Falconry: How To Hold a Raptor
Falconry is the art of training raptors –a type of bird of prey – to hunt and catch wild animals, often other birds. Common birds of prey used as raptors in falconry are hawks and falcons. Despite their impressive strength and skill, many raptors are small and easily handled, such as hawks which can weigh as little as 5 ounces or as much as 3 pounds in their adult state, making them ideal to be carried on the falconer’s arm, as is done in falconry.
To start with falconry you will need a falconry glove which can be bought from specialist falconry sellers. These gloves are long and extend to the elbow, made of leather to fully protect your forearm (birds of prey often have incredibly sharp talons.)
You will also need a “jess” which is a thin strap used to tether the hawk or falcon. It is usually made from leather (kangaroo leather is actually extremely popular because of its light weight and durability). Hook the jess through metal loops on the raptor’s legs. Put your free hand through the loop handle of the jess. Touch the back of the bird’s legs with the leather-gloved arm. A well-trained hawk or falcon will lift its leg and step onto the glove. Lift your gloved arm and hold the bird away from your face and any object that might damage the bird's wing. Hold the jess tightly to prevent the bird from flying away.