Hunting with Falcons

Falconry: HuntHere’s a program from our archives.Ambience: Falconer whistlingWalking through a forest, a hunter pauses to summon his hawk. We’re listening to the sounds of falconry — one of the world’s oldest sports. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.”This is Bandit, he’s a Harris hawk.”Pulse of the Planet listener Dan Chicciny is among a number of hunters who practice falconry, the ancient sport of kings in which falcons and hawks are used to seize prey. Today, Dan is out hunting with his hawk Bandit. “I’m just petting him here on the chest here. He’s kind of fluffed out. It’s sunny out — it’s a little bit cool. It’s about as cool as Harris hawks can take or like. So what I’ll do is put him up in a tree and we can work along the trees here and see if we can find any bunnies through this area”The birds used in falconry are trained to fly from a person’s fist in search of prey and then return there when the hunter gives a signal, such as a whistle. But hawks will sometimes stay in the brush near their prey, so Bandit is wearing bells around it’s ankles in case Dan needs help locating him.”He’s up there now, he’s enjoying the sun here. He’s just preening, he did what’s called rousing, which is kind of raising their feathers up and shaking them. Let’s see if I can get him to come along a little bit more over here. Let’s go! When I first let him go, he went into a branch about 10 feet off the ground. As he comes along, he’ll tend to move up in the tree a bit, so he’s maybe anywhere from 25 to 50 feet up in the tree. And then if any quarry gets up, he’s got the advantage of using gravity to give him some momentum, just like they do in the wild. Plus, he’s got a bigger field of view when he’s got a higher perch like that. Let’s go!”Several hundred falconers will be convening this week at the annual meeting of the North American Falconers’ Association. You’ve been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project – it’s a novel. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Hunting with Falcons

When certain hunters give a whistle, they're not calling their dog, they're summoning a trained falcon.
Air Date:12/03/2020
Scientist:
Transcript:

Falconry: HuntHere's a program from our archives.Ambience: Falconer whistlingWalking through a forest, a hunter pauses to summon his hawk. We're listening to the sounds of falconry -- one of the world's oldest sports. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet."This is Bandit, he's a Harris hawk."Pulse of the Planet listener Dan Chicciny is among a number of hunters who practice falconry, the ancient sport of kings in which falcons and hawks are used to seize prey. Today, Dan is out hunting with his hawk Bandit. "I'm just petting him here on the chest here. He's kind of fluffed out. It's sunny out -- it's a little bit cool. It's about as cool as Harris hawks can take or like. So what I'll do is put him up in a tree and we can work along the trees here and see if we can find any bunnies through this area"The birds used in falconry are trained to fly from a person's fist in search of prey and then return there when the hunter gives a signal, such as a whistle. But hawks will sometimes stay in the brush near their prey, so Bandit is wearing bells around it's ankles in case Dan needs help locating him."He's up there now, he's enjoying the sun here. He's just preening, he did what's called rousing, which is kind of raising their feathers up and shaking them. Let's see if I can get him to come along a little bit more over here. Let's go! When I first let him go, he went into a branch about 10 feet off the ground. As he comes along, he'll tend to move up in the tree a bit, so he's maybe anywhere from 25 to 50 feet up in the tree. And then if any quarry gets up, he's got the advantage of using gravity to give him some momentum, just like they do in the wild. Plus, he's got a bigger field of view when he's got a higher perch like that. Let's go!"Several hundred falconers will be convening this week at the annual meeting of the North American Falconers' Association. You've been listening to a program from our archives. Check out our website, pulseplanet.com for a link to my latest project - it's a novel. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.