This is what being a falcon is all about. Being a Peregrine Falcon, as flown by monarchs. More of her further down. First a cute Barn Owl. Click on an image twice for a closer view.
“I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright! And I pity, any girl who isn’t me tonight” .
“Alright, who said Kentucky Fried Owl”.
“Really, do I look pretty”. “I do like a little owl though”.
“But not dogs. We screech at dogs”.
“Except really little ones, yum“.
Harris Hawks (really buzzards) hunt in groups and share their food. As a result they work well with falconers, who they regard as part of their hunting group.
“To be a good falcon, one has to be determined”.
“Fearlessly overtake vehicles”.
“Look like one means business”.
“And strut about as if one owns the place”.
These are beautiful and very impressive birds, but I don’t think I’d like one in my kitchen. 🙂
“Lets get to the main event, and take a gander at those legs”.
“Anybody who thinks that I look like Gonzo the Great, does so at their own risk. Especially that dozy looking photographer over there”.
Peregrine Falcons fly on the level at up to 60 mph and dive at more than 200 mph. These are the jet fighters of the falconry world and come with a regal attitude. Too fast to land safely on a gloved hand, so they chase a lure swung at the end of a long tether. Too fast for me to get a good photograph, but I did at least get her in the frame a couple of times.
“I got it and its mine see”.
Once a Peregrine has caught the lure they are allowed to finish the morsel. Otherwise they feel cheated and will not chase the lure again.
“Toodle pip. Do come again, we’ll have some tea”.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing these amazing birds. The pictures were taken during King Harold’s Day at Waltham Abbey. The display was provided by Coda Falconry where you can spend more time with the birds for a fee. There is another Harris Hawk in flight and diving at Leeds Castle.
There was also Loki the cheeky rescued raven, He gets a post of his own here.
Falconry at Leeds Castle
17 pics. A Harris Hawk waits pensively for the launch signal. That beak means business. You can click twice for a better view.
The trainer sends a morsel into the air using an elastic catapult. A little to the right of the hawk is a distant seagull and just below is the morsel. The hawk now has folded wings for the dive.
“Nothing to see here, move along now. Ahh, with fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti”.
“I’m firm but fair and you will applaud”. And they did.
The owl, the trainer said, had a short attention span and was easily distracted. He also said they were “thick”.
“Right, I’ll have your scraggles off”.
“I am, in fact, wise and dignified and I’ll murgle anyone who says otherwise”.
Meanwhile, several gulls were scriking and showing off by making feint dives at the hawks. But, they carefully kept their distance. The hawks disdained any interest. After all, one does not converse with one’s food.
This little miss is a North American Kestrel weighing in at a mere 4 ounces. She was so fast on the wing, that the only photographs I have, are where she used to be. Even the gulls were bemused and kept their distance.
Falcons, we are informed, will only fly free and return if they are happy with their conditions. They also live twice as long as in the wild. So, everybody’s happy. Yay . 🙂
There are more falcons including an amazing peregrine here.
Tweet and thanks for the visit.