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About Falconry

Falconry is an AWESOME sport! It is hard to describe the different experiences and rewards you get from Falconry. Like the feeling you get when you free fly your first bird and call it back to you and it actually comes to you. Or the first catch you get with any new bird. Intense experiences that can't be defined or seen in a video they have to be witnessed and felt first hand.

Falconry is a form of Hunting

Falconry is not pet keeping. A falcon is not a pet. How else should I say this so everyone understands that Falconry is a type of hunting. If you don't have time to fly and actually HUNT with your falconry bird everyday then Falconry probably isn't for you. Raptors need regular exercise to stay healthy. Falconry is a time consuming sport that requires 1+ hour a day on average and usually 2+ hours a day for the first month of getting a bird. Choosing a falconry bird is determined by what prey you have in the area. If you have lots of rabbits and squirrels in your area then a Red-Tail Hawk might be the perfect bird for you. What you want to hunt will determine what kind of Falcon or Hawk you get. For information on Kestrels in Falconry you can check our our page About Kestrels.

About Becoming a Falconer

Falconry is a highly regulated sport. Find the Falconry Club in your state for more information on becoming a falconer. Meeting other falconers who live in your state is another great way to start on the path to becoming a falconer. This website is about kestrels in falconry more than just the basics on becoming a falconer. There are many links to good falconry websites on our links page that will have lots of information about becoming a falconer.

More about Falconry

 

Video coming soon!

 

Classic falconry traditionally uses large falcons for hunting water fowl and usually the falconer has hunting dogs to flush up the birds off the water or out of the scrub brush. Also, depending on the terrain that you are hunting, the falconer might be on a horse also. The relationship and communication between the Falconer/Falcon/Dog/Horse is an amazing thing to even just witness and is undescribable to actually be a participant. Even though this is considered "true" falconry, there are many other variations on falconry depending on the prey you are hunting and the terrain where you are hunting.


 

It is important to remember that even though a falcon dive can reach incredible speeds, in a level tail chase the prey will outrun the falcon 90% of the time. Some Water Fowl like certain ducks can reach a relativly high speed for a long period of time and outrun a falcon. Most fowl migrate hundreds of miles every season and unless the prey is already injured the falcon needs a little edge in order to make the kill.

Another awesome video coming soon!

The falcon usually needs some sort of advantage. Usually the determining factor is altitude but falcons are masters of the surprise attacks also. I can remember one amazing day that I went out with a Falconer in California who released his Peregrine about a mile away from a pond on the side of a farm. The falcon climbed so high it was hard to see it and if you looked away you would lose site of it until you found that speck in the sky. When the falcon hit a certain altitude and started making big ringing circles high above the pond, we started walking to the pond. He told us to "keep quiet until I give the signal." We approached the pond from one side that had a large knoll and blocked our view of the pond until we were really close. He held his dogs by the collars so they wouldn't run down to the pond yet but you can tell they knew what was about to happen. After the Falcon did one more turn-around and was flying the right direction, the falconer yelled "NOW!" and he let the dogs go and we all ran down to the water's edge yelling. The ducks on the pond all flushed as soon as the dogs hit the water. The falcon started a dive so amazing that I think I lost my breath. And when the Peregrine made contact with one of the fleeing Mallards I was a witness to a true part of nature that you can only experience in person. The dogs are optional but they do help flush game from hard to reach places. The duck that was caught was a Mallard and it was in duck hunting season and the Falconer had the appropriate license and permission to be on the land. The Mallard was cut up and shared between the Falcon and the Dogs. This hunting story describes what is pretty much "Modern Day True Falconry" but there are many variations with different types of Falcons, Hawks and Accipiters. Falconry with American Kestrels is much different because of the size and the prey that they hunt. For more information on Kestrels in Falconry checkout our Kestrels in Falconry page.

 

 

 

Submit your Falconry Content!

If you would like to submit your Falconry Video or have us link to your Falconry Blog or anything Kestrel Related then please email us KestrelFalconry@KestrelFalconry.com We are primarily interested in American Kestrels in action although we would love to see all kinds of Falconry Birds Hunting.