These pages are dedicated to the birds I fly and the friends I make as I go through this adventure. I am grateful to my friends and family who have encouraged and helped me, to the landowners who allow us to hunt on their lands, and the animals who give up their lives for our birds.
I am a general class falconer currently in New Mexico. Falconry is something I looked forward to doing for over 4 years before actually being able to begin. Most people don't look forward to going into slavery, but I basically planned to do just that - become the human slave to an aloof creature who will tolerate my presence in return for food, will probably never view me with any sort of affection and, hopefully, allow me the privilege of assisting it in one of it's most natural acts - hunting of wild prey.
In order to prepare for this, I read as much as I could. In my opinion, it is very important to go into this with open eyes, with the right attitude. A wild raptor, which it will always be no matter how long it remains in captivity, is NOT a pet. If you want a pet, keep a parrot. A wild raptor, regardless whether it's a tiny kestrel or a larger hawk, is a demanding responsibility - you must take excellent care of it, both physically and mentally. You must exercise it regularly - daily as much as possible - and hunt with it. If you don't hunt with it, you shouldn't have it. If it sits in a mews all day every day it is a pet, not a hunting partner.
These are just a few of the books I read to prepare myself (many more were checked out of the library or purchased):
- The Red Tailed Hawk - Liam McGranaghan
- The Falconer's Apprentice - William Oakes
- North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks - Frank Beebe, Harold Webster
- Apprentice Study Guide - California Hawking Club
- A Falconry Manual - Frank Beebe
I also did a lot reading on the web, going through different falconry pages. At the bottom of this page is the logo for the falconry webring, feel free to check out the different pages in the ring.
I have subscribed to American Falconry, and I am a member in the North American Falconers Association. There are many e-mail mailing lists that you can join as well - I am a subscriber/member of several.
Yet another thing I did before I actually began my apprenticeship, is gathered the equipment I needed. Rather than buying everything at once, I gathered pieces slowly so that I don't spend a big chunk of money at once - it is less painful that way. I have learned how to make jesses, anklets and leashes, and have been experimenting with making them different widths, lengths and materials (leather, parachute cord, etc).
A little bit of poetry that I wrote, originally created with refrigerator magnets:
Beautiful dangerous shadow,
Watching, soaring lazily in the sky,
Rabbit hopping frantically through the field
The power of the crushing blow, the scream of death,
Red blood on white snow.
My Falconry Diary - Seasonal Logs:
2006-2007 season (did not fly)
2007-2008 season (NM)
First Season (NM, 2003)
You are visitor number since August 28, 2001
This Falconry site is owned by
Want to join the Falconry Web Ring?
[Skip Prev] [Prev] [Next] [Skip Next] [Random] [Next 5] [List Sites]