Falconry, the ancient pastime using falcons or hawks and sometimes eagles to hunt game, was practised by man before he learned to write.
SV Gathering of falconers. (3 SHOTS)
CU Falcons standing on trainer's fist. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Falcon flying back to trainer.
GV/SV Falcon answering trainer's call. (3 SHOTS)
GV Falcon catching and eating prey thrown in the air by trainer. (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN Rows of dead hares - or rabbits and pheasants caught by falcons. (3 SHOTS)
CU Falcon eating piece of meat out trainer's hand.
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Background: Falconry, the ancient pastime using falcons or hawks and sometimes eagles to hunt game, was practised by man before he learned to write. However it nearly died out when the shotgun was invented in the 17th century. It has been kept alive by enthusiasts in many parts of Europe, particularly in northern Poland where these pictures were taken at Typin in the Tuchola Woods. The wild birds are natural predators and with skill and patience can be trained by man to kill selected quarry. First the bird has to be trapped, which is an art in itself and then the serious training begins. The falcon has to be tamed so it returns when called by its master. Soon the bird is feeding on selected pieces of wild game from the glove-covered hand of its owner. Then it is ready for the big test ... being set free to kill for itself. When the bird returns successfully the master rewards his pupil.