Jump to content

Help for learner


Recommended Posts

Got a friend who is thinking about owning a hawk and could do with some help with finding her some help learning about it all around Daventry to Banbury way (she lives between the two places (Byfield)),does anyone know of any centers or bird keepers she could go to to find some help??.. She is wanting to hunt with this hawk as well as just keep one,,:victory:

Link to post

You’ll be lucky to get a good response on this section mate. If she’s just at the thinking stage then spending a year with her head buried in as many quality falconry books as possible is a good start, but if she has already been through that stage & she can’t find someone to get out with, then finding a reputable breeder who don’t mind a lot of questions could help.

I personally wouldn’t bother with falconry centres as they are often run by people who don’t hunt or haven't hunted enough, but obviously there are exceptions.

Do you know what she really wants to fly?

If a Harris hawk, then all the Martin Hollinshead books are invaluable for a beginner.

  • Like 2
Link to post

Thanks for the reply mate and she's thinking hard and long and just wants to see if she could keep a bird while being a single mum of 2 sort of thing,she wouldn't get one if she didn't have time but needs to sort of find out how much time a bird takes up..

Link to post

Time is somthing we are all against, but I’d say if you can spare 1 to 3 hours a day, then that is a good guide. It’s no more time than looking after a dog properly depending on what you want to do & how close your ground is. 👍

  • Like 2
Link to post

Hi few notes that may help her out that I have posted in the past. Make of it what you want.


Hi this is some bits ive posted on here before, pick what you want out of it as its a bit general.

Get a good mentor! Join a club Go out for a season or two with them, if you can't get out with them all the time due to work or another do you have time to have a bird!!??

Telemetry is a must they can be right next to you in cover and you dont see the buggers. Play with it and get to know how it works in fields and woodland learn to pinpoint the beep. New systems on your phone are also well worth it!!

Feed the bird away from house !! when you get started on the training and try not to fly it in the garden my bird was fairly quiet because of this. I Free lofted for 2 weeks with sight of me around garden but not pestering him just letting him get used to surrounding and noises. He is fed with foodshoot in the side of aviary with no vision of me feeding him then cault up and maned down started on the fist sitting all over touching and jumping to - feeding on the fist. Then transfer to the flying area to do this as soon as possible. Then jumped fed and flown in the field. His sister was maned straight away fed and flown in the back garden by the owner. She screamed all the time. You could hear her inside the cafe we would meet at before field meeting and she was in her box in the van and outside parked down the street!!!

Bowing is fine but on a short lease so he, she can not pick up a lot of speed if baiting as leg can get pulled with very long leashes as they can pick up a lot of speed before jerking to a stop.

Not showing the bird where food is coming from is one key to quiet. You can take the bird to the food, put it in different places and take the bird to it!

If you keep in sight all the time when feeding the bird sees you as a parent and will call for food all the time !!

If you get it wrong Harris's are a nightmare if screaming all the time!!

It will be your bird and best you do it your way. Just wanted to try to help you get off to the best start.

I'm sure your mentor will have his views on this. 

Good luck and enjoy the hunting with the bird. I would also recommend hooding I didn't do this and wish I had. Also ferrets are a god send to produce game as it is very difficult to just walk up enough game, get the bird entered AS SOON AS you can if they learn they can catch from a young age it is a great start.

With the hooding tacktic I would start as soon as the bird sits on the glove but is still a bit nervous. I left mine till he was sat very confidant on the glove and he is like a snake when the hood is near his head, to confident. I think if its done early the bird is still a little on edge and will accept hooding. You can leave it on for a bit slip it off and spend time sat down with him just slipping it on wait a bit slip it off. More additions ! I would stroke his feet chest wings tail as well so he is confident with you touching him all over, helps with inspecting him under feet wings etc.

When out in field and feeding bird up that is sat on glove cover food with right hand and pass food to glove from behind glove underneath the birds tail and put to glove this stops the bird baiting forward at the sight of food if you feed him from the front also he will grab out with feet towards the food/your hand, this can make them footy. Get a large cut of leather fold up and put in hawking vest. When hunting and taking bird off prey cover rabbit completely with the leather hold rabbits leg !! Throw a chick head away from bird and it should release its hold on the rabbit and move to the food on floor, scoop up rabbit in to back of vest.

You can never have enough land to fly on!

Books are great but nothings quite like the real thing !!

Most people with large aviaries have pea gravel down sand is good in small weatherings but needs to be kept dry or it just goes to mush! So pea is good. + can be replaced after years. Look at where you will be putting the perches as the bird will projectile poo behind where it sits!! I would recommend lining the inside with fomex or stiff plastic board this can be wiped down easily. Heating is another thing to consider and in the first year they are quite venerable to frost cold + drafts, do not put away wet, hair dryer the bird but dryer must be Teflon free !!!  as Teflon can poison the bird and kill it, don't leave bath in in winter. Put perches out of drafts and if very cold you could box and bring the house, worth it as all your hard work will go out the window if they get wingtip / frost bite on wing.

Also where windows will face, nice to see bird but can contribute to calling if he can see you all the time. I have 30 mm spacing in my bars. Look out for cats on roofs pestering or cat proof roof with nets. I have also made it so I can slide in two shutters. I can have half window when cold and bird can sit at back and full window in summer. Also put window perch below window level bird can see out but poos below window level. Food shoot made from guttering elbow and down pipe is a good idea, have a tray shelf below not to wide but wide enough to catch the food. Save him eating the food off the floor, put Astro turf around the edge and he can perch on it whilst eating. Or you can use a push pull try but make sure he is not sitting on it when you pull it out or between when you push it in

Just some things to think about.If you are after a bird I would see if there is a falconry club near you and ask the members for a good breeder they would recommend and get a couple of peoples advice about the breeder as there are a lot of breeders and some that will sell you anything!! Get out with the club on field meets do some ferreting for them ask if any one has a Harris you can fly for them.

Touch bird and get to know feel of him if breast is full of meat he is maybe fat and can be dropped a little more in weight use scales as well!!

If no meat and sharp he is very low in weight fat should not kill him sharp breast to low can!! Again use scales. If he is very sharp in breast (breast bone sticking out = Sharp to touch) and flown he may lack in energy and you will see him fade away and not have power to keep up or fly up. Stop take him back feed small amount and egg yolk from chicks as if he is in trouble Maximum amounts of food can use more energy than he has left to digest the food!!!! yolk and small amount of food to start will pick him up and give him the energy he needs to then eat a larger amount. Repetition manning and confidence is the key for the bird to perform it's not all about starvation. Remember food going threw the birds system can play a key factor when training a young bird. He does well you jump him a lot great you reward a little more food great, next day you weigh him good weight but you try a lot earlier in the day and he's not as good. This may not mean cut his food again. It may mean he still has food going threw his system so not quite as hungry as day before so perceiver rather than starve to death.

Remember the ferrets need energy as well so if it's a long day a drink of water and some yolk from chick will give them energy and keep them hydrated.

These littler fellers are the un sung heroes and I would say a must!!! for anyone with a hawk.

Always check button ends on leashes

Cope beak before putting up for moult

Check inside birds mouth and take a peek when feeding him, Vlad my bird managed to get a cartilage loop from a pheasants wind pie over the end of his tongue and slid at the bottom of it cutting off the blood supply, saw it when feeding yellow black and blue tongue !! Vets!!

Remove tail mount before moult as Vlad managed to get his beak stuck between tail mount and moulted feather as the tail mount kept the moulted feather attached to the un moulted and of course he was pecking at it!

Spend time picking out bits of use. We are always learning.

Young birds are like a sponge if they know they can catch repeatedly with success ! Then they will always put in the effort when they progress as they won't know failure. MAKE SURE THEY CATCH A FEW TO START ! !!!!!  GET THEM ENTERED

They are very clever.Mine won't hood because I left it too long and that wasn't really that long into training, when your on you own and the bird is up and the ferret kills in and won't let go of the rabbit - come out. You need to dig, as soon as I get the spade out he is there sat on the floor watching me dig because he knows what is in there and it a right pain especially on a wet / damp day. I could always change all his kit and tie him up but he can still see what is going on and it's a lot of faffing about if only I had hooded him I could use a clip / bullets in the anklets hood him and he would be none the wiser it small thing like this we learn. I was part of the Northamptonshire raptor club and spent a few years at the raptor foundation. Its worth seeing if there is a club near you that you could go along on some field meetings to get various experience from different people.


Marytin who bred my harris is a fantastic what he does not know is not worth knowing. The guys at the club call him the bird whisperer!! He offers advice rather than giving it and a lot is common sense that you just don't stop and take the time to think about and by that time the deed is done and the bird remembers you mistake and takes advantage the next time. Bit like kids if you have any, you leave the chocolate on the side and say no turn you back and it gone and there is a big mess. You should have put it away out of reach problem solved but you were to busy thinking about something else. Stop think, think what the actions may achieve or the consequences they may produce and always pick out the positive bits, make a note of them and enforce them.


It is a long-term commitment!!

Male or Female ?  You get out what you put in !


Hope the above helps


All the best


  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
On 14/12/2019 at 21:06, fireman said:

Thanks for the reply mate and she's thinking hard and long and just wants to see if she could keep a bird while being a single mum of 2 sort of thing,she wouldn't get one if she didn't have time but needs to sort of find out how much time a bird takes up..

A single Mum of 2. How old are the children, does the Father help, how clean does she like her house, has she any other pets, does she have a job? I'm just trying to gauge how much time she has.

I guessing the best she could have is a Harris Hawk. Saying that if she wants it to catch owt, then she really needs to look at all the above. I've seen a lot of shite birds that have been owned by a number of people with good intentions and they end up being a millstone, suffering in a shed or similar.

As said. they are a long term commitment and you will get out of them what you put in, very much like dogs. Unlike dogs, birds need a lot more fine tuning and if you want to catch summit, you really need to be dedicated otherwise it can be really frustrating for the owner and bird.

Good advice given by Lee C

  • Like 1
Link to post

I take my bird work with me do fitness work on my dinner prepare her food the night befor to make it easier , can work round them aslong has they have the time they need spent on them , mine is young bird so once she’s had a kill I feed up then she doesn’t want do anything other than sit on perch out the way , first couple weeks is the busiest when getting the manning done and getting the bond sorted , I never feed my bird in garden or even offer tid bits on the glove in the garden , if I can’t fly her for any reason take her to top street on open field and either do fitness work or give her her feed off dummy bunny . She’s probably better off with a Harris hawk but that’s not saying there easy because some female Harris hawks can be a nightmare there not all A’s soft an trainable as people make out , keep everything to a routine try keenflying and feeding times similar time and the bird will soon settle in to its new way life ,   




  • Thanks 1
Link to post
  • 2 weeks later...
On 14/12/2019 at 10:13, fireman said:

Got a friend who is thinking about owning a hawk and could do with some help with finding her some help learning about it all around Daventry to Banbury way (she lives between the two places (Byfield)),does anyone know of any centers or bird keepers she could go to to find some help??.. She is wanting to hunt with this hawk as well as just keep one,,:victory:

There's a place just out side Northampton that does flying days etc ,also a fella in islip that takes folk out hunting with hawks but this will cost ,

join a club and she get few days out I'm sure ,

  • Like 1
Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...