there.

    I currently fly a juvie male red tail. He is a special boy, and a little derpy, but he is hell on squirrels.
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    Not yet, but my husband and I have a falconry experience scheduled when we're in Scotland in May! We'll also get to work with owls!
    Oh that will be cool! I have a friend flying an imprint great horned owl. They are interesting for sure! They are very different psychologically from hawks.

    Also not yet, but after I get a job, hopefully in late spring, I might volunteer with a guy who raises falcons to chase seagulls and pigeons away from airports and construction sites. He has been super-friendly so far, and he even offered to help me with an injured raven that somebody found in Thunder Bay and posted about online. I adore birds of prey. The prospect of working with one gives me chills.
    Abatement is pretty cool! While not technically falconry it is still a great way to get paid and have fun doing it! Plus-birds!

    Anyway, I've never been a falconer, but it always seemed like an interesting sport to me. I don't think I'd be comfortable taking falcons out of the wild, but with a captive-bred falcon, or one who couldn't return to the wild, it seems like it might be a fun enrichment activity for both human and bird.
    Actually taking birds out of the wild is not as bad as you might think. Most raptors (like red tailed hawks for example) have a 90% mortality rate in their first year of life. As a falconer you take one of them, and give them food, and vet care, and help them hone their hunting skills, and eventually release them if you choose. You get them through the hardest year of their life where they would likely die.

    Both of my RTs I trapped this year were sick. The first one died, even with me throwing every penny I had at my BOP vet. The second one pulled through and is now honing his hunting skills with me. When he misses he doesn't go hungry like he would in the wild. He doesn't starve. He comes home and eats and learns a lesson for the next time he hunts. Both of those birds would be dead in the wild before their first year. Another close friend trapped a bird with a systemic infection, that was only detected through a vet exam. He too would be dead if not for falconry.

    To some people that's just how life is. It's a struggle. But to me, knowing that I can do something to help these birds, while sharing my life with them, watching them learn to trust me, and one day letting them go, to carry on and have babies...that brings it together for me. It's conservation. It's trying to give back to a species that humans care so little about. I see people daily who shoot red tails, or put out rat poison. This is my way of making up for it. Trying to help one more bird survive.

    And the bond is incredible. My male is pseudo imprinted because of being sick, and is amazingly bonded to me, despite RTs not being "social". The hunting is great, but I do it because that is what the bird wants to do. He needs to hunt, to kill. Some hawks get a little crazy when they aren't hunting daily. Their instincts drive them to it.

    Also while I love captive bred birds, they never seem to fly as well or as strong as their wild counterparts. Even with daily flying they are just never quite as fit. Because they never had to do it all the time just to survive.

    Sorry for the long winded monologue. XD I can go on about this sport for days. haha.
    Last edited by Ice Blitz; January 17th, 2016 at 12:26 PM.

  9. #19
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    In the process of studying and looking for sponsors AND saving up money to invest in a mew, but I currently make my own paracord Jesses and I work with a Redtail, greathorn, Swainson's, and a wee bitty Merlin. I highly prefer buteos compared to other raptors because they are very hardy, strong, and have interesting personalities. I don't expect to become a falconer over night, Falconry will be a slow pursuit for me but I am in no rush and enjoy the work I am doing now! Except for when I get grabbed!
    Last edited by Coastalbluewolf; September 27th, 2017 at 11:56 PM.
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    ~The Misanthropic Coastal Wolf~

  10. #20
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    Not always the case. A falconer may choose to keep their bird, or release it if they wish after the hunting season to migrate. Either way, falconry is not just something you do, it's a lifestyle change. I always recommend starting with bird rehabs and education because experiencing it first hand can change what you think of it.
    Last edited by Coastalbluewolf; September 28th, 2017 at 12:21 AM.
    Your Regards..
    ~The Misanthropic Coastal Wolf~

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