Monday, January 28, 2013

Geeking Out About Falcons

A few months ago, a friend of mine suggested that we take a falconry class.  You may be thinking, "Falconry isn't something normal people do."  If that was your thought, congratulations, you're correct.

Since I'm not normal, I took the class.  It was super cool.  I even got to hold a falcon.

He is wearing a hood so he's not tempted to eat my face.
I learned a lot of things in my falconry class.  We talked about different species of falcons, what they eat, how they hunt, how to trap them and other fun facts.  But there is one lesson I learned which is probably the most important.

Falconry is hard.

Ya, it turns out that raising, feeding, and training falcons is a lot of work.  You have to monitor their weight.  They need to go out and hunt almost every day.  You have to build a place for them to stay.  And most importantly, you have to deal with a ridiculous government that heavily regulates falconry.

So, unfortunately, I'm not hardcore enough to own a falcon.

But I am hardcore enough to hang out with people who own falcons.  And that's where the falconry winterfest comes in.

For winterfest they all get together and do speed trials to see which ones can fly from one point to the other the fastest.  Sometimes they forget where they're supposed to go and fly into a tree instead.

video
But they're still awesome, even when they mess up.

After watching them fly, they all gathered together and put them on perches in a yard.  This allowed me to geek out to my heart's content.  I mean these are the descendants of dinosaurs.  How could I not hang out with them?

Here are some of the friends I made.
Great Horned Owl

Golden Eagle

The bird yard

Harris Hawk 

Gyr Falcon

Juvenile Red Tailed Hawk

Kestrel

Adult red tailed hawk
Screech owl
The best part of the whole thing?  The people who own these birds geek out about them even more than me.  I'm less geeky than them.  How great is that?

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations on finding a people more geeky than you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. They were hard to find, but I've always known they existed.

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  2. I'm not so sure you don't geek out just as much as they do, you just don't want the responsibility of the birds.

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  3. I'm a huge raptor fan. I'm glad that you got to go, but I really need to make it to the next one.

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    Replies
    1. The Sky Trials are Febrary 16th. It's gonna be awesome!

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