Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday

Wild Bird Wednesday #68

I had the privilege of attending, through the Northern Illinois Raptor Center, a Falconry Demonstration by the Falconer who flies his birds for  Medieval Times in the Chicago area.  Though this wonderful falcon is not in the wild, his hunting technique is  the same as a wild falcon  so we will be seeing something that people rarely see ... some close up reality. 

The falcon I am showing in these pictures is in training so he is being flown on a creance line ( a strong line that is very light weight) to make sure that he doesn't just fly away and to get him used to the routine of returning to the glove for his reward. (click on the pictures for the full effect). 
We start with a kite, flying high in the sky ...

Hanging from the kite string is a lure with meat attached to it ...

This young falcon is a hybrid ... a Peregrine falcon, Gyrfalcon mix ... he is slightly larger than the Peregrine falcon and his coloring is magnificent.
He is released and flies
He spots the lure
and attacks ...
he kills his prey
 and retrieves it ...

Bringing it to the ground ...

Here he is mantling over the prey to prevent any other potential predators from seeing it ...

He eats what is there ...

and returns to the glove for his reward ...

 Got Napkin ?  :)


  1. Great close-up photos. It must have been exciting to see the bird flying and catching the lure.

  2. Amazing captures for the day -- actually any day!! Thanks for sharing, Andrea! Hope your week is going well!!

  3. What a fabulously handsome bird. Incredible shots!

  4. Andrea these photos of this magnificent bird are absolutely incredible. You did an amazing job on these!

  5. HI Andrea What a wondrful series of shots especially the ones in flight.

  6. What an INCREDIBLE sequence. How lucky your were. How lucky we are to see this. Thank you.

  7. Magnificent textures and tones on the feathers. but those huge claws reaching for the 'prey' are quite intimidating. Great photos.

  8. Wow, cool series! What a neat sight to watch!

  9. Terrific shots of this handsome bird!

  10. Those are fabulous. I watched some kind of falcon land on the neighbors fifth-wheel this morning. Add to that that I want to get a stunt kite to fly....Hmmm...maybe I need to find a falconer after I learn to fly the kite.

  11. Lovely photos - I want to start kite flying as a hobby since they pack down nicely and we always seem to have access to wide open spaces. Such a coincidence to see a kite like this in your post.

  12. Beautiful and dramatic imagery! How wonderful that you were able to photograph this. Truly awesome!

  13. What a fabulous series of glorious images. I have enjoyed seeing a few hybrids, yet this one is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  14. gorgeous birds. But if I think they should roam the skies without people involved.

  15. Wonderful looking bird. I love seeing these birds close up.

    I think you may be correct in thinking that my Cockatoos don't really eat houses - maybe it just beak maintenance!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne