Photo album, page 2
Click image for close-up
Periodical visits from the natural resources department are done here at the Centre. The keeping of falconry birds and other raptors is over-managed by laws, bylaws and politics. Considered as varmint, raptors were persecuted and killed in the 70’s which was an extreme view. Today the laws regarding them are rather repressive and overwhelming which is also rather extreme.
The most noble-minded reason to keep a raptor in captivity is to practice falconry. Hunting is what a bird of prey is “skilled and equipped” to do in the wild; it is born for that. Another good reason is to breed them for conservation purposes. Ironically, none of the eagles kept in captivity in the province of Quebec are flown for hunting nor are being bred… rather they are used as “circus animals” or merely to ornament cages in zoos.
The Harris Hawk is probably one of the most popular bird of prey used in modern falconry throughout the world. Its natural cooperative behaviour makes it easy to hunt with humans. Very social, the Harris Hawk is rather easy to train.
Dan Paradis at age 15 with one of his first falconry birds. A Kestrel.
Casting a bird of prey on the pillow requires techniques and dexterity transmitted by the falconer to the apprentice. The "coping" of the beak is part of the basic health care provided to captive raptors during casting. A general health check can also be performed by the falconer while a bird is cast.
Mrs Rooney from Manhattan N.Y. on an advance course at our facility. To master the falconer’s knot and hooding practice are basics to handle hunting hawks.