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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Getting Hacked off

I had to run an errand that would mean me having to go to Norfolk on the 19th of June and a friend offered for me to go and see five Tiercel peregrines that he was putting out to hack. Hacking is a Falconry term and means to release young falcons in a controlled manner to allow the young falcons to develop they’re flying skills subsequent to being taken up for training. These young falcons would be out for about ten to seventeen days and would have food supplied on a constant basis at the hack site which they would return to each day for their rations if they needed them. The Idea being that when trapped up at the end of the hack period they will be strong on the wing know about wind and lift and how to use it. Also it is hoped that they may have killed or at least put in serious attacks on various quarry whilst out at liberty. This is a process that also has some element of risks to it as the young birds do on occasion get lost or worse get killed. However this is no different to many wild falcons at this stage of development.
It was a real pleasure to see these four young Tiercels at liberty and as I was visiting on one of the early day’s they seemed very reluctant to leave the safety of the hack chamber. I took numerous photo’s of them and in the days after my visit kept fully briefed of their progress. Sadly two did disappear last seen giving chase to a Heron of all things ! Certainly not lacking in courage those two and lets hope they are doing well and now fending for themselves . The remaining three were caught up after giving my friend a magical experience of seeing young falcons chasing each other and any bird that came into their airspace around his property
I asked my friend if he would do it again and it was a resounding yes
He has Kept back one of the tiercels for himself(blue) and it will be flown as a game hawk alongside the rest of his team of other falcons.

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