Feb. 15th, 2010

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I went Hawking.

For those of you who don't know what that is, Falconry or Hawking is taking a bird of prey (or several, in my case) and training them to hunt, kill, fly in formation and return to you on command.

It's amazing.

Also I've learned the greatest hobby in the world: Walking around downtown in a big city during rush hour with a gigantic falcon on your arm and a totally nonchalant expression.

The people who notice it and freak are always funny, but the people who don't react at all are even better. Like, it's totally normal that I'm on a croweded city block with a huge Gyr falcon.

 Meet Cabal. I think he was my favourite. Cabal is a Harris Hawk. He was very obediant, and always flew his best. Plus he's just so expressive. It was adorable. His feathers were an amazing pattern of black and a rusty red.

(Let's ignore the fact that I am mid-blink in this one)
This is Mishral (Mis-rail). She's a Peregrine Falcon, and man was she fast! I mean, you hear lots about Peregrines being the fastest beings on the planet, but that's nothing until you see them in flight. I was really iffy about taking her out. I'd heard that Mishral hates women and won't work with them. She was a rescue bird, her previous trainers had been very abusive (both were female) and now really the only woman she'll be okay with is her personal trainer Joanne, but Jo remarked that Mishral has never taken to a woman as fast as she took to me. It was great. She's so pretty. And totally possessive of her targets, which is fun to watch. This girl needed no persuasion to fly off my arm, the second I said she was allowed to go after it she was gone.

This is me and Sabre on the streets of Downtown Vancouver. He's technically 3/4 Gyrfalcon and 1/4 Saker Hawk, but it's like he doesn't have any Saker in him at all. He was a great flyer but god damn was he whiney. He sounded like my little sister's kitten. It was cute, but annoying. I'd mew right back at him. We'd have little birdy conversations.


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