Falconry? Thoughts on it?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by matthewschickens, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. I was looking into Falconry and thought I would ask my BYC friends!
    So, what are your thoughts on this?


  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Crossing the Road

    Jan 18, 2008
    I've always wanted to try that, I think it sounds pretty cool but I think its a lot of work and you really have to know what you are doing but it sounds pretty cool. I think there may have been another post on this or something similar a few months ago, Ill have to see if I can find it for you. good luck with whatever you decide! [​IMG]
  3. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Look into the SCA--Society of Creative Anachronism. They do a lot of medieval reenactment stuff and can probably get you started. I do believe you need a special permit to keep hawks and falcons. In Kazakhstan, they use golden eagles to hunt with. In fact, Kazakhstan's flag is a blue field with a gold outline of an eagle with the sun in its wings.
  4. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    I wouldn't go with the SCA, I would start with your local falconry club. There are some fairly stringent rules, that vary from state to state. I have looked into it. You need to be apprenticed to a master falconer, and as an apprentice your choice of birds is generally limited to a kestrel (the smallest American falcon) or a red-tailed hawk. Generally these are caught as first year birds (passager). You need to have all the equipment and housing before getting your bird, and the apprenticeship lasts two years. As a general or master falconer you are allowed a wider variety of birds, and are even allowed to capture nestlings in certain situations. Master falconers are also allowed to buy captive bred birds.

    I was interested enough to talk to falconers, and to review regulations. I have even volunteered at a raptor rehab facility. Kestrels are small, easily handled birds that often imprint. The are capable of taking only very small prey. Red-tailed hawks are big birds, especially the females. The "nicest" falconer's bird I've seen is a Harris Hawk. This is one of the few raptors that group hunts, and is far more social than the average hawk. But only a master falconer can have one.

    This is highly regulated, and getting a bird without the proper training or permits can result in jail time, but more commonly in huge fines.

    You might want to start here:




    I'm not at all sure how compatible this would be with keeping chickens, but you would be able to supply your own feed. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Sorry, but while I respect the right of people 500-1000 yrs ago to do whatever they wanted according to the mores of the time, I think that to do it TODAY is just needlessly subjecting beautiful wild birds to really really crappy living conditions (captive, no freedom of movement that is at all comparable to what they're "designed for") for no reason other than a hobby-whim.

    If you just have a large load o' money you are in a hurry to get rid of (for which falconry IS useful) there are a lot of other ways of disposing of it that do not infringe so badly on the life of a bird that is almost the *exemplar* of the concept of freedom.


  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    You have one move in to your neighbors tree. Well, that is as close as I am getting. The little devils have been eating my pond fish! LOL At least they can't get to my ducks.
  7. lilwhispers

    lilwhispers Songster

    Feb 13, 2008
    I have also Thought of doing falconry, a fish and game officer got me interested on time when I found an injured hawk and turned it over to him to rehab. It is correct that falconry is expensive that being the reason I have yet to get going on this path. There a lot of books you should read first if you like I can recommend quite a few. I have read many. Our library does not have any so I would have them order them in via the Inter Library Loan program costs me nothing to do it this way and I can read them before I decide to buy. My goal when I do get going is to eventually have a golden eagle. I have videos of them taking deer, and have seen pics of them taking foxes and wolves. Birds of prey used in falconry have a better life then those in the wild. They get fed every day even if they don't catch any prey while hunting.They are protected from predators and some are feircley protective of their human PARTNERS. You should contact your state fish and game office and request any and all info they have on the subject. Fall is coming up and most state clubs will have a meet where anyone can come and watch the falconers fly their birds. Some will be hybrids that are bred for falconry and would not happen in nature they can be very pretty. If you have any other questions let me know I will try to point you in the right direction.

  8. Quote:Thank y'all for the answers!!


    Would you mind posting or PMing me some of the names of the books and/or links to movies? I am interested in them [​IMG]

  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    It is expensive but boy is it fun. The best thing is to contact clubs as it can be very hard to find a vet that knows these birds.

    I would forget about Society for Creative Anachronism and other such groups and stick to people who devote their lives to this work and are experts. Many people in the medieval clubs have sort of unrealistic ideas of 'taking up' something like this.

    We went to a couple falconry and big game bird demonstrations, and what they did was incredible. Many zoos now train these birds for demonstrations as the exercise keeps them healthy physically and mentally. They can be a source of information. Your zoo big game bird curator will probably talk your ear off if there is no club near you. I would not suggest doing it without a mentor around that is available to provide LOTS of guidance pretty constantly for a good long time.

    Respectfully, I don't agree with Pat who said it is a bad life for these birds. While I'm sure there are 'bad falconers', the birds used are domesticated breeds that were developed for this use. Beginners are advised to work with smaller, easier birds. Golden eagle shouldn't be someone's first bird, and might never turn out to be practical.
  10. synoviaus

    synoviaus Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    Blountsville, ALabama
    I've always wanted to try it, but as already mentioned it's really expensive. There are also lots of state and other restrictions to get involved. You usually have to get with a mentor as an apprentice and work with his birds for a period before you can hope to own one. As for them being unhappy, raptors are intelligent birds. They are know to become affectionate to their handlers. Many raptor breeds would be extinct now if not for the efforts of folks like these who care for injured birds, rehabilitate them, and release them. Many birds used by falconers have been injured in such a way that they cannot successfully be released, or in many instances were bred in captivity. As with any thing, there are good and bad. If you are interested I would get to my local library and see what they can locate for you. Contact your local game management officials and also local vets. They will usually know people who share this interest. Amy

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