Friday, April 11, 2014

A Falconing We Shall Go

In December last,  I was thinking about gift giving.   You know how much fun it is to find and purchase or make something for your family and friends.  While reading through my emails one day, I had one from Travelzoo.  I have been subscribing to their top twenty weekly travel deals for several years.  In between those, they send short, local deals for my perusal.  There it was a voucher offer for a falcon experience!  It was half price so I bought two so my daughter, Elizabeth and I could go.  I was sure she would find it fun and different.

History lesson:  People first started hunting with falcons and other birds of prey more than 7000 years ago. Maybe you thought it was a medieval or renaissance thing. No indeed.   It started, we think, in Asia.

These fellows are in India, but not
7000 years ago.

I'm not sure where this is, but isn't that a beautiful bird?

There were surely medieval falconers.

And many times they went on horseback.

This sport seems to be more popular in Europe and Asia and on the East Coast than here in California.  See this famous Brit.

I'm sure Prince William knows what he's doing, but we were told to hold our arm high for the bird to land on and then draw our arm close to rest before releasing.

West Coast Falconry is where my daughter and I went for our experience and it was wonderful.  We learned so much and worked with nice people and a lovely Harris Hawk named Tikka.

We stood near and the speakers asked questions and told us the history of falconry.  Tikka was there as well.

This Tikka up close.

We were too busy having our falcon experience so we didn't get any photos of the birds landing on our glove or taking off.  But after we got to do that, Elizabeth got to toss a bit of meat up in the air for Tikka to catch.

It's only 17 seconds, but it's cool.  We had a very good time.  See below.

A portrait with Tikka

What a smile!

Come back another day.

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