Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Art of Falconry

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 (Aquila or similar).

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 Far East. The earliest evidence comes from around the reign of Sargon II (722-705 BC). Falconry was probably introduced to Europe around AD 400, when the Huns and Alans invaded from the East. Historically, falconry was a popular sport and status symbol among the nobles of medieval Europe and feudal Japan. In Japan the sport is called takagari.

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.

Source: Wikipedia

1 comment:

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