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    Inside the village where golden eagles are trained to hunt... and this young apprentice's bird boasts a wingspan larger than him

    NewsBirds of Prey NewsTuesday 22 May 2012
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    Birdtrader

    For most young boys, kicking a football around or playing the latest computer game is more than enough to keep them entertained during their spare time.

    But for the young sons of this extraordinary family, they prefer something a bit more extreme.
    Azim and Aybek Shajbyrov are keen to follow in their father's footsteps and continue a family tradition of golden eagle hunting in the village of Bokonbaevo in Kyrgyzstan.

    These extraordinary pictures show Azim attempting to train a giant golden eagle - one of the most powerful predators in the world.

    Despite his diminutive size, he looks confident and self-assured with the enormous bird, which are known to kill foxes, goats and young deer.

     

    His father, Talgarbek, began bird hunting at the age of seven and proudly passes on his knowledge to his young sons who are eager to impress.

    The family has two golden eagles and a young falcon which gives the boys the opportunity of learning the unique skill.

    Golden eagle and falcon hunting is a very old national tradition in Kyrgyzstan.

    Professional hunters in the country call the practice berkutchy or kusbeguy in Kazakh

    It is a life's profession and the relationship between the bird and its master is all-consuming.
    A close intimacy between both turns into a life-long trust.

    Source: Daily Mail

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