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Hawking and Falconry


compo
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Moving to France in October, in England I fly a Harris Hawk and intend to bring her with me.  Need a source for food, day old chicks from hatchery are staple diet does anyone know where they are available.  Suppliers in England think somewhere near Bordeaux name of Saint Laurent was mentioned.  Grateful anyone out there with any info.  David
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sorry Compo, I know you must have answered that one many times - but WHY do people want to OWN birds of prey? I live in red kite and buzzard country - and I am fascinated by them and could watch them for hours. And I know there is a long tradition- I've never understood the desire to own and control such beautiful birds.

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You don't control them - you co-exist with them. They get what they want from their "owner" - easy, regular food - and you get the chance to interact with a totally alien species. Birds of prey are absolutely fascinating and one shouldn't assume that they resent "losing their liberty" - if most birds of prey had a delivery of the right food straight to their nest or roost, they wouldn't bother flying.

Compo: there was a topic on TotalFrance a few years ago - I've not checked whether the links still work but some of them might. There's a British couple in Brittany who run courses and their link is still active - they may have some useful information for you if you make contact.

http://www.totalfrance.com/france/forum/viewtopic.php?t=25048&highlight=falconry

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I'll co-exist with them by watching them do their own thing. If a bird is chained up, with a hood, and totally dependent on your decision as to when, what and why - I think that's ownership. I don't own my cats - they come and go as they please- I don;t think I will ever understand. I did call the RSPCA the other day as the local hawker had 2 Harris locked up in a van in full sun, but I realise that most hawkers wouldn;t subject their birds to that. Your argument about availability of food could apply to any wildlife, lions, tigers, whatever - I don;t want to own any of them either, however much I admire them and am fascinated by them.

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My hawk originates from the USA specifically the rockies.  I am retired and have had "her" 8 years straight from Natonal Bird of Prey Centre in England as a fledgeling.  She will live some ten to fifteen years longer than she would in the wild, we have hours of fun and exercise through all weathers.  I see no difference between her and dogs cats horses ferrets etc, we are talking about interaction between humans and birds or animals.  The only thing I would point out, I am against breeding these birds as an individual, best left to the experts.  We are best friends and she Zuni is strictly a one person bird.  We all have things we dont comprehend fully, the obsession with wine would be mine!!!
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I,m so gald you and Zuni go out in all weathers and that she does get a lot of exercise. I hate on show for hours in full sun. And I'm glad you agree about breeding left to experts. All our dogs and cats have been rescue mongrels - and we gave them a home after they suffered. I would personally never have an animal bred for ME. Part of me really envies the relationship you have with Zuni - but I just couldn;t do it. Most zoo animals do live much longer than in the wild- but again...

In Arizona, in the mountains near Colorado- we saw a Harris fly one day from a tourist vantage point. I didn;t know about Harris awks then - so I said to husband 'look over there, I think it's a kite'   The american lady next to me touched my shoulder and said 'no dear, this is a real bird!' It was very hard not to burst out laughing.

So respect, and we will agree to disagree. I love 'my' birds of prey born free, fly free feed free and even, die free. Once you breed for your own purpose and feed an animal- the wild is gone, and the freedom too, in MY own personal opinion. Give Zuni a cuddle for me.

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due to other interests, I often meet the guy from my local falconery centre. He brings birds to our Welcome meeting for tourists, and he assures me his birds love to be stroked on the head and he kisses them too- we have had the discussion about ownership many times - I admire his work, and he respects my views.

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Hi, been trying to get back online, password failure has stopped me. Back to topic, I'm sure most people who i have replied to, or have had occasion to converse with me on this forum will not be surprised to know that i too have flown Hawks and Falcons for many years before leaving Scotland. As my avator suggests i am a hunting shooting fishing kind of guy. always have been and always will be. Just to add to the conversation, hawks and falcons are not chained up, they are leashed, subtle difference but to the uninitiated chains sound cruel and a form of imprisonment.

 Also, by the nature of the way they are kept and flown for game, they are free to depart as and when they wish once released by the falconer to hunt. These birds are encouraged by their keepers to return to them for reward after doing well in flight or in the capture of their chosen quarry. There are occasions when these birds do fly off and do not return, this is unfortunate for the keeper but not a disaster for the hawk, because it retains its natural instinct to hunt and kill its own food.

I guess what i'm trying to say is that these birds do not have owners as such, simply because they, the keeper,  release them into the wild every day they cast them off to fly free and hope that with good management and care they will come back through a natural affinity with its trainer/keeper.

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