Module C6. Falconry furniture and equipment

Please read these notes carefully!

  1. This is the lesson and assessment module for ‘C6. Falconry Furniture and equipment’.
  2. You can study this module on its own, or as part of a larger course – your Raptor Awards Instructor will advise you about this.
  3. The notes and references are here to help you understand how to traine a previously un-trained bird of prey, but you must also work with your Instructor to be sure you cover the whole topic.The lesson ‘quiz’ at the bottom of this page will help you demonstrate that you have the correct knowledge to consider training your own bird of prey.  Your Instructor will give you more guidance about demonstrating your competence in handling skills.
  4. This assessment of your knowledge (lesson quiz) will help provide evidence that you are ready to receive your Certificate from Raptor Awards
  5. Completion of the Assessment Worksheet will help to provide evidence of your knowledge and skills: Assessment Worksheet_C6

Falconry furniture and  equipment:

In order to successfully train any Bird of Prey you must have the right equipment.  We have already looked at Housing in module C1, and if you intend to keep Birds of Prey in a Zoo or collection without handling them (except for regular heath checks) then you need nothing more than a good catching net, a glove and a transport/holding box for visits to the Veterinarian.  However, there are great benefits in using basic falconry techniques to enable simpler and less stressful handling.

If you intend to keep Birds of Prey to fly them free or to hunt wild quarry, then it is essential that you equip yourself with the correct equipment.  It is also a great advantage if you are able to make some of your own equipment – such as leashes and Jesses, and a small toolbox of basic tools and materials will be easy to obtain.

Different Birds of Prey need different equipment.  For example most Falcons are set out on Block perches, whilst members of the Buzzard family are usually set out on Bow Perches.

Using the wrong equipment or furniture that does not fit properly can result in injury, crippling condition such as bumble foot and even death.

Making your own equipment:

Many items of equipment are easy to make for your self and it is satisfying to fit your Hawk with furniture that you have made.   Anyone can make new Jesses and Leashes, but it is a highly skilled job to make a well-fitting, safe and secure hood that will be safe for your Hawk.  There are many internet sellers who can provide everything you need and it is often easier to go to a single suppler with a good reputation to find everything you need.

Block perches and Bow perches are beyond the ability of most Bird of Prey Keepers, and most people would buy these items in.

You must balance the needs of your Hawk against the cost of purchasing from a professional supplier to decide when it is safe to make your own equipment and when it is better to buy in.

Where to find a good suppler:

The ability to buy falconry equipment via the Internet allows you to compare prices from many suppliers.  Unfortunately it is not possible to judge the quality of items from one supplier to the next when all you have is a photograph and a description.

Be prepared to look for equipment reviews written by customers who have already used the supplier in question.  If possible, speak to other falconers / keepers to see where they get their equipment from, and if possible visit specialist trade fairs to view and handle products directly.

Checking your equipment:

The furniture you fit to your Hawk will not last for ever, no matter how well made it may be.  If it is made from inferior materials it will wear out quickly and need replacing at regular intervals. In particular, Jesses, leashes and swivels are all subject to wear and tear and must be checked regularly.

In Part 2 of Unit 1 you were asked to prepare a schedule for regular cleaning and hygiene routines.  It is a good idea to also have regular daily, monthly and annual checks of your equipment in order to spot problems before they occur.  Many Birds of prey have been lost through the failure of leashes and swivels, and any Bird of Prey that flies off with swivels or leashes attached will almost certainly get caught on an obstacle where it will die a painful death.

It is your responsibility to ensure that all equipment is fit-for-purpose and regularly maintained or changed.

All basic falconry text books contain information on the equipment and tools that you need.

The books on the recommended list also contain diagrams and instructions to help you make basic equipment.

Here is a list of the recommended sources of trusted information:

Recommended reading:

  1. Understanding the Bird of Prey.  Nick Fox.  Chapter 3
  2. Falconry Art and Practice.  Emma Ford.  Chapter
  3. Training Birds of Prey.  Jemima Parry-Jones.  Chapter 3
  4. Falconry and Hawking.  Phillip Glasier. Chapters 5, 6 and 7
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