This summer was a busy one; from Cape Cod to Boston to Vermont, we have been planning events all over New England! Way back in June (seems like ages ago doesn’t it?) we had our first big program of the summer down the Cape. The three-day program was ripe with activities and the chance to learn new skills such as sushi rolling, floral arranging, and even how to set a hawk in flight. Falconry was one of the most unique and exciting events of the program, where guests learned the history of falconry before having the opportunity to handle and free-fly a trained Harris Hawk. Talk about a one-of-a-kind experience!
Victoria even got in on the action!
Here are some interesting tidbits that Chris Davis, a Master Falconer and breeder from New England Falconry, shared with guests during their introductory falconry session:
- Falconry is an ancient activity that dates all the way back to 2000 BC and Mesopotamia! The sport did not reach the height of its popularity until the 17th century in Europe and didn’t travel over to America until the 1930s.
- In medieval Europe, the Middle East, and the Mongolian Empire falconry was a status symbol and a hobby largely restricted to nobles. In order to be successful you needed time, money, and space. This is still very true today; taking care of a bird (or two or 3) is definitely a full time job!
- Becoming a falconer is harder than you might think! All falconers start as apprentices and in North America must trap their first hawk from the wild. After their two year apprenticeship, falconers must maintain a general class license for at least 5 years before they can become a Master Falconer.
- Falconry is legal in all states except one… Hawaii!
Chris brought two hawks to demonstrate hands-on falconry education. The activity was unpredictable and exciting, and definitely gave guests something to talk about later!