One of the great things about falconry in
The best part in my opinion though is that the new apprentice must acquire their first bird by trapping either a first year red tail or a kestrel out of the wild.
This rule forced me, as an apprentice, to learn more about birds than I ever thought I could. I had to learn where they lived, how they hunted, their prey, and how to identify them from a distance.
These skills then aided me in learning about the quarry that I hunt. I wasn’t a hunter before I became a falconer. I went on to research squirrel and rabbit. What was their sign, what was mast? Where would I find a drey (squirrel house)?
It increased my powers of observation. I can tell what type of bird I see on the wing from a long way away, simply by the way it flaps its wings. I can tell a hawk on a branch by its silhouette.
I know where to look.
The need to trap my first raptor has made me more aware of my surroundings, and of three dimensional space, and raptor behavior. If you are a sponsor – help you apprentice learn the natural habits of birds – it will serve them well into the future.