My step-son is a falconer. He has studied since middle school to be a leader in this ancient sport. There are many rules and regulations, and you need to study, apprentice and become licensed. It's been a delight to watch him develop his passion, and I have learned to adjust some of my preconceived notions about having birds in the house. We have entertained (been entertained by) adult Red-tailed hawks, and baby Cooper's Hawks, and everything in between. We have watched him train a variety of hawks to hunt, and have been on a hunting expedition to see his birds in action. Fascinating. And his wife is a saint:).
For years he has talked about breeding hawks, which is very intricate work. This year he achieved his goal. We were able to see his "babies" within hours of their birth, and are watching their growth to adolescence - which does not take long at all. He's so proud, and the birds are fascinating. This young Goshawk is a few weeks old. The term is Old English - "gos" for goose and "hafoc" for hawk. A raptor indigenous to North America and Eurasia, the Goshawk is the largest accipiter (bird of prey) in North America. Persistent in pursuing their prey, the Goshawk hunts squirrels, grouse, crows, snowshoe hare. There was a recorded incidence of a Goshawk pursuing a snowshoe hare over a period of 45-60 minutes before catching it.
The Goshawk grows to 20.9-25.2. inches in length, 40.6-46.1 inches of wingspan, and weigh between 22.3 and 48.1 pounds. Fast. This photo is of the last Goshawk still "at home." The others have gone to hunting homes around the state, and country, to be raised and trained to do what they do best. Hunt. Fascinating.
If you ever have a chance to watch falconers in their element - do so. It's quite a photo op, if you can be at the right place at the right time!
How many feathers do you think he has? 100? How are you coming on ideas for the 100 Post celebration, on Tuesday? I've only had a couple of people tell me they're "in." It's a challenge, but I hear it's also becoming a lot of fun!