Practical Falconry Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 Mar 2010
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This is a basic, no nonsense guide by a figure familiar to anyone who regularly visits game fairs where James gives excellent displays with his hawks. Aimed at novices it is essentially about Harris' Hawks - the ideal beginner's bird - and covers most of the key areas. It is particularly good on welfare and feeding, aspects whcih in other books are all to often neglected... anyone who is thinking of taking up falconry will find this a useful primer;. --BASC Shooting and Conservation
With more than 40 years' experience with birds of prey, James McKay is well placed to give expert advice on the sport of falconry and how best to train your birds. It is comprehensive and informative and will appeal to anyone with an interest in this fascinating hobby;. --NFU Countryside
About the Author
James McKay was given his first hawk when he was eleven and since then he has gained extensive practical experience. He is director of the National Hawking School, where over fifty raptors are maintained, bred and trained. The School gives displays throughout the UK and Europe and runs a wide range of raptor related courses. His previous Quiller titles include Ferret Breeding and Complete Guide to Ferrets.
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Top customer reviews
I think it persuaded him to go handling falcons as well as he appears to have fun every weekend with birds (of the feathered variety, natch)
The various equipment necessary for keeping a hawk is discussed, including instructions for building suitable housing and a run-down of the equipment needed to monitor a hawk on a daily basis, as well as advice on choosing vital items such as hoods, perches and swivels. There is information on selecting a bird, outlining the strengths, weaknesses and capabilities of each species, and a very comprehensive guide to manning and training. On top of all this the author offers guidance on how to maintain a bird's health, including nutrition, weight management and simple first aid, and everything the falconer needs to consider before beginning a breeding program. There is also a section devoted to the care and use of ferrets to aid rabbiting excursions (the author has written several books on ferreting which would make ideal companion volumes for a sporting enthusiast). The glossary proved very useful in clarifying certain terms and concepts, providing a handy reference point, and the bibliography and contacts list provide a valuable source of further information.
This is a book that should be on the shelves of any eager beginner and interested enthusiast, as well as being a source of information and reference to more experienced falconers. My only quibble with the book is that I would have liked more photographs - for example, showing various kinds of equipment alongside each other to show the differences (eg. flight vs. mews jesses, various lures and dummy bunnies), providing greater clarity for a complete novice like me! All in all, though, I learned an awful lot about falconry from this book, both in terms of the enormous commitment and potential pitfalls involved, and in terms of the pleasure and satisfaction a well-trained hawk can bring. Highly recommended.
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