Terminology (this is only the beginning of a long long list of falconry terms one learns over time)


Here is a list of some Falconry Terms taken from the book Falconry: A Survey Course For The Novice Falconer By K.R. Vetoyer:

Accipiter - Genus of raptor, the "short-winged hawks," i.e. Goshawk, Coopers hawk, and Sharp-shinned hawk in NL

Anklets - Leather bands attached around (usually with grommets, but there are some that are removable) a bird's tarsus to which jesses are attached

Apprentice - A newly permitted falconer who is under the tutelage of a general or master class falconer

Austringer - One who hunts with accipiters

Aylmeri - Leather anklets designed by the late Guy Aylmeri; replacement for traditional jesses

Bate - An attempt to fly from the fist or perch when secured

Bells - A small bell attached to the birds legs, neck, or tail. They are used to locate the bird when she is masked by cover

Bewits - Small strips of leather which attach bells or other hardware to the legs

Bind - To grab quarry and hold it

Block - A traditional perch for a falcon

Bolt - To fly straight from the fist to quarry

Bowse - To drink

Braces - Two small leather straps at the back of the hood that operate in pairs to tighten (strike) and loosen the hood

Brancher - A young hawk that is mostly feathered but not yet fully capable of flight

Buteo - Genus of raptor, "broad-winged hawks," i.e. the Red-Tailed Hawk

Cadge - A portable hawk perch capable of holding several birds

Carry - A raptor taking a prey item and moving away from the falconer

Cast - 1) The regurgitation of indigestible fur and bones, which is a normal daily act
2) Two raptors that are flown together
3) To physically hold a raptor to prevent movement

Cope - To reshape the talons or beak of a raptor using a knife, abrasive stone, file or other implement. Raptor beaks and talons sometimes grow longer or asymmetrically, which requires human intervention to correct. Providing the raptor with tiring (bones with sinuous meat attached, weather in wet weather, and providing hard surfaces on which to hone his beak can reduce the frequency at which coping is required

Creance - Long training cord or leash used to keep the raptor in a limited area before it can be trusted to return when flown free

Crop - Vascular sac at the base of the neck were food is first digested

Enter - When a trained raptor first captures a specific type of quarry

Eyrie - A raptor nest site

Falcon - A female falcon - generally used for all female falcons but traditionally reserved for a female peregrine. Falcons are members of the birds of prey family (falconiformes) with show long pointed wings during flight, and a short rounded beak with a "tominal tooth" in the upper beak used to dispatch prey with a bite to the neck vertebrae

Feak - When the bird cleans his beak

Feed Up - To give the raptor its total daily supply of food

Furniture - The equipment (such as jesses, leash, bells, bewits, and perch) needed for the practice of falconry or to maintain the health of the raptor being used

Gauntlet - The glove worn by the falconer

General - Indicates that the falconer holding such a permit has completed their apprenticeship phase, but has not yet accumulated five years of falconry experience

Gorge - To eat to repletion

Hack - Leaving a bird free for a time to develop flying skills (not commonly practiced anymore)

Haggard - A raptor over 1 year old, and in its adult plumage

Halsband - A leather strap around a birds body (usually small accipiters) to hold them vertically so they can be launched at quarry

Hood - The leather head covering used to keep the bird calm

Imping - A method of repairing broken feathers

Imprint - The psychological pairing of an infant to its perceived parent

Intermewed - A raptor that has molted in captivity

Jesses - Leather or cord straps to secure a bird by the legs using an anklet

Leash - A long leather strap or cord attached to the swivel so it is easier to secure the hawk

Lure - Usually a leather bag, sometimes with wing like extensions, attached to the end of a line, and swung to attract a raptor. Training to the lure provides another method of recalling a trained raptor, and also keeps falcons in condition for hunting

Making in - The falconer attempts to come close to the raptor while the bird is sitting on prey, the lure, or a large food item. The object is to be able to leash the bird without the bird carrying its prey/food

Make to - Completely to train the hawk, when she is said to be 'made' (past tense). To "make to" the lure or hood means that the bird is being trained to come to the lure or wear a hood

Manning - The process of reducing the fear, possessiveness, and other responses in a raptor such that more advanced training can commence

Mantle - The natural response of raptors to hide food from onlookers, other birds and animals by covering it with the wings and tail

Master - Level of permit which indicates that a falconer has at least five years of experience in the sport of falconry. Often confers upon the master permit holder the privilege to take and keep more raptors, or raptors of more species than either general or apprentice permittees

Meet - A gathering of falconers and their birds for the purpose of hunting game, swapping stories, and learning more about the art of falconry. National and local organizations hold meets regularly

Mews - Housing for raptors

Molt - The process of dropping old feathers and regrowing new ones

Mutes - "Hawk whitewash". Hawks can project fecal matter a considerable distance. The resulting streaks and splatters on surrounding objects are referred to as "slices". Falcons drop mutes vertically while standing upright while hawks bend over and  "slice" mutes

N.A.F.A. - North American Falconers Association - established in 1961

Passager or Passage - A raptor that was captured from the wild in the fall of its first year, or a wild raptor that has not moulted into its adult plumage

Penned-Hard - Fully grown feathers

Pitch - Height a falcon takes in flight overhead while hunting - usually expressed in feet

Preen - Straitening feathers with the beak, grooming

Rouse - Shaking feathers out in a grooming action. Raptors that feel uneasy will not do this

Slip - To release the raptor after quarry

Soar - To ride on a colum of air by coasting on motionless, oustreched wings (characteristic of buteos especially)

Stoop - Rapid decent from altitude, usually in pursuit of quarry

Swivel - Used to keep the jesses and leash from becoming twisted and tangled

Talons - The hard, sharp, chitinous extensions from the toes of raptors. These are the dangerous parts of the raptor's armament. Combined with the great foot strength of raptors, the talons can penetrate deeply into prey items, or incautious falconers who rely on thin or no gloves

Telemetry - Electronic gear for tracking unseen raptors

Tiercel - Male falcon - general used for all male falcons but traditionally reserved for male peregrines

Tiring - Tough piece of meat on a bone to pull and eat tediously

Trading Off - This technique allows falconers to obtain prey or food items possessed by a raptor. It is often used when hunting with the aide of a raptor to secure game from a raptor

Turn Tail - To give up chasing quarry in mid-flight

Weather - To put the bird in the weathering yard to enjoy being outside exposed to the weather but secured

Weathering Yard - A protected area exposed to the elements with a perch for the raptor to be secured to outdoors

Wait-On - The falcon maintaining a pitch while flying over the falconer in relatively tight circles

Warble - An over head wing stretch

Yarak- State of mind of accipiters and hawks eager to hunt. It manifests itself in an exagerated vertical posture and erected plumage


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