Birds of the Wild
My first taste of falconry was at Ashford Castle in Ireland in November 2016 with a hawk called Inca. What a memory!
Just a few weeks ago I went to Forest Falconry in the New Forest. They have over fifty species of birds of prey including eagles, owls, hawks and falcons. From the moment I arrived there was so much to take in and learn about birds of prey and their training.
You start with small birds and work up to the large birds. The Harris hawk has a fierce expression, its broad wings enable it to hunt at high speed, weaving in and out of trees. It has long legs and talons that can catch its prey in flight.
Then I worked with the jet fighters of the bird world, the falcons, which have exceptional vision and have been recorded diving at speeds between 150 – 200 miles an hour. Then I flew one of the largest British birds, the Golden Eagle. It has a wing span of 1.5 to 2.5 metres. They are truly the ultimate predators combining power and strength with speed.
But the bird I enjoyed most is the Siberian Eagle Owl, one of the largest species of owl with a wing span of 1.8 metres.
As with all falconry birds the male is the smallest. So respect the female!
It is pure magic being up close to these birds.
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