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Use a bird to kill a bird

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Hallo fellow huntsman here asked by william to come on because someone was interested in birds of prey for hunting.  Well seens you asked i have 2x Harris Hawks "Psycho or Clyd" and "Bonnie" which are Hunters and a untrained well unfinished Gos Hawk called Max ( due to illness ) 1x Red Tailed Buzzard "Alfie" my best hunter. The Goshawk is deadly on pigeons, squirells and the Harris could and has but to less game taking Rabbits,Hares and pheasant usually.  


I am a falconer working at a Bird of Prey center in the north east hunt falcons and lamp rabbits

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To start off the first thing you need lots and lots of is time.


Money wise it depends on what you get but for a beginner i would suggest and only suggest a Harris Hawk, Red-Tailed Buzzard or a Common Buzzard


Harris male = £250+ female £350+

Red tailed = same as harris

Common Buzzard £90 +


If you want to hunt then a Common Buzzard is not a good choice they tend to be far too lazy but make great flying birds.  The red tail is the best hunter for a beginner but it will not have such a close relationship and obediance as a Harris would.


Harris is the easiest to train and if left in a tree will fly down  next to you and walk along side you rather than get left alone, mine you dont even need to call them, as soon as they see my left hand go up they come straight over.


They make good hunters and will hunt for Rabbit, Hares, Pheasants, Grouse and even squirells but a word of warning do not let them take on a squirel because the squirel can and will bite straight through the tallon of the bird rendering it useless and damaged for long periods.


If your after squirels then a Goshawk is fast and agile enough but no way should ever be considered for a ameture, years of experiance is needed before you should even consider one, they are not social animals and are sometimes a bit nuts !


Equipment wise :


Aviary, water bath, perches etc the aviary needs to be at least the width of the birds wingspan + 1/2 and 20ft in length unless you want to tether it but i prefer them flying free especially for the moult.


You will need scales as this is critical, a underweight bird can be lost over night. You have to get the weight right from go or bye bye birdie.


Freezer for its food, Day old chick, pigeon, rabbit, quail etc etc


Glove for training £60 Hawking Bag for training / flying £60

Jesses and anklets £10 a set x2

Creance ( long line ) for training £6

Dummy Bunny if hunting bird wanted £20

Swivles for jesses £6 each x3

A good book for reference :

Training Birds Of Prey - Jemima Parry-Jones


And without a doubt go on a weeks worth of falconry course in this week you will soon begin to appreciate just how much commitment is needed, which no one ever seems to understand


Look at it this way :


Your bird will live till about 25 years old your dog doesn`t its a big commitment to take on

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