While in Manchester, Vermont the past three days, I decided to take a class in Falconry...odd maybe, but I am totally ready for some adventure in my life while I still have the energy for new experiences. I sometimes feel the clock ticking and wonder if I have used my time well.
Anyway, off I went to the British School of Falconry. Terr went with me so I could have some pictures of the event. He stood back and was very quiet doing all he could to capture the moment. (I would have looked a little better, had the weather been cooler, so I could have worn the traditional Barbour jacket and boots along with the leather falconry glove that is fitted and issued to students.)
I was totally absorbed in my Scottish instructor's lecture and the hour flew by. Had I had enough time, I would have gone on a hunt with Mycroft (the bird I was issued, for obvious reasons) the following day. I got a sample of this when we walked the edge of the forest and Mycroft followed from tree to tree. We lured him in with a snare and he attacked it with more power than I realized he had. It was amazing!
One of the things I was told not to be frightened of was if my bird (a Harris Hawk) tried to fly then hanging upside down while I was holding him with my gloved hand. Well he did, I stayed calm and he immediately righted himself.
Well, although this single course does not qualify me as a falconer, it did provide me some insight and gave me a chance to learn, firsthand, how to handle and fly a hawk. I was just thrilled!