Falconry or hawking is a sport which involves the use of trained raptors (birds of prey) to hunt or pursue game for humans. There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry. A Falconer, who flies a falcon, and an Austringer, who flies a hawk (Accipiter and some buteonines and similar) or an eagle (
In modern falconry the Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and the Harris hawk are often used. The words “hawking” and “hawker” have become used so much to mean petty travelling traders, that the terms “falconer” and “falconry” now apply to all use of trained birds of prey to catch game.
Some view of falconry state that the art started in Mesopotamia, but some say that it started in the
Eggs and chicks of birds of prey were quite rare and expensive, and because the process of raising and training a hawk or falcon requires a great deal of time, money and space, it was largely restricted to the noble classes.