Should Falconry be Considered Controversial?

Here’s a question that’s been bothering me. Is falconry a sport that could be considered “controversial” as far as what happens after these birds are released back into the wild? Just so that you know falconry is a legal sport, which is regulated by the government. People obtain what’s called a falconry license, as well as a hunting license in the state. Then, they trap a hawk, falcon or eagle, and they establish a relationship with this bird as their hunting partner. The people take their birds to locations where prey is abundant, then they catch their prey then afterwards they do what’s called a “trade-off”. A trade-off is where the falconer trades the bird’s prey for a smaller chunk of meat, that way the birds don’t get too full and are still willing to hunt. By encouraging these birds of prey to hunt, they can live better and more prosperous lives in the wild. These birds are always wild no matter what, even though they are considered “falconry birds” while these falconers are hunting with them. The problem is, the nameless user who called me an “asshole” told me that its not okay to feed wild hawks. So, then that should make falconry illegal then, right? In order for a falconer to train a bird of prey to hunt, that bird must fly onto the glove so that it can trust the falconer as a provider of food. The falconer will provide small prey such as mice for a couple weeks before the hunt so that the bird will catch prey and return to the owner afterwards. This is what’s called “clicker training”, where the owner makes “clicking” sounds for the hawk and it comes to the glove on command. Sometimes, the owner will provide food on the glove. Sometimes, there won’t be food on the glove because the hawk has to work harder to earn it. Then after a few months of hunting with the hawk, the falconer may decide to release that hawk back into the wild. So HERE’S my problem, now that these hawks have been with the falconers for so long, they have conditioned themselves to show no fear of humans. I have read articles online about hawks attacking small pets such as dogs and parrots if these pets are being carried on their hands. The problem is that hawks are predators, just like lions and tigers, so now that the hawks no longer fear people, they can do more damage. One woman had to be rushed to the hospital after a hawk swooped down and grabbed her parrot on her hand. The woman suffered injuries from the hawk’s sharp talons. This kind of stuff happens all the time with falconry birds after they are released back into the wild. So I’m now having a problem accepting the fact that hawks become a nuisance after they are trained in falconry. The whole point in me pursuing falconry is to get them to not fear humans and increase their population in the wild, but because of these articles I’m reading, I’m convinced that I shouldn’t be a falconer after all. I guess the 80% of these hawks that don’t survive the winter deserve to die. If a person uses a hawk in falconry, they can increase their chances of survival because they’ll be able to hunt more effectively. If they have lots of offspring, like 5 in a nest, all 5 of them will survive because the parent hawk was once a falconry bird and can hunt with almost 100% accuracy because it hunted so much that its a pro at doing it. If 5 hawk chicks were to survive instead of just 1, and then the next year the 5 hawks made 5 offspring, then that’s 25 hawks that are living in the wild instead of just 2 hawks! But on the downside, there’s a chance that people could be injured by these hawks. Also, even their offspring and their offspring’s offspring would end up attacking people as well. So, I suppose nature just shouldn’t be fixed, hawks just need to survive on their own without any human interaction. I wholeheartedly agree! So, due to this, I have made the decision that I’m not going to be a falconer after all. I know you are all disappointed. Also, I want to make it clear to falconers that they are putting people’s lives at jeopardy by owning and raising such a dangerous bird. Did you know that Red Tailed hawks are the top 10 most dangerous animals on earth? Yes, that is a true statement, and NOW I know why. It is because the hawks that are handled in falconry show no fear in humans and become more dangerous. That’s the exact reason. I guess this nameless user has shined some light that its not okay to feed any hawk, not even a hawk that’s raised in falconry. I think falconry needs to be banned! Anyone that starts out in falconry must start with a juvenile Red Tailed hawk because they are “supposedly” the safest birds of prey to work with, which is a FLAT OUT LIE since they are proven to be one of the most dangerous animals! These hawks must be released after the falconry season is over, then capture a new hawk next year. After a few years, they will be allowed to capture falcons as well. Some falconers do what’s called “bird abating” where they work for the state and use their hawks to chase birds away from farmers crops. I don’t have a problem with that since I know these falcons will never be released back into the wild. As long as these falcons remain in the falconer’s care, they can’t be dangerous. As far as the other birds of prey that end up being released in the wild, here’s a video of such a hawk stealing a conure that’s only 12 feet away from the conure’s owner. That proves how dangerous those falconry birds can be! Have a great day!

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