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In dedication to my uncle "Falconry63"
My uncle is a Felconer. He has a 1 1/2 year old red tail hawk. Here is alittle about falconry's history.
"Falconry is the art of hunting wild prey with trained hawks. Its origin is uncertain. A Japanese writer, Ahizato Pito (1808), reported that falcons were given as presents to Chinese princes of the Hiu dynasty around 2200 BC. The British bibliographer Harting reported a bas-relief possibly depicting a falconer in the ruins of Khosabad, dated to around 1700 BC. However, these early records might represent the keeping of companion animals rather than true falconry. Nonetheless, the earliest indisputable evidence of falconry comes from the Far East.
There are Japanese records of trained goshawks introduced from China in 244 AD. It is also certain that falconry came to Europe with the Germanic tribes. It first appeared in Roman culture shortly after the Vandal immigrations, although Romans and Greeks had used trained raptors to help net birds earlier. It was popular in Saxon times: the Bayeux tapestry shows King Harold taking a trained raptor and hounds on his visit to William of Normandy in 1064.
Many falconry terms come from French, including bowsing for drinking, from the French "boire", and austringer for a trainer of accipiters, from the French "autour" for goshawk. Falconry also thrived during the first millenium in the Middle East, with a first treatise in Arabic in the 8th or 9th century. The Arabs gave many tips to the crusaders, probably including the use of the hood. Hooded raptors are protected from alarming sights during training, and from seeing other hawks or prey at inopportune moments during hunting excursions. Falconry flourished in Europe during the subsequent half-millenium.
The first surviving "western" falconery treatise was written around 1247 by another crusader, Emperor Frederich II of Hohenstaufen. As a result of his book, De Arte Venandi cum Avibus, Frederich II has been called the father of ornithology. His principle of testing hypotheses, for instance by sending a trusted servant to the north to see whether barnacles really turned into geese, was an important step in the development of modern science.
Falconry was responsible for the earliest legislation protecting raptors: Henry VII of England protected goshawk nests "in pain of a year and a day's imprisonment." The English Boke of St Albans indicated that falcons were flown mainly to provide spectacular flights for the aristocracy, whereas a goshawk "for a yeoman" could be expected to keep the larder stocked with common small-game. Thus the doings of common austringers went largely unrecorded, compared with the falcons in the paintings and writings of the ruling classes. However, Shakespeare's use of falconry metaphors in many plays indicates that falconry was as well understood in Tudor Britain as is football today.
Falconry has continued to flourish in Asia and the Middle East to the present day, following for the most part the ancient tradition of trapping young hawks or falcons in the autumn, hunting with them in winter and releasing then back to the wild in the spring. However, falconry lost popularity in Europe with the development of effective sporting guns, and by the late 18th century was restricted to a few landowners, mainly in Britain. They formed a series of clubs that kept the art alive, leading eventually to a renaissance and modern development of falconry in Europe, North America and Africa."
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