This was another I seen it on TV and I had to go and do it type situation. I had heard of falconry before but it was not on my bucket list. Of course I went to the internet to see where I could experience this and I found a place in Goshen, New York (https://falconryexcursions.com/).
You may ask yourself, what is falconry? In the most traditional form, this practice (falconry) is the hunting of small animals in the wild with a trained bird of prey. There can also be some confusion with the term falconry; a falcon is what gives the term its name, however, hawks and even eagles can also be used in falconry, as can any type of bird of prey that can be adequately trained.
Upon arrival at Falconry Excursions, I was greeted by Emily. She explained the details of what I would experience during the excursion and she made sure that I was comfortable and answered any questions before we got started. She stated that I would get a chance to meet a few of the owls and other birds that they currently take care of and then we would go for the hawk walk.
Emily left for a brief moment and returned with a Spectacled Owl. To be honest, I’ve never seen an owl up close and they are just amazing to look at. She answered any questions that I had and she was very knowledgeable. I placed the falconry glove or gauntlet on my left hand and I was allowed to hold the owl. It was a little intimidating at first because of the size and the owl decided to flap his wings while I was holding him😳. At that very moment I totally freaked out 🤣.
The next owl was an Eastern Screech Owl. This cute little petite owl was the highlight of my day. Although CoCo was small she was full grown and she was very alert and aware of her surroundings. CoCo decided to bless me 3 times with poop and urine. I guess that was her welcome gift to me.
Emily then brought out an Eurasian Owl. This was the biggest one thus far. Beautiful just like the others and he definitely made his presence known.
The last bird that was brought out before the hawk walk was a falcon. I noticed something different about this bird. He had some type of covering over his head. Emily explained that it was called a hood and it is used to keep the falcon in a calm state, both in the early part of its training and throughout its falconry career.
Now it was time for the hawk walk in the woods. Once we arrived at our location, Boomerang the Harris Hawk was taken out of the cage and he immediately flew to a nearby tree. We started walking and Emily began giving me more history information on falconry. As we were walking, Boomerang was following us by flying from tree to tree. After walking for about 30ft, I would put a treat (meat) in my gloved hand the the hawk would swoop down to retrieve it. I was in total awe at this. After he devoured it he would fly up into a tree and continue to follow us as we walked through the woods. I gave him several more treats throughout our walk and watching him swoop down to snatch up those treats amazed me every time.
I’m all about learning new things and experiencing all that life has to offer. This is one of the adventures that I needed but didn’t know it. I had a great time and I now have a little knowledge that I can take with me as I journey through this thing we call life.
Check out my YouTube for this adventure ~ https://youtu.be/ACfX5rkcD9M