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Your FREE Online Falconry Magazine

PURSUIT ISSUE 8

April 2014


THE

RAPTOR FAIR DUNCOMBE PARK HELMSLEY NORTH YORKSHIRE YO62 5EB

14TH-15TH June 2014 A celebration of falconry and birds of prey 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Full access to the bird of prey centre Trade Stands Flying Demonstrations Dog Training Demo Seminars Camping (please pre-book) Saturday Evening BBQ

9am until 5.30pm

www.raptorfair.com www.icbp-duncombe.org


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Welcome Spring, is finally upon us. Its will be a busy time for the breeders, who we rely upon for supplying us with our new charges for the season ahead and I hope each one, both big & small has a good and productive season. I am constantly surprised by how much PURSUIT has grown since its inception last September and the viewers of my magazine has grown to an incredible 50,000 - WOW! So a massive, thank you to all the readers and the contributors. Last month, saw the launch of PURSUIT in Italian, this quarterly magazine was only possible to my incredible friend, Patrizia Cimberio. Who not only translates but also administrates it for me. (How she finds the time, I honestly don’t know!- But thank you.) My plan towards the end of the year, is to produce PURSUIT, as an annual magazine in both Russian and Arabic. This month I have articles from contributors from around the globe and I hope everyone enjoys the latest edition. So until next month - Good Hawking!

Neil Davies, Editor Pursuit Falconry Magazine is published by Neil Davies and promotes the art Falconry & Hawking. Please be aware all images and text is copyright © Neil Davies 2014 and the contributing writers, photographers and artists. No part of this magazine can be used without the written approval of the Editor or its contributors. To advertise, submit articles or photographs within Pursuit Falconry Magazine please email the Neil Davies , Editor: neil.a.davies@icloud.com

features 4 News 6 Hunting Eagles Images by Thomas Carnihan 12 Photo of the Month 14 Japanese Sky Trials by Shawn Hayes 22 A mix of luck and determination by Nicholas Gerhard

28 The Raptor Fair 37 Wildife Artist Steven Lingham

40 ‘The Best in the West’ by Shawn Hayes Front Cover image courtesy of Thomas Carnihan © 2014

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In the News... More European Government Madness! This might not be directly related to falconry, but as passionate falconer and lover of all birds of prey and in fact all animals, to see the present European Government granting the licensing of Diclofenac for use within Europe after its devastating effect South-East Asia’s Vultures is surely madness and incompetent at the very least. I implore all the readers of this magazine to share this information to your MP, MEP, Assembly member to stop this potential environmental disaster from happening again with Europe. Two of the leading campaigners for Raptor Conservation have made the following statements. Neil Davies, Editor - Pursuit Falconry Magazine.

CALLS FOR DRUG LETHAL TO VULTURES TO BE BANNED

Cinereous Vulture - Aegypius monachus

The Hawk Conservancy Trust is a conservation charity and award-winning research and visitor centre based in Hampshire, England. With projects in Africa and Asia, the Trust has been actively involved with vulture conservation and research for over 15 years. The IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group advocates for greater awareness of the plight of vultures and coordinates effective conservation activities to their benefit. BIAZA is a conservation, education and scientific wildlife charity, which acts as the principal professional zoo body and represents over 100 responsible zoo and aquarium members in the UK and Ireland. EAZA represents and links 345 member institutions in 41 countries. Formed in 1992, EAZA’s mission is to facilitate cooperation within the European zoo and aquarium community towards the goals of education, research and conservation. Vulture Conservation Foundation is the leading European vulture conservation NGO. Among many projects, it leads on the successful reintroduction of the bearded vulture in the Alps, and is working toward minimizing the effects of poisoning on vultures.

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The anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, which is highly toxic to vultures, has been authorised for veterinary use within the European Union. This represents a grave threat to Europe’s vulture populations, many of which have only recently recovered from historical lows. Diclofenac represents a clear and present danger to vultures in Europe, as the birds will be poisoned if they feed on carcasses of animals that have been treated with the drug. Dr Campbell Murn, Head of Conservation and Research at the Hawk Conservancy Trust was astounded: “An immediate ban on diclofenac for veterinary use throughout the EU is required to avert a species crisis, the waste of millions of Euros in conservation funding and direct contravention of primary EU legislation”. “It beggars belief that diclofenac has been authorised for veterinary use in some countries of the EU. This drug has been shown clearly to be responsible for the near-extinction of at least three vulture species in South Asia”.

“There are vulture-safe alternative drugs, such as meloxicam, that are available. And besides, authorising the use of diclofenac in Europe directly contravenes the EU Birds Directive, under which Member States have a legal obligation to conserve vultures – an ecologically vital group of birds”. “As core members of the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group, and also the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA), we are working with our partners towards facilitating a complete ban of diclofenac in countries where vultures occur. We are linking these efforts with the existing work of the Vulture Conservation Foundation and Birdlife International on this issue.” For further information please contact: Dr Campbell Murn FSB Head of Conservation and Research The Hawk Conservancy Trust T: 01264 773850 E: campbell@hawkconservancy.org

www.hawkconservancy.org

PURSUIT FALCONRY MAGAZINE is proud to support the work of the IAF - The Internati


APRIL 2014

WARNING OF A SERIOUS THREAT TO EUROPEAN VULTURES The International Association for Falconry and the Conservation of Birds of Prey (IAF) notes with dismay and outrage that Diclofenac (a Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug used for the treatment of pain and inflammation) is available for veterinary use in Member States of the European Union including Italy and Spain. This drug is incredibly toxic to vultures, even in very small quantities, and fatal poisoning can result when vultures consume the carcasses of animals treated, before their death, with Diclofenac. The widespread use of this drug, as a veterinary medicine, resulted in almost total devastation of the vulture populations of south-east Asia, killing some 40 million vultures. Subsequently, this drug has been banned for veterinary use within that region. As a result of this ban, along with a massive and expensive conservation effort, there are the first signs of a recovery in vulture populations within the south-east Asian region. Despite the fact that alternative safe and inexpensive drugs are readily available, Diclofenac has been authorized for use in domestic animals in Spain (where 80% European vultures live) and Italy and is now becoming widely available on the EU market. The IAF notes that, according to a technical dossier put together by SEO/BirdLife, RSPB and the Vulture Conservation Foundation, this will cause a European mass execution of the charismatic, endangered and ecologically valuable vultures. Four rare vulture species are present in Europe, and all are protected by EU law. The Egyptian Vulture is threatened with extinction and listed

as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Species and the Cinereous Vulture is listed as ‘Near Threatened’. The Griffon Vulture and Bearded Vulture have recently recovered from very low populations after decades of conservation efforts. Millions of Euros have been invested in saving these European vultures. It is tragic and ironic that this investment is now in jeopardy through the use of a veterinary medicine which is well documented as being the cause of the virtual extinction of vulture populations elsewhere. Furthermore, the veterinary use of this drug in Europe will weaken the case to prevent its use in Africa, as well as weakening the resolve to maintain the ban on its use in south-east Asia. The European Union and its Member States have a legal obligation to conserve vultures under the EU Birds Directive and under EU Veterinary Drugs legislation which requires the avoidance of ecological damage. We call on the Governments of the European Union and of the Member States to take urgent action on these grounds and ban the veterinary use of Diclofenac as well as removing this agent immediately from the EU market. Furthermore, we call on Veterinary bodies and organizations, including the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, to alert their membership and all who may be responsible for the treatment of animals. It is our belief that, in light of the fact that safe and affordable alternative medicines exist, the veterinary use of this drug is inappropriate and unethical.

Dr. Adrian Lombard

Dr. Adrian Lombard President: International Association for Falconry and the Conservation of Birds of Prey. 8th March, 2014.

ional Association of Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey - www.iaf.org

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EAGLE FALCONRY

THOMAS CARNIHAN A COLLE 6


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All images © Thomas Carnihan 2014

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All images Š Thomas Carnihan 2014

EAGLE FALCONRY


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PHOTO OF THE MONTH © Graeme Scott 2014

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FALCONRY IN JAPAN

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by Shawn Hayes

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Photograhs courtesy DongSeok Woo & Shawn Hayes © 2014

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FALCONRY IN JAPAN

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Having the opportunity to travel around the world in pursuit my passion for the art falconry. I have witnessed and discovered many things and made some amazing friends from around the world. Two of these friends, are traditional Japanese falconers Asaoka Yukio and Yukihirio Fujita and this is my short story of my time in Japan.

But I was delighted to be invited back to Japan in February this year. I was asked to be one of the judges at their falconry Sky Trials and the Lure Stooping Competition at their annual falconry festival. On arrival in Japan, I was taken by my hosts and we went to meet fellow falconers all met at the ‘SHOP’. The ‘SHOP’ is the place where most of the hawks and falcons are housed. With Japan being such a small country, many Japanese falconers house their hawks and falcons at the ‘SHOP’ in a communal mews. In the few days before the festival and trials was due to start, I was asked to watch a few falcons fly and see if there was any suggestions I could give to the falconers that would help make their falcons better flyers and hunters. We headed out to an open area that was mainly rice fields. There was a small

paved road that went right through the middle of the flying field. After watching 5 to 6 falcons fly. I was impressed on how disciplined their falcons were. There is not a lot of space to fly their falcons, along with the many other distractions, like city pigeons flying around and wild game such as pheasants and some times ducks. The falconers had to have their falcons focused and well trained. All of the falcons stayed within the training area and never wondered off, chasing any of the many distractions that were present. The festival was just a few days away and different falconers each day began to show up at the ‘SHOP and each morning I would go out and watch the falconers train their hawks and falcons from the falcon ‘SHOP’. One falconer, I was delighted to work with, was Hidetoshi Ishibashi, a young woman falconer, who is currently training a tiercel Peregrine, along with male eagle owl and a well trained Harris’ Hawk. Ishibashi and I worked on how she could get her tiercel to stoop the lure with a little more aggression. Her falcon was used to flying and stooping to the lure in a way that you could tell he was board. Within 2 days we had the tiercel making more stoops to the lure and he seemed to really enjoy it. PURSUIT  ISSUE 8

Photograhs courtesy DongSeok Woo & Shawn Hayes © 2014

I first visited Japan back in 2011, when I was asked to give a lecture on how I practised falconry in the USA. I have always been impressed with how the Japanese falconers practised their art and observing how they trained & hunted their birds in such enclosed areas, that it gave me a desire to take a closer look at how the art of falconry is practised modern day Japan.

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FALCONRY IN JAPAN

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During, the opening ceremonies the JFA - Japanese Falconers Association, paid tribute to fellow American, former IAF President, Frank Bond, who sadly passed away last December. Frank, was a close and dear friend, but was loved by many falconers from around the world. He played a major roll in the falconry community as head of the IAF for many years and was instrumental in falconry being recognised by UNESCO, among his many other achievements.

She is fast becoming an excellent falconer and an ambassador to the art of falconry. My good friend and falconer Yukihiro Fujita, flew his female Gyr X Peregrine Hybrid to the lure. The falcon flew with some style and as she made 30 or more passes to the lure looking more like a male falcon as she stooped the lure. That showed me how well trained she was and I could tell she was in top condition and she enjoyed doing what she was doing. She flew with zest and had a little snap in her wing beat. On the day of the falconry festival both falconers and non-falconers began to gather. We had a little rain and a light wind as we set up for the event that morning.

There were 18 falcons entered to compete in the lure stooping competition. The winner of the Lure Stooping Competition was determined by how many times the falcon stoops the lure. The winner with an incredible 74 stoops was won by Kihira, who flew a wonderful female Gyr/Peregrine. The Sky Trials had 10 falcons entered. The area the sky trials was held was not your typical wide open sky trials field. It was no more then 400 yards long and 200 yards wide. Some of the best flying falcons in Japan were entered in the trials. I was asked to judge the sky trials. PURSUIT ďšş ISSUE 8

Photograhs courtesy DongSeok Woo & Shawn Hayes Š 2014

Ishibashi is famous within Japan for introducing falconry to the wider public. She gives talks on falconry with her birds of prey and runs a small bird control business too.

Long time, Japanese falconer Fumio said a few words about Frank and presented me with a photo of him. It was a wonderful gesture and I respected the falconers and people of Japan for reaching out to a man who was so special and has helped to make falconry better for all of us. He was a good man who will be sorely missed.

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What I was impressed with most with the Japanese style of long wing falconry and sky trials was how well trained the falcons were. Being in such a closed in area the falcons and falconers showed how they work together and not let any of the distractions interfere or disrupted any of the flights. Watching falcons flying to heights in excess of 600ft in the testing weather conditions was fun to watch.

After, the trials had ended, I had the opportunity to experience a little bit of Japanese falconry. On the last day of my Japanese adventure, I was collected by a few falconers early in the morning. As we set out from the ‘SHOP’ in pursuit of our quarry. After short drive, we scoped out a few rice paddy fields that held a good number of Pheasants. Ebihara led the way and spotted two cock Pheasant feeding on the edge of this rice field. As we approached the field in our cars, the two game birds disappeared into the thick cover. Ishida was asked to fly his female Gyr/ Peregrine. The falcon mounted quickly up to about 600ft. As Ishida and his dog walked towards the area, the pheasant put into cover. Looking up, I spotted the falcon flying steady and holding her position well. The dog and two other falconers went in and tried to flush the pheasant. Sadly, we weren’t able to re flush the pheasant, so we called the falcon down and headed to a different area. As we drove along this dirt road, we

approached a small drainage ditch that had water running through it. Yukihiro spotted this single duck flying out of the ditch, but then landed back in the ditch. So it was decided that Ishida would fly falcons. This time, he flew his male Gyr/Peregrine. Yukihiro and we put ourselves in position to flush the duck for his falcon. It was mid morning and the air continued to hold and produce good flying conditions. The young falconer released his falcon and he mounted up nice. Flying out wide the falcon continued to go up. Up to about 500 feet the falcon began to work his way back. Yukihiro and I were ready to flush the duck. When the falcon flew over us and put itself in good position, we flushed. The duck flushed clean flying out and away from the ditch. The falcon stooped and hit the duck down. The falcon pitched up and went in to grab the duck. The duck then took off and flew towards an open body of water about 200 yards away. The falcon flew after the duck and caught it a few feet away from the pond. We were all happy, because this was Ishida’s first head of game in two seasons. This was a excellent flight and was a wonderful and fitting way to end my time in Japan.

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Photograhs courtesy DongSeok Woo & Shawn Hayes © 2014

Ishida who flew a nice flying male Gyr/Peregrine hybrid took a well deserved First Place. Second, went to my good friend Ebihara, flying a Gyr/ Shaheen, with the Third place going to another talented young falconer, Krhira.

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FALCONRY IN AUSTRALIA

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FALCONRY IN AUSTRALIA

Whether you were brought up into the sport or not, I doubt any Falconer would forget the experience that persuaded them to take it up. For me, it was when I swung a lure for a Peregrine for the first time, and from that point on I decided where I wanted to take my life and what I wanted to become; but in a country where Falconry is illegal, finding ways to lead myself into a career with raptors has been both a mix of luck and determination. I’ve had an interest in birds since I was 10 years old, but it wasn’t till a simple 8th grade assignment I did on the Peregrine Falcon did I get a leaning passion towards Birds of Prey. At the beginning of last year, I went with my parents to lamington National Park on a weekend holiday to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, and not knowing much about the place, I was a bit excited when I saw they had a birds of prey show. According to what I was told, my parents already knew about the show and had organised me to have a one on one encounter. During this experience I was able to try some lure swinging, and in those few mesmerising moments of watching the Peregrine make flying look like an art and the quick manoeuvres she made to strike the lure was something that opened up my eyes to a whole new perspective on where I wanted to take my life.

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Left: Nick with Wedge-tailed Eagle Below: Barking Owl

As I started my third term of year 10 back in July, I was enrolled within a subject called ‘Program Challenge’, where students get to study a subject of their choosing and create an independent project; and of course I chose to study birds of prey. More importantly, however, it offered me the opportunity to go back to lamington national park and have work experience with Mark - the demonstrator who I met earlier that year. So after sending a few emails I was able to organise a week working with him and his raptors. On the first day, I wasn’t sure what I would be doing; cleaning, cutting raw meat, and maybe just doing some handling of the birds, but nope, straight onto attaching a bell to the tail of a Black Kite! Not that I wasn’t doing the latter, but I had no idea I would be getting to do tasks like that. Over the next few days I was quickly taught to weigh the birds and getting them prepared for the show, while also helping out with the training of a male Wedge-Tailed Eagle and a Brahminy Kite. Mark has an assortment of aussie raptors that I all did some work with PURSUIT  ISSUE 8

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FALCONRY FALCONRYIN INAUSTRALIA QATAR

in one way or another, but, definatly one of my favourites was the Grey Goshawk (White Morph), who had the most stunning pure white plumage and piercing red eyes; I wonder what they would be like as falconry birds! Others in his collection included the Nankeen Kestrel, Black-breasted Buzzard, Sooty Owl, Masked Owl, Barn Owl, and a Barking Owl; as well as all those already mentioned. As short as one week may sound, it went quicker. Getting the hands-on experiences was amazing, couldn’t have had it any better! I’m currently still keeping in contact with Mark and looking into going back during my next school break. Soon after finishing my work placement with Mark, I met a Raptor rehabilitator named Claire, who lived nearby that I came across on Facebook. At the time, she had a Black kite in care that had been clipped by a plane and had lost almost all primaries and many secondaries. I came over one morning to her place to see her set-up and go with her to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, as the kite was due for a check-up. While they were examining her, I watched the procedures they went through in getting her under anaesthetic to be able to examiner her feather growth without causing too much stress. When we had a look at the wing, many feathers were starting to moult back through and were growing fine, so then I was shown how to hold her and placed her back into the carrier. A few months later to where I am now, I have just been offered a mentorship with Claire, an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. Over the next two years I will working with Claire and learning how to rehab and take care of raptors, but also many other native species of birds and some mammals. Meeting

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all these great people who are helping me in gaining experiences with birds of prey is and has been amazing, with more recently meeting a local business called ‘Raptor Vision’, who works primarily with Australian owls; training them up for a show and currently doing ring deliveries at weddings. Starting my second last year of high school, I am determined and know my career pathway. I’ve always believed if you want anything to happen, you make it happen. So I’ve decided that after school to get an apprenticeship in falconry over in the UK or Ireland; mainly because they’re both great countries that I’ve always wanted to visit, but also the fact that I’ve got an Irish passport in which will help me out quite a bit! The experiences and knowledge I would gain from an apprenticeships will become invaluable to me, and when I come back to Australia, I will take more than just new skills, but a passion I can spread onto future generations. My hope is to one day see falconry legal in Australia, but until then, gaining experiences in falconry is a priority for me.

If anyone is interested giving me a hand. I’d appreciated all the help I can get! Contact details: Nicholas Gerhard Email: ngerhard@mail.com

Left: White Morph Grey Goshawk

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FALCONRY FAIRS

The Raptor

Duncombe Park, Helmsley, Nork Yorksh

14th-15th June 20 www.raptorfair.com

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www.icbp-duncom


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r Fair

hire, England

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mbe.org

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FALCONRY FAIRS

The Raptor Fair is a show devoted to show casing the very best of birds of prey and falconry in the UK and abroad.

Lanner Falcon

The weathering area at ICBP Duncombe

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Held in the grounds of the new branch of the International Centre for Birds of Prey at Duncombe Park it is a fantastic setting for a very special event. The North of England has never had its own high quality falconry event – until now! Organised by the International Centre for Birds of Prey (with rather a lot of help from lots of other people!) the Fair is conceived to appeal to falconers, birds of prey keepers and everyone who has an interest in these wonderful birds. Children are extremely welcome and will find lots of things to put a smile on their faces! A range of trade stands will be exhibiting their wares enabling visitors to see and handle a range of falconry equipment before buying.


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Nigel King from the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy is coming to fly some of his birds on both the Saturday and Sunday. Visitors have full access to the International Centre for Birds of Prey whilst at the Fair. A wide range of birds from tiny Burrowing Owls to Steller’s Sea Eagles and Griffon Vultures are on display. The timing of the Raptor Fair means we will still be flying the best of last year’s young birds, and the full complement of our older birds will be at their best too. The main flying area will have lots going throughout day.

In addition the Discovery Centre will host a number of seminars and workshops. Keep watching the website for more details. For those visitors who want to come and make a weekend of it, our location on the doorstep of the popular market town of Helmsley means that a huge range of hotels and B&Bs are at your disposal. A basic camping area is available – please pre-book. Dogs or birds (other than our own) are not permitted within the centre grounds. However access to the fair includes access to the Parklands which are great for dog walking. www.raptorfair.com www.icbp-duncombe.org charlie@icbp-duncombe.org Tel 0844 7422035

The magnificent Duncombe Hall home of the ICBP Duncombe PURSUIT  ISSUE 8

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Hooded Talons Quality handcrafted hoods & falconry furniture

Tel: +(44) 7723 442669

Email:kevin@hoodedtalons.co.uk Website: www.hoodedtalons.co.uk

The unique wildlife designs of

CHASTANGďšşVERRIER chastangvdesigns@gmail.com

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Stella’s Sea Eagle PURSUIT  ISSUE 8

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Hawking Books by Martin Hollinshead Signed copies direct from the author Second Edition. If you missed it first time around, here’s another chance to immerse yourself in this massively detailed best-selling training and hunting manual. New layout including action shots by US photographer Natasha Leong.

GLOWING REVIEWS ‘Deserves an A-plus. A first-rate, top-flight falconry book’ American Falconry ‘Should be compulsory reading for anyone flying or contemplating flying a Harris’ hawk’ International Falconer ‘Probably one of the most descriptive accounts of ferreting to hawks ever written’ Hawk Chalk ‘A compelling and enduringly fascinating read. This book lives up to its boastful title’ Independent Bird Register HC. 240 pages. £25.00

‘A must for all rabbit and hare hawking enthusiasts’ Scottish Hawking Club

TWO TITLES FOR THE EAGLE ENTHUSIAST German Eagle. HC. Limited to 400 signed copies. £30.00 Join Fritz Loges as he hacks, trains and then flies his eagles to fox in wartime Germany.

‘Recommended for anyone drawn by the allure of flying eagles’ Matthew Mullenix Hunting Eagle. HC. Limited to 500 signed copies. £35.00 Forests and fields are hunted – islands too – as rabbit, hare, fox and deer are pursued as eagle falconry’s best known names deliver today’s devastating bird.

‘A book that should grace the shelves of all who are interested in this wonderful raptor’ Alan Gates ALSO … Memoirs of a Hunter. HC £25.00 By Friedrich Remmler Edited by M Hollinshead Illustrations by V Gorbatov ‘The squeak of footsteps in newly fallen snow, the lugubrious silence of a forest shrouded in white and the startling cry of the tundra wolf; all are part of the astonishing memoirs of Friedrich Remmler…Whether driving wolves to waiting borzois in pre-revolutionary Russia or hunting them with golden eagles on the Kirghiz steppe, Remmler’s boyish excitement entrances…A mesmerizing book’ The Field ‘Fascinating...riveting...unique...mesmerizing’ Sports Afield ‘You won’t find a more exciting hunting book this year’ Gray’s Sporting Journal ‘Opens up an entire lost world’ Stephen Bodio

To order signed copies email: martin.hollinshead@btinternet.com Telephone 01384 878 573 Available in the US and Canada through Mike’s Falconry and Western Sporting

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Memoirs of an Artist Naturalist by George Edward Lodge Printed by The George Edward Lodge Trust

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FALCONRY ART

‘Making a presentation’

An award winning British Wildlife Artist based in Yorkshire. www.stevenlingham.com PURSUIT  ISSUE 8

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FALCONRY ART

Goshawk’ on Rabbit

including in the UK, Europe, South Steven has a real passion for British birds, the subject matter Africa, United Arab Emirates, New for which he is most renowned. Zealand and North America. He has used a variety of painting media - acrylics, gouache and the occasional pencil drawing, but has finally settled upon oils, which allow him to attain vibrancy in colour and texture. Steven is renowned for the meticulous attention to detail in his paintings, and although can be very labour intensive his work is still rich with light, atmosphere and beauty. His work can be found in many private collections worldwide,

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In 2008 Steven was invited to become a patron of Raptor Rescue, a UK based charity which rehabilitates birds of prey, (which is one of Steven’s favourite subjects to paint). Steven’s artwork has been selected for inclusion in the prestigious Birds in Art exhibition for 2010 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin, USA, which is arguably the World’s most highly regarded wildlife art exhibition.


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Artist’s Statement I am constantly trying to develop my work, by pushing the boundaries as an artist, to master my medium and as a result I’m intending to paint stylish pieces that incorporate birds and animals within grand and elaborate settings, or representing birds in a decorative and stylised form. I want to show people how beautiful the world is, to evoke emotion and go beyond people’s imagination by showing the humblest of every day objects or birds/animals for what they really are, often stunningly beautiful. Whilst out walking we all see fleeting glimpses of the wildlife that surrounds us, whether it be of a fox running through a woodland, a herd of Roe Deer bounding into the distance or a Barn Owl quartering a field at dusk, moments like those can really make my day. It’s so easy to get ‘bogged down’ by daily life, but by taking a walk in your local woodland or park you can see such sights, which make you realise what life is really all about. With that in mind it’s very important to preserve these little ‘nature reserves’. By painting wildlife I am making people aware of its existence, and giving the viewer a rare chance to really appreciate all the beautiful species that we have in our countryside. My aim is to bring the viewer of my work close to the subject, to see a moment in time. I like to portray my subjects as they really are in the wild, perhaps passing through a scene that I have already chosen to paint. ‘Back-lit Goshawk’

The appearance of the animal or bird becomes an added bonus. PURSUIT  ISSUE 8

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SKY TRIALS

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‘The Best in the West’ The Shawn Hayes Invitational

Sky Trials & Falconry Demonstrations

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FALCONRY SKY TRIALSFAIRS

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APRIL APRIL 2014 2014

Cory Dalton and I located a flying field about 20 miles north of Fallon, Nevada. The field was open and had good and easy access. A perfect place to hold our event. On the Friday morning a few of us falconers met out in the field. We set up a few easy up shade tents and tables. Karl Kerster lure flew his male peregrine falcon putting on a good show. Mac Lopez then flew his male Gyr falcon on the balloon. Mac’s bird flew really nice flying up to the bait that was well over 1000 feet. I then flew my male peregrine falcon. The little guy didn’t do what I wanted him to do but I was happy with how he flew the short time that he did. He was recovering from an early season injury so I didn’t expect him to do much but I could tell during that flight he was healing and getting better. Karl Kerster flew another one of his peregrine falcons, this time he flew a female. This falcon also flew strong making several passes to the lure in fine style. The people really enjoyed the wonderful display this falcon showed while stooping to the lure.

Brian Evens a local falconer and friend from Reno, Nevada flew his drone quad copter. This quad copter is another tool we are learning to use to train our falcons. Brian has built two quad copters and will be instructing Mac and I on how to operate one. Mac and I have been talking and working with Brian to help improve the quad copter to help make it a better tool for the training of falcons. As Brian flew the remote controlled copter I explained to the crowd how falconry has evolved and technology has began to play a major roll in falconry. We only had a couple of falcons left to fly so we took a short break. Cory Dalton and his wife Kristy had their Harris Hawks and flew them for a short time giving the people a chance to see the different types of raptors used in falconry. Chris Honecker an apprentice falconer also had a Harris Hawk and helped educate the public on the different types of hawks and falcons during the break. Saturday we were greeted with nice weather. Perfect flying conditions for the falcons that were to be flown in

the trials. The first falcon to be flown would be a dark male Gyr falcon owned and being trained by Mark Moglich. He is a local Nevada falconer who is also a breeder of both hawks and falcons. This was a first year falcon that Mark produced, he showed signs of being a good game hawk. I introduced Mark to the crowed of about 100 people. Mark explained how the training was going with the young bird and what type of game he planned to hunt with his young falcon. Mark then walked out into the field with his son Ryan. The falcon was then released. The falcon reached his pitch which was about 1200 feet. When mark called for the serve the falcon began to fly higher. Mark then called his falcon down to the lure. As Mark walked in with his falcon on his fist I could tell he wasn’t really happy with how his falcon performed. Two weeks ago Mark flew this same falcon and won a sky trials. He had a smile on his face at the end of our interview. It was a good flight.

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FALCONRY SKY TRIALSFAIRS

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APRIL APRIL 2014 2014

Martin Stiasny then flew his 8 year old Gyr X Peregrine Hybrid. This is a veteran falcon that has become a well trained game hawk. This falcon hunts Ducks and Sage Grouse in fine style. He has also done well in sky trials in the past. Martin is also a falcon breeder breeding Gyr falcons of all colours, Peregrine falcons and Gyr X Peregrine Hybrids. We all watched as the falcon started to mounted and go up. The falcon was acting as if he was going to fly away. As some of us watched through our binoculars we could see that the falcon was turning and flying back towards Martin. Brian Evans and I guessed that the falcon was well over 1000 feet. The falcon finally returned and flew above the falconer. When Martin called for the serve the falcon came down in a nice stoop that just so happened to be right in front of the crowed. We all enjoyed the flight. The falcon was called down. Martin walked up to me and had a few words about his falcon. I thanked Martin for attending and flying his falcon in the trials so did the people and falconers watching. Long time friend and falconer Mac Lopez was nice enough to help out and fly his falcon in the trials. Mac is flying a nice looking two year old Male Gyr falcon. This falcon is of the white phase. Mac and I have trained our falcons together for the last 3 to 4 seasons and I knew we had a good chance to see this bird fly well. Mac walked up to me just before he was going to fly and asked if it would be OK if he flew his falcon on the drone. I thought it would be great to see how his falcon would respond to the drone. Brian Evans also brought out his PA system. We took another short break while Brian set up the drone. Mac and I entertained the people by explaining and talking about the training and the process it takes to get this particular falcon to do and fly as high as it dose.

Brian was now ready to fly the drone. With the control box around his neck we all watched as the four prop drone lifted off the ground and made it’s way up to about 1000 feet. The falcon was then un hooded. A short time after, the falcon looked up and spotted the bate hanging 10 feet below the drone. He then left Mac’s glove and started to work his way up. I stood next to Mac and Mark Moglich as the falcon worked his way up to the bait. The falcon seemed to be motivated as he worked his way up flying with a lot of energy with a sharp wing beat. We could tell he was eager to get to the bait just by the way he was flying. A few of us tried to guess how high the falcon was as it mounted up. We all guest wrong because a short time after the falcon reach the bait. The falcon made it up to the bait in good time. He grabbed the bait, the parachute released from the tube and as the falcon came down with the bait the parachute opened and the falcon floated down with it’s meal. Mac walked out to his falcon, allowed him to eat on the ground. Once he was finished with his meal Mac picked up his falcon and fed him a small portion as he sat on the glove. The last flight of the day would be falconer and friend Pete. Pete is from Reno, Nevada. I first met Pete a few years ago while visiting Mac. We all met out in the field to train our falcons. It was early September and Pete was the only falconer who was flying a adult falcon. He was flying a 6 year old male Peregrine X Prairie Hybrid at the time. I asked Pete if he would be willing to fly his falcon in the trials. He agreed, Pete chose to fly his bird who is now 9 years old. Pete mentioned that his bird fly’s better in the late morning. On several outings I have watched this falcon fly really high and put on some really nice stoops. Pete and I did a little interview.

He talked about his falcon to the crowed giving them and the on looking falconers an idea of how he trains this falcon and what type of game he pursues. It was late morning as we watched Pete walk out into the field to release his falcon. As expected the falcon flew nice making it up to about 800 feet. The falcon flew wide as it went up but not so far that we couldn’t see him. As mentioned it was late morning and thermals began to rise off the desert floor. The falcon took advantage of the rising air and drifted a little further out an away. A wild prairie falcon came in on his falcon and they began to chase each other. This went on for about 10 more minutes. The two falcons flew out of site. Pete had two transmitters attached on his falcon. He turned on his receiver and picked up a signal. He and Mac drove a short distance and recovered the falcon safely. Brian Evans again flew his quad copter showing us the different styles it can fly. When Pete returned with his falcon I announced it over the PA system. Pete received a big applause from the crowed. A good way to end the day of flights. After lunch, Janet Karecki, Cory Dalton, Lauren Evens and Lesley Aluffi sold raffle tickets and helped set up the raffle table. We were happy to receive the donations from the falconry and non falconry venders. We were able to raise enough money for the children cancer research center in Davis California. When people ask me who won the sky trials I tell them the kids who are battling leukaemia and cancer won. It was a wonderful event and we are in the process of putting together next years event. I would like to thank all who helped put on the sky trials. Shawn Hayes 2014

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Pursuit Falconry Magazine - April 2014  

Promoting the art of falconry and hawking

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