Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Learning About Hawks

I recently read H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald. It is the story by the author about the year she spent training a goshawk after dealing with her father’s death. This year of training helped her deal with the death of her father.

I enjoyed this book because I learned a lot about goshawks. As I’ve said before, I enjoy learning new things. I didn’t realize what was entailed with training this hawk. Hearing about the different techniques and the process from start to end was totally fascinating.

I also learned new falconry terminology that I thought I would share with you.
  • Bate – beating wings impatiently
  • Braces – leather straps on the hood
  • Hood – a leather cap that goes over the hawk’s head to help keep it calm and quiet.
  • Jesses – short leather straps attached to the hawk’s legs
  • Mews – place where the hawk lives whle molting
  • Mutes – hawk poop
  • Pelt – dead bird caught by a hawk
  • Sails – wings of a hawk
  • Swivel – metal device on the leash of the jesses which prevents twisting
  • After reading this book, I couldn’t wait to look for some videos on goshawks.
Falconry: Introduction to Goshawks – “This video introduces the Northern Goshawk and explains basic biology, hunting abilities, and pros and cons of training a goshawk in the sport of falconry.”

Falconry Diaries | Cloud the Goshawk | Part 1

“Welcome to the first part of a series of training diaries documenting the process of training a falconry hawk. I hope to give you an insight into the work involved and the way the hawk develops as training progresses. There are lots of ways to approach falconry and training raptors. This is a way that works for me. Often I will tweak what I do depending on the bird as each are individuals. That's, after all, what makes falconry so challenging and interesting.”

If you get a chance, check out the book or the videos.

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