The Six Day Falconry Training Course

Over the last few decades Falconry has developed and changed on many fronts as well as becoming popular with people from all walks of life. There has been new equipment designs, improved veterinary care and advice, innovative aviary designs, improved success with captive breeding and rearing. All this has added to the depth of information available and the different techniques used to train, fly and hunt Hawks, Falcons etc., in this modern era. For a beginner it is now much harder to understand the options available and to work out what is required to set them on the right path to achieving their goal of keeping and flying a bird of prey.

With this in mind, here at the International Centre for Birds of Prey where we have a long and well respected history of teaching first class courses, we decided to increase the length of our falconry course from 5 to 6 days. The increased length is designed to offer the student a broader information base and more practical experience from which to start their falconry journey. It is proving very popular I am glad to say.

This course is very intensive and combines practical demonstration and instruction together with a ‘hands on’ approach for the students. There is also some class room tuition and many opportunities to discuss various topics with industry professionals.IMG_8680

The courses are run from February to December. There are usually four people on the course being taught by experienced Centre staff at all times. The staff are extremely experienced at teaching and the collection of birds here, second to none. The course is not residential; however accommodation locally is not expensive. Lunch can be bought at the Centre cafe, or with a trip to the local pub.

The lower age limit for coming on a course is 16 years. However if younger people wish to take part they can do so, but only if a parent also comes on the course as a fully paying participant. This is because it is now illegal for younger children to buy birds of prey or owls without parents being able to assist in the care and training.

There is much in the way of practical handling everyday throughout the course and, weather permitting – at least one half day out hawking. We strongly advise you to take notes as there is a great deal to learn.

Course cost: £700 – to book your place on this course a £150 deposit is required, this is returnable if you cancel AT LEAST 6 weeks before the course start date (minus an administration fee). After this time the deposit will only be returnable if we are able to re-book your place.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to the Centre and the course (classroom and practical)
  • Birds used in Falconry (classroom)
  • Morphology and biology of birds of prey (Classroom – what they look like and how they work!)
  • Basic First Aid and Veterinary Care (practical)
  • Falconer’s knot, gloves and bags (practical)
  • General handing techniques (practical)
  • Training procedures (Classroom and practical)
  • Hunting with the different groups of birds of prey (classroom)
  • Flying weights (Classroom and practical)
  • Practical – flying birds to fist and creance work (practical)
  • General Management of birds (Classroom)
  • Lure swinging (very practical!)
  • Equipment (classroom and practical)
  • One or two afternoons out hawking (practical)
  • Imping and coping (practical)
  • Housing (Outside classroom)
  • Diet (classroom)
  • Telemetry (Classroom and practical)
  • Flying free to fist (practical and classroom)
  • Lure Swinging practice (practical)
  • Flying a falcon to the lure (practical)
  • Clubs (classroom)
  • Obtaining your own bird (classroom)
  • Questions and further information (classroom)