Established in 2006, the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary in South Africa cares for more than 180 birds representing 50 different raptor species. The sanctuary’s permanent residents have either been bred in captivity, or have sustained injuries which significantly limit their chances of survival in the wild.
Birds of prey, or raptors, are birds which hunt other animals for food and are specially adapted to do so. Birds of prey include eagles, condors, kites, falcons, hawks, osprey, owls, vultures, buzzards and secretary birds. When hunting, birds of prey use their highly adapted feet and talons to capture and kill prey. Hawks and [...]
The impressive Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is the largest of all falcons. Its body measures roughly 60 cm in length and its wingspan may be as wide as 130 cm. The male is usually about one third smaller than the female and the bird may weigh between 2 to 4.5 pounds. The plumage of the Gyrfalcon [...]
In Cambridgeshire, near St. Ives, is a safe haven for birds of prey. The Raptor Foundation welcomes any bird that has been injured or has been placed in circumstances that requires rehabilitation. Birds that are not able to be released back into the wild are also kept at the foundation, as well as endangered species. Through dedication and commitment, the staff at The Raptor Foundation have created a permanent home for these birds, and strive to educate the public on the importance of protecting raptors by inviting them to spend a day, or two, with them and their wonderful birds.
Birds of prey have long captivated the imagination of mankind. These striking yet graceful hunters of the air display some of the most impressive acrobatics and strategies in the animal kingdom. Swooping down on their prey from dizzying heights at incredible speeds with amazing accuracy, raptors continue to awe, thrill and inspire us even after centuries of admiration.
Most falconers would agree that the ancient art of falconry requires plenty of patience, perseverance and time. Training birds of prey (raptors) is a lengthy and complex process, but can be extremely rewarding. With the goal of protecting the birds, most countries have strict laws with regard to the capturing and keeping of raptors, requiring that training be done under the supervision of a licensed falconer. When one considers that many important training details vary between species of raptors, individual raptors, as well as to where and when it is best to undertake training, it is clear that consulting a professional falconer is essential for the raptor as well as the would-be falconer.
Falconry is a sport that involves the training of birds of prey to hunt game for their trainers. Although not all birds of prey are falcons, the previous use of the term â€œhawkerâ€ when hawks were used for hunting has come to commonly be used as a term describing traveling traders. For this reason the term â€œhawkerâ€ has fallen into disuse, with â€œfalconerâ€ and â€œfalconryâ€ applying to the sport irrespective of the species of bird used.