When I planned the trip, I looked for things that we couldn’t do in the US… or at least couldn’t do easily. I found one that was both… We took a falconry lesson at Phoenix Falconry!! (http://www.falconry-in-scotland.co.uk/Default.htm)
We started the morning learning to handle a Harris hawk.
It was pretty amazing to have this beautiful bird coming flying to your hand. It’s not something I ever thought I would be able to do.
Once he was there on your hand, you’d wrap the leather jess (strap) around your fingers to keep him there. When you were ready for him to fly, let go of the straps and he would take off when he felt like it.
After that lesson, we went back to the mews (where hawks, falcons, etc are kept) and handled some other birds of prey.
This is our instructor with Measles, the African Spotted Eagle Owl.
He has an issue with defiance! LOL
I don’t remember what sort of hawk this is… but his name is Reg.
A Hooded Eagle. Doesn't he have a great face?
One of the falcons. I think it is a crossbred Gyr. The guy handling her is the owner. He's kind of full of himself... but I guess it's well deserved. The guy is GOOD! He give a great presentation.
Up close view of a hood. He makes these by hand.
Isn’t she pretty? But oh, what a personality! Talk about a drama queen. There are a couple videos below of her.
And here is the reason I choose Phoenix Falconry to take our lesson at. Pilgrim the Bald Eagle. Talk about an amazing feeling! As this huge bird is flying towards you… part of you is saying “Well cool!” and another part of your brain is saying “Run fool!!!”
Here’s Himself with Pilgrim flying to him.
I love the way the buzzard swoops in low, then flares up to your hand.
The falcon chasing the lure. Incredible how fast she goes past!
And here is the falcon being handled, including having her hood put back on.
And finally, here is Edna the eagle. She is a smart little cookie. Listen to the lady explain just why it is that Edna is always running between her legs…