Sarah - It's funny that I actually got into falconry, nobody in my family background or anything has ever kept birds of prey, but seeing them on tv and things inspired me to want to learn more about them and as a very young child I went to country shows and things and they'd always bring a falconer who would do a little display etc. Then I found out about Jemima Parry-Jones who runs the International Centre for Birds of Prey who had written a few books and made some videos etc on keeping, training and breeding birds of prey and owls. So I bought everything I could, I read all kinds of books etc but none compared to hers, hers had tutorials with pictures on how to do everything. I even bought a leash just so I could practice the falconers knot
When I moved out from my mom's house and moved in with my gran and my granddad I was really down a lot due to personal circumstances at home (which is why I left). The thing that bought me out of the dark was my Chalkie. I'd been getting cage and aviary birds magazine for quite a long time as I'd been keeping many kinds of birds before I got my first bird of prey. There's quite a large 'for sale' section and I always enjoyed browsing through it. I was looking for a Harris' hawk for some time, but I couldn't find one close enough for my granddad to drive. One day he picked me up from school and I just about to but my headphones in and he just goes "we're picking up your hawk this weekend"... I nearly cried I was so happy! Haha! I went to the place in order to pick up a very large, very beautiful mature female Harris' hawk who had already been trained. I got to the place and saw a small, very young, not worked with male, and I had to have him. He was fairly scruffy and miserable looking, but I didn't care how gorgeous the female was, I was taking him. I found out he'd been named Chalkie, after Jemima's African tawny eagle Chalkie. So yay! Happy ending, I got him home and had him flying free within a week
I got Axel my Indian eagle owl as a Christmas present, a man just came to the door (my grandparents had already sent the money to him) with a little bag with the funniest bit of fluff in it. She was so gorgeous but ugly
it was quite a random present but I'm very happy with her. Then at my uncles we have Juggernaut, a Eurasian eagle owl. Her owner didn't want her so we gave them £30 just for letting us have her rather than having her for free and she is pretty cool, we don't handle her mainly because her feet are ENORMOUS and she is huge anyways, and I'm only tiny... she was taken off a display team because she was so big it used to scare children
we also have a barn owl with no name who was given to my uncle as a birthday present, she's pretty sweet, but she isn't fond of humans like Juggernaut so we just leave her to it, I have no pictures of her though, she got soooo mad when I got a camera out and I didn't wanna upset her, I shall get a quick one of her soon though
Kristen - falconry, wow, how do I sum it up? It is the ancient art of training a bird of prey to hunt for man. However in modern life many people choose not to hunt but use 'falconry techniques' to train a bird of prey to fly free for you. http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=fal...d411c92de95397
there's some definitions, I really can't explain what it is other than that really, but I do know it is by far one of the most wonderful things in my life
the falconry fair happens once a year in the UK, on every May bank holiday weekend, the new venue is at Ragley Hall, Warick (so any of you UK folk should come on down next year!). Falconers from all over the world (and those who don't even do falconry) come over and there are various displays on from the most famous and there are loads of things to buy and do.
Marcell - I would love there to be a competition of some sort where I could use the pictures, as I said, I had 65 up and then the thread said I had to delete 40 so I'm very angry, I had tons of great ones
but yeah I have to admit, it is a privilege to be able to work with these guys!