Monday, March 14, 2016

For the Birds....

I love a deal! And Groupon is often a place to find those deals. So, instead of chocolates and fine dining this past Valentine's Day, hubby & I chose the Gift of Fun. We purchased a Falconry Lesson. The Falconry Experience was through Resort Outfitters, a new company to the area that is affiliated with the Broadmoor Hotel.
When we first arrived, we were met by the Falconer and Delilah, a Eurasian Eagle Owl, who had the most lovely eyes.

Because the company has only been here in the area for less than 3 months, there is not yet a permanent facility to house the birds. Their quarters are in the garage of a nearby resort which is owned by the Broadmoor. There are a total of 8 birds - an Owl who is 12 years old, a Falcon who is 7 years old, and several young raptors who are all about one year of age. All these birds have been bred in captivity.

The lesson began with a brief history of falconry and basic information about becoming a falconer. The Falconer then took out Doci, a Saker Falcon who is 7 yrs old and who has arthritis in one of her feet. She is quite friendly and calm and social, making her an ideal candidate to be held by beginners. She only weighs 30 oz.! 
How do you tell the difference between a falcon and a hawk? A falcon's eyes will be totally dark and appear to be all one color, while a pupil can be seen in a hawk's eyes.

Hubby & Doci
After everyone held Doci, the Falconer then got out Stewart, a Harris Hawk. Stewart is young at only one year, but his training began as soon as he was allowed to leave the nest. Harris Hawk's are also social birds and often hunt in a group in the wild. The Falconer then led us down to an open field where Stewart and the Falconer displayed their hunting abilities.

Because Stewart is so young, he is quite vocal. It was almost as if he had his own stories to tell the group. Quite a fun and educational day! Hubby is ready for the next lesson! 


Thursday, March 3, 2016