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  1. #1
    Dec 2006
    376

    Post




    http://www.2020site.org/falconry/training.html

    Training of Falcons



    The training of hawks affords much scope for judgment, experience and skill on the part of the falconer, who must carefully observe the temper and disposition as well as the constitution of each bird.

    It is through the appetite principally that hawks, like most wild animals, are tamed; but to fit them for use in the field much patience, gentleness and care must be used. Slovenly taming necessitates starving, and low condition and weakness are the result. The aim of the falconer must be to have his hawks always keen, and the appetite when. they are brought into the field should be such as would induce the bird in a state of nature to put forth its full powers to obtain its food, with, as near as possible, a corresponding condition as to flesh.
    The following is an outline of the process of training hawks, beginning with the management of a wild-caught peregrine falcon. When first taken, a rufter hood should be put on her head, and she must be furnished with jesses, swivel, leash and bell. A thick glove or rather gauntlet must be worn on the left hand (Eastern falconers always carry a hawk on the right), and she must be carried about as much as possible, late into the night, every day, being constantly stroked with a birds wing or feather, very lightly at first. At night she should be tied to a perch in a room with the window darkened, so that no light can enter in the morning. The perch should be a padded pole placed across the room, about 41/2 ft. from the ground, with a canvas screen underneath. She will easily be induced to feed in most cases by drawing a piece of beefsteak over her feet, brushing her legs at the time and now and then, as she snaps, slipping a morsel into her mouth.
    Care must be taken to make a peculiar sound with the lips or tongue, or to use a low whistle as she is in the act of swallowing; she will very soon learn to associate this sound with feeding, and it will be found that directly she hears it, she will gripe with her talons, and bend down to feel for food. When the falconer perceives this and other signs of her coming to, that she no longer starts at the voice or touch, and steps quietly up from the perch when the hand is placed under her feet, it will be time to change her rufter hood for the ordinary hood. This latter should be very carefully chosenan easy fitting one, in which the braces draw closely and yet easily and without jerking. An old one previously worn is to be recommended.
    The hawk should be taken into a very dark room, one absolutely dark is best, and the change should be made if possible in total darkness. After this she must be brought to feed with her hood off; at first she must be fed every day in a darkened room, a gleam of light being admitted. The first day, the hawk having seized the food and begun to pull at it freely, the hood must be gently slipped off, and after she has eaten a moderate quantity, it must be replaced as slowly and gently as possible, and she should be allowed to finish her meal through the hood. Next day the hood may be twice removed, and so on.; day by day the practice should be continued, and more light gradually admitted, until the hawk will feed freely in broad daylight, and suffer the hood to be taken off and replaced without opposition. Next she must be accustomed to see and feed in the presence of strangers and dogs. A good plan is to carry her in the streets of a town at night, and where persons passing by are few, unhooding and hooding her from time to time, but not letting her get frightened.
    Up to this time she should be fed on lean beefsteak with no castings, but as soon as she is tolerably tame and submits well to the hood, she must occasionally be fed with pigeons and other birds. This should be done not later than 3 or 4 P.M., and when she is placed on her perch for the night in the dark room, she must be unhooded and left so, of course being carefully tied up. The falconer should enter the room about 7 or 8 AM. next day, admitting as little light as possible, or using a candle. He should first observe if she has thrown her casting; if so, he will at once take her to the fist, giving her a bite of food, and re-hood her. If her casting is not thrown it is better for him to retire, leaving the room quite dark, and come in again later. She must now be taught to know the voice, the shout that is used to call her in the field, and to jump to the fist for food, the voice being used every time she is fed.
    When she comes freely to the fist she must be made acquainted with the lure. Kneeling down with the hawk on his fist, and gently unhooding her, the falconer casts out a lure, which may be either a dead pigeon. or an artificial lure garnished with beefsteak tied to a string, to a distance of a couple or three feet in front of her. When she jumps down to it, she should be allowed to eat a little on itthe voice being usedthe while receiving morsels from the falconers hand; and before her meal is finished she must be taken off to the hand, being induced to forsake the lure for the hand by a tempting piece of meat, This treatment will help to check her inclination hereafter to carry her quarry. This lesson. is to be continued till the falcon feeds very boldly on the lure on. the ground. in the falconers presence till she will suffer him to walk round her while she is feeding.
    Gradually day after day the distance is increased, till the hawk will come 30 yds. or so without hesitation; then she may be trusted to fly to the Lure at liberty, and by degrees from any distance, say 1000 yds. This accomplished, she should learn to stoop at the lure. Instead of allowing the hawk to seize upon it as she comes up, the falconer should snatch the lure away and let her pass by, and immediately put it out that she may readily seize it when she turns round to look for it. This should be done at first only once, and then progressively until she will stoop backwards and forwards at the lure as often as desired. Next she should be entered at her quarry. Should she be intended for rooks or herons, two or three of these birds should be procured. One should be given her from the hand, then one should be released close to her, and a third at a considerable distance. If she take these keenly, she may he flown at a wild bird. Care must, however, be taken to let her have every possible advantage in her first flights wind and weather, and the position of the quarry with regard to the surrounding country, must be considered.
    Young hawks, on being received by the falconer before they can fly, must be put into a sheltered place, such as an outhouse or shed. Their basket or hamper should be filled with straw. A hamper is best, with the lid so placed as to form a platform for the young hawks to come out upon to feed. This should be fastened to a beam or prop a few feet from the ground. The young hawks must be most plentifully fed on the best fresh food obtainablegood beefsteak and fresh-killed birds; the falconer when feeding them should use his voice as in luring. As they grow old enough they will come out, and perch about the roof of their shed, by degrees extending their flights to neighboring buildings or trees, never failing to come at feeding time to the place where they are fed. Soon they will be continually on the wing, playing or fighting with one another, and later the falconer will observe them chasing other birds, as pigeons and rooks, which may be passing by. As soon as one fails to come for a meal, it must be at once caught with a bow net or a snare the first time it comes back, or it will be lost.
    It must be borne in mind that the longer hawks can be left at hack the better they are likely to be for use in the field, those hawks being always the best which have preyed a few times for themselves before being caught. Of course there is great risk of losing hawks when they begin to prey for themselves. When a hawk is so caught she is said to be taken up from hack. She will not require a rufter hood, but a good deal of the management described for the passage falcon will be necessary. She must be carefully tamed and broken to the hood in the same manner, and so taught to know the lure; but, as might be expected, very much less difficulty will be experienced. As soon as the eyas knows the lure sufficiently well to come to it sharp and straight from a distance, she must be taught to wait on. This is effected by letting the hawk loose in an open place, such as a down. It will be found that she will circle round the falconer looking for the lure she has been accustomed to seeperhaps mount a little in the air, and advantage must be taken of a favorable moment when the hawk is at a little height, her head being turned in towards the falconer, to let go a pigeon which she can easily catch. When the hawk has taken. two or three pigeons in this way, and mounts immediately in expectation, in short, begins to wait on, she should see no more pigeons, but be tried at game as soon as possible. Young peregrines should be flown at grouse first in preference to partridges, not only because the season commences earlier, but because, grouse being the heavier birds, they are not so much tempted to carry as with partridges.




  2. #2
    Sep 2008
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  3. #3
    Jul 2005
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    . . . .
    . rufter jesses . ( ) . . 41 / 2 . .
    . "" rufter . . .
    . . . . . . unhooding .
    . 3 4 . 7 8 . . . . .
    . unhooding . . - - . . . . .
    30 yds. 1000 yds. . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . .
    . . . rufter . . eyas "". . - . . . peregrines ""



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    Oct 2008
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    Aug 2008
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    Dec 2008
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    Oct 2006
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    Nov 2008
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    Jun 2009
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    Jul 2007
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    Jan 2011
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    Aug 2009
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    Jan 2007
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