Saturday, March 3, 2018

Harris Hawk - Sky Falconry

As a gift for our anniversary, Judy got us signed up for a basic falonry class at Sky Falconry in Alpine, California, northeast of San Diego. After driving to Alpine we drove to the outskirts and then a number of miles down a dirt road and through a locked gate to a beautiful mountainside with very little nearby habitation.
There we were introduced to a Harris hawk, learned about falconry, why Harris hawks are good birds for falconry and then had multiple opportunities to hold the hawk on our gloved hand and have it land on our hand from a flight, then send the hawk on to someone else. 
Judy has her hand out for the Harris hawk to land on. 
The hawk comes in for a landing on Judy's hand. 
The hawk on Judy's hand. 
At the end we were able to each throw some quail pieces in the air and watch the hawk grab it with its claws out of the air. 

I've seen one wild Harris hawk last year, in Cabeza Prieta NWR outside Ajo, Arizona. However, it was difficult to get very close to it. With this captive hawk, we got the thrill of close-up views, different angles of it in flight, and fantastic photo opportunities. 

1 comment:

  1. It was such a thrill to be so close to this majestic bird. I was struck by the complexity of its plumage, its ability to soar on air currents, and its keen senses, among other things. What a blast!