Falconry is the art of hunting with trained birds of prey, born out of ancient local tradition around the world and recognised today as a global cultural phenomenon that is present everywhere. It has played a pivotal role in multiple facets of our culture.
The beauty and benefits of falconry have often been unseen, underestimated and misunderstood, many seeing it as a contentious activity.
It is hard not to be filled with awe for falconry: the image of a falconer in perfect harmony with his bird encapsulates the great complicity between the two. Falconry glows with potential for our future, an unbroken thread of culture that binds man to his natural world.
November 2010: Falconry’s official inscription at UNESCO’s 5th Intergovernmental Committee meeting that took place in Nairobi, Kenya is an immense achievement for a tradition that is over 4000 years old and encompasses the largest ever nomination in the history of the UNESCO convention, presented by 11 nations.
Extract from UNESCO submission - “Falconry is one of the oldest relationships between man and bird, dating back more than 4000 years. Falconry is a traditional activity using trained birds of prey to take quarry in its natural state and habitat. It is a natural activity because the falcon and her prey have evolved together over millions of years; their interaction is an age-old drama. The falcon is adapted to hunt the prey, and the prey has evolved many ways to escape from the falcon. This leads to a fascinating insight into the way nature works and poses an intellectual challenge to the falconer in his understanding of behaviour. His task is to bring the actors together on nature’s stage. To do this the falconer must develop a strong relationship and synergy with his bird.”