Falconry Equipment

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jesses Jesses

These leather straps are used for tethering a bird. A good jess is easy to mount and dismount of birds tarsi. Good jesses are made of fine leather that will not brake or crack on the influence of the weather conditions and the pressure of constant picking of the bird. One of the traditional materials used for jesses is a good quality leather and the length of the jesses is often determined by the falconer, usually about 20 -25 cm and wide 1-1,5 cm depends of the species of raptor. The main purpose of the jess is to prevent the bird from flying off. Check them regularly and a good advice is to cream them up, with a leather product grease etc. It will prolong their life. There are many types of jesses but most widely used are the traditional type and the Aylmeri anklets. Very important is to secure a free rotating of the jess around the birds tarsi.

Falconiera multitasche

Falconers bag

Every falconer needs a falconry bag. In this bag falconers carry the reserve swivels, leather jesses, hoods, and at last the hunted quarry. The bag should have a separate space for the previously prepared tidbits, the lure, knife, water, a sandwich etc. It should be as light as possible because after a few hours walking in the field it will look a lot heavier. Most of the bags are divided in few partitions. It’s advisable not to mix the sandwich with the dead partridge in a same compartment. When choosing a falconers bag seek one with a wider belt. Thin belts will cut into your shoulder.

aylmeri Aylmeri

Anklets of this type are introduced by late Gail Aylma and are improved version or modification of the traditional jesses. This type of anklets or bracelets, are made of leather with a grommet. A separate piece of leather jess go’s through the grommet and can be pulled out while the bird is hunting.

gloves Gauntlet or Glove

Gauntlets serve as protection for the falconers hand from the sharp talons of raptors. As we know raptors feed on life quarry, very often their talons are soaked in blood. Blood is one of the best substrates for development of bacteria. That’s why falconers should protect from potential infections and injuries. Depending on the raptor there are different types of gloves. Gloves used for falcons are not suitable and strong enough to protect you from the claws of Goshawks or Eagles.

girelle  

Swivles

The Swivel is the weakest link in the equipment. Failure of the swivel to freely rotate could easily tangle a bird. It could result in broken feathers, stress, and even the worst thing. When talking about swivels we cannot improvise. Very often fisherman’s swivels (only the biggest) are used. Swivles used for dog leashes are absolutely useless. Nowadays there are specifically made swivels for falconry.

 

lure  

Lure

Lure is used to lure the bird to come back. It presents a security policy in a case of bird flying off. Usually horseshoe form of lure is used with attached wings on it. The feathers should be of a specie you are intending to fly the bird on. It should resemble the quarry. When making a lure take care of it’s weight and material you use. Tie the lure to the 2-3m long line.

 

scale  

Scale

The scale is probably the most important piece of equipment in falconry. Every day use of the scale is important because the behavior of the raptors is closely related to their weight. There are different kind of scales where the leading ones are digital scales.

falconry hoods Hood

Hoods play important rule in falconry. Hoods main purpose is to prevent the bird seeing. Hoods play biggest role in training and manning a raptor. When the raptor is not yet feeling comfortable in the presence of it’s new hunting companion, dogs, ferrets the use of hood is essential. Hoods decrease the stress of outer stimuli to the bird. It calms the bird. The raptor is firstly used to the everyday sounds by wearing the hood and afterwards to the sights of things that will surround it. There are three main types of hoods which now have their many modifications. Anglo-Indian, Dutch and Arab hood. When choosing a proper hood take care of the slit for the beak to be large enough so the bird could easily cast the castings (non digestible parts of their diet – feathers, bones, fur).

Telemetry

A small transmitter is attached to the bird and the falconer has a receiver tuned to the bird’s frequency. If the bird is unable to be found, the telemetry is used to locate her. This is one of the most revolutionary changes for modern falconry allowing falconers to fly the same bird for a longer period of time without her being lost, allows other falconers with receivers to assist in finding a lost bird, and allows the falcon to be flown at higher weights then ever before.

Astroturf

Perches for raptors should be covered with Astroturf. This material improves the blood circulation in birds feet. It prevents the infection and swelling of the feet, well known as Bumblefoot. Since it is made of plastic raptors cannot use it for sharpening their beak and talons, so the falconer should take care of this.

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Bath pen

Raptors rarely drink water, instead, they satisfy their need for water through their feed i.e. meat. The period when raptors often drink water is after the moult. The blood comes back from the new feathers and is highly concentrated with minerals. The bath pan should be present at all times. In winter when water freezes, empty it and refeel it. Change the water regularly. The size of the pan should be large enough to fit the bird from the tip of its beak to the tail. Remember raptors are lousy swimmers so do not over feel the pans.

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