Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I'll be honest, dudes and dudettes, our wedding reception is this weekend and I'm out of brains right now. I was going to make some lame excuses about why I can't blog this week, so I can sit on the couch with a vodka & 7 and stupid YouTube videos, and then I remembered that I had these pictures from the falconry presentation at Powder Valley a few weeks ago.

We learned a lot of interesting things about the sport/hobby of falconry. Almost all of these birds are caught in the wild (the exception here is the peregrine-gyrfalcon hybrid you'll see in the second to last photo) and there is a whole apprenticeship you have to go through before you become a master falconer. The bird below is a juvenile red tailed hawk with an apprentice.

Falconry is A LOT of work. The weighing and feeding and hunting scheduling is SO precise. These are not pets. They are treated like hunting partners, but they remain wild birds, and most (again, with the exception of hybrids) are eventually rereleased into the wild.

The hoods are to keep some of the high-strung breeds calm while being transported or in bustling environments like show-and-tell. They like their fancy hats. All these birds also have radio tags on them so they can be tracked while hunting.

This presentation was at Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood, MO, and it was a packed house, so I'm sure they will do it again soon. Bonus: I found this "action cam" of a Peregrine Falcon nesting box, presented by Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with Ameren. Click that link and you can watch the camera and learn about the program. I'm sure most homeschooling parents are aware of this, but MDC has tons and tons of educational materials and regular programs for you, and I think that is really cool.

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