Source: D4K: “Birds of Prey"
Visit the D4K companion Web site to learn more about Falconry: D4K: “Birds of Prey"
In this video segment from IdahoPTV's D4K you will meet a falconer, one who trains falcons to hunt. Learn about the equipment used and discover that this is a 4,000 year old method of hunting.
JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN – Jim Wilmark is a licensed falconer at the World Center for Birds of Prey.
JIM WILMARK: Falconry is the hunting of wild quarry with trained raptors.
This is a kestrel and he is the smallest falcon in North America. Not in himself but the species. This equipment on him – these anklets and these are jesses, one on each leg and these come down and they’re attached to a swivel and that goes on a leash. And this is over thousands of years, people have found this is the best way to keep falcons unless they are free-lofted.
So this that I’m going to swing is a lure and this one looks a little like a blackbird but it could look like anything and falcons are trained to a lure because often they’re so far away from you that they can’t hear you but they can always see you swinging a lure.
So if I swing this and drop it on the ground he should come over and get it. There he goes.
If you really want to be a falconer and fly a bird you better plan on spending a large part of your life doing it. Most of the people that I know that are falconers end up being biologists or working with birds.
The appeal of it is just watching the birds fly.
JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN: Humans have been hunting with falcons for more than 4,000 years. We’ve long been fascinated by these masters of the sky.
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