We are experimenting with this technique to
condition and evaluate raptors.
Balloon or kite training is a relatively new
technique for training falcons to hunt from
high altitude, often at heights of over 1000′.
A lure with food attached is lifted by the
balloon or kite and the falcon flies up to get
The lure is suspended from the balloon
line by a spring clip. When the bird hits the
lure, the spring clip releases and the lure
slides down the balloon line to the ground
while still attached to the line by the carabiner
Close-up of spring clip. This clip is
simply a lapel clip from a cell phone
headset. It is clipped on a piece of
leather attached to the balloon line
Close-up of carabiner which clips
around the balloon line and prevents
the bird from flying off with the lure
Note that this is a model that was set
up to photograph. On the actual setup,
the line from the spring clip to the lure
is longer, 20 – 30′.
Haggard (Adult) Red Tailed Hawk
taking the lure from balloon.
There were some questions about this
bird’s flight which could not be
answered in a flight cage, so he was
transferred to us. We trained him to fly
up and get the lure suspended from
the balloon which is great exercise and
also shows that he can climb, which
requires good flight capabilities.
This bird was released (7/06).