Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ed be

tamo

[merged small][ocr errors]

A

[ocr errors]

LENGTH SINCHES

autumn.

[ocr errors]

Casting. --Tho oblong or egg-shaped ball, cousisting of feathers, Iniermeucd.-A lawk moulted in confinement is said to be "inter.

bones, &c., which all hawks (and insectivorous birus) throw up mewed."

after the nutritious part of their food has been digested. Jesses. - Strips of light but very tough leather, some 6 to 8 inches Cere. The naked wax-like skin above the beak.

long, which always remain on a hawk's legs-one on each Check. -A hawk is said to fly at "check" when she flics at a bird leg. (See cut.)

other than the intended object of pursuit, --for instance, if a Lcash. -A strong leathern thong, som.e 24 or 3 feçt long, with a

hawk slipped at a heron goes off at a rook, she flies at check. knot or button at one end. (See 7 in cut.)
Clutching. --Taking the quarry in the feet as the short-winged hawks Lure. The instrument used for calling long-winged hawks, - a dead'
do. Falcons occasionally “cluteh."

pigeon, or an artificial lure made of leather and feathers or Come to. -A hawk is said to come to

when she begins to get wings of birds, tied to a string:

Man a hawk.–To tame a lawk and accastom her to strangers.
Mantle.-A hawk is said to “mantle " when she stretches out a leg

and a wing simultaneously, a conimon action of hawks when
at ease ; also when she spreads out her wings and feathers to
hide arry quarry or food she may have seized from another

hawk, or from man. In the last case it is a fault.
Make hawk. -A hawk is called a "make hawk” when, as a

thoroughly trained and steady hawk, she is nown with young

ones to teach them their work.
Mcw.-A hawk is said to "mew" when she moults. The place

where a hawk was kept to moult was in olden times called
her "new." Buildings where establishments of bawks were
kept were called “mews -an appellation which in many

cases they have retained to this day,
Pannel.--The stomach of a hawk, corresponding with the gizzard

of a fowl, is called her pannel. In it the casting is formed.

i Passage. — The line herons take over a tract of country on the way 5

to and from the heronry when procuring food in the breeding

season is called a “passage.
Passage hawks. --Aie hawks captured when on their passage cr mi.

gration. This passage takes place twice a year, in spring and
Pelt. -The dead body of any quarry the hawk has killed.
Pilch. -The height to which a hawk, when waiting for game to be

flushed, rises in the air is called her "pitclı."
Plumc.- A hawk is said to "plume" a bird when she pulls off the

feathers,
Point. -A hawk "makes her point" when she rises in the air in a

peculiar manner over tlie spot where quarry has saved itself

from capture by dashing into a hedge, or has otherwise secreted
8

itself.
Pull through the hood.-hawk is said to pull tlırough the hood

when she eats with it on.
Put in.- A bird is said to "put in " when it saves itself from the

hilwk by dashing into covert or other place of security.
Implements used in Falconry.

Quarry.-The bird or beast flown at. 1. lInod; 2. Back riew of hord, showing braces a, a, b, 0; by drawing the braces

Rake out.- hawk is said to "rake out" when she flies, while
6,5, the hond, now open, is closed; 3. Rufter hood; 4. Imping-necille: 5. Jess: "waiting on" (see IV ait on), too far and wide from her master.

is the space for the hawk's leg; the point and slit a, a are brought round Red harck. - Hawks of the first year, in the young plumage, are
the leg, and passed through slit 6, after which the point c and slit C, and also
the whole remaining lengih of jess are pulled through slits a and b; c is the

called "red hairks."
siit to which the upper ring of swivel is attached; 6. Hawk's leg with bella,

Ringing. - bird is said to "ring" when it rises spirally in the
bewit 6, jess c; 7. Jesses, gwivel, and leash; 8. Portion of first wing-feather of air.

peregrine falcon, " tiercel." half natural size in process of imping: a, the Rufter hood. An easy fitting hood, not, however, convenient for
liring bawk's feather; b, piece supplied from another tiercel, with the imping
needle e pushed half its length into it and ready to be pushed home into

hooding and unhooding—ised only sor hawks when first cap.
the living bird's feather,

tured (see 3 in cut). Crabbing.—Hawks are said to "crab " when they seize one another Corina Cutting the beak or talons of a hawk is called “coping." Secling Closing the eyes by a fine thread drawn through the lid

of cach eye, the threads being then twisted together above the fighting

heal,-a practice long disused in England Creance.- long line or string.

Serving a hauk.- Driving out quarry which has taken refuge, or Crop, lo put away.--A hawk is said to "put away lier crop

has "put in.

Take the air. - A bird is said to take the air” when it seeks to
the fool passes out of the crop into the stomach.
Deck feathers. -.The two centre tail-feathers.

escape by trying to rise higher than the falcon. Eyrs.-A hawk which has been brought up from the rest is an

T'icrccl. --The male of various falcons, particularly of the percgrine, eyas."

is called a "tiercel;" the term is also applied to the male of the Eury. - The nest of a hawk.

goshawk. Fool. - A hawk is said to "foot " well or to he a "good footer "

Trussing.--A hawk is said to “ truss" a bird when she catches it wlien she is successful in killing. Many hawks are very fine

in the air, and comes to the ground with it in her talons this flyers without being “good footers."

term is not applied to large quarry. (See Bind.) Frounce. --A disease in the mouth and throat of hawks.

Varucis. --Small rings, generally of silver, fasteued to the end of tl:e
Od in. - To go up to a hawk when she has killed her quarry is to

jesses-1100 much used now.

Wail on. A hawk is said to "wait on " when she fics above her
get in.
Hack. The state of partial liberty in which young hawks inust

master waiting till game

is

sprung: always at first be kept—loose to fly about where they like, but

IVeathering.-Hawks are " weathered" by being placed unhoodeil punctually fed early in tho morning and again in the day, to

in the open air. This term is applied to passage hawks which keep them from seeking food for theniselves as long as pos.

are not sufficiently reclaimed to be left out by themselves u. sible.

hooded on blocks, -- they are "weathered” by being put out for Hajgard.--A wild-caught hawk in the adult plumage.

an hour or two.under the falconer's eye. Hood - The cap of leather used. for the purpose of blindfolding the

Yari:k.-An Eastern term; generally applied to short-winged

hawks. When a lawk is keen. ayd in hunting condition, she Hoodshy. A hawk is said to be " hoodslıy” when she is afraid of,

is said to be "in yarak.

The training of hawks alfords much scope for judgment,
Imping The process okomending" broken feathers is called experience, and skill on the part of the falconer, who must
ing fiom the middle to the ends. (See 4 in cut.)
inches long, rough filed so as to be three-siiled anıl taper sorted to which cannot be liere described.

constitution of cach bird ; and various practices are re.

It is through

[graphic]
[graphic]

HALF NATURAL SIZE

[ocr errors]

when

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Imping moebe Toa piece ror

eugh soft iron wire from about 1} carefully observe the temper and disposition as well as the

a

a

1

the appetite principalls that haulin, like most wild animals, I hier. If her casting is not thrown it is better fur him to aru tameu; but tu fit them for use in the field much retire, leaving the room quite dark, and cume in again later. patience, gentleness, and care must be used. Slovenly She must now be taught to know the voice, -The shout taming necessitates starving, and low condition and weak that is used to call hier in the field, -and to jump to the fist 1105s are the result. The aim of the falconer must be for food, the voice being used every time she is fed, to bave lis liawks always keen, and the appetite when When she comes freely to the fist she must be made acthey are brought into the field should be such as would in- quainted with the lure. Kneeling down with the hawk on duce the bird in a state of nature to put forth its full his fist, and gently unbooding her, the falconer casts out a powers to obtain its foud, with, as near as possible, a cor- lure, which may be either a dead pigeon or an artificial responding condition :15 tu flesh. The following is an out- lure garnished with beefsteak tied to a string, to a distance line of the process of training lawks, beginning with the of a couple or three feet in front of her. When she jumps management of a wild caught peregrine falcon. Wlicn first down to it, she should be suffered to eat a little on it-thic tiken, a rufter. hood should be put on ber head, and she voice being used—thc while receiving morsels from the must be furnished with jesses, survel leaslı, and bell. A falconer's hand; and before her meal is finished she must thick glove or rather gauntlet must be worn on the left be taken off to the land, being induced to forsake the lure hand (Eastern falconers always carry a hawk on the right), for the band by a tempting piece of meat. This treatment and she must be carried about as much as possible, late into will help to check her inclination hereafter to carry lier the niglit, every day, being constantly stroked with a bird's quarry. This lesson is to be continued till the falcon feeds wing or feather, very lightly at first. At night she should very boldly on the lure ou the ground, in the falconer's be tied to a perch in a room with the window darkened, so presence-till she will suffer him to walk rouud her while that no light cau enter in the morning. The perch should she is feeding. All this time she will have been held by be a padded pole placed across the room, about four and a the leash only, but in the next step a strong but light Half feet from the ground, with a canvas screeu underneath. creance must be made fast to the leash, and an assistant She will easily be induced to feed in most cases by draw. I holding the lawk should unbood her, as the fulconer, standing a piece of beefsteak over, hier feet, brushing her legs ing at a distance of 5 to 10 yards, calls her by shouting at the time with a wing, and now and then, as sh“ snajis, and casting out the lurc. Gradually day after day the disslipping a morsel into ber mouih. Care must be taken to tance is incrcased, till the bawk will come 30 yards or so make a peculiar sound with the lips or tongue, or to use a without hesitation ; then she may be trusted to fly to the low whistle as she is in the act of swallowing; she will very lure at liberty, and by degrees from any distance, say 1000 soon learn to associate this sound with feeding, and it will yards. This accomplished, she should learn to stoop at the be found that directly she hears it, she will gripe with her lure. Instead of allowing the lawk to seize upon it as slıc talons, and bend down to feel for food. When the falconer comes up, the falconer should snatch the lurc away and let perceives this and other signs of lier "coming to," that she her pass by, and immediately put it out that she may no longer starts at the voice or touch, and steps quictly up rcadily scize it when she turns round to look for it. This from the perch when the band is placed under her feet, siould be dono at first only once, and then progressively it will be tinic to change hier rufter hood for the ordinary until she will stoop backwards and forwards at the lure as hood. This lalter should be very carefully chosen,-an easy often as desired. Next she should be entered at her quarry. fitting one, in which the braces draw closely and yet casily Should she be intended for rooks or lierons, two or tlırce and without jerking. An old one previously worn is to be of these birds should be procured. One should be given her recomincnded. The hawk should be taken into a very from the hand, then one should be released close to her,

,-one absolutely dark is best, – and the change and a third at a considerable distance. If she take theso should be made if possible in total darkness. After this keenly, she may be flown at a wild bird. Carc must, bow. sho must be brouglt to feed with her liood o!T; at first she ever, be taken to let her have every possible advantage ini must be fed every day in a darkened room, a glcain of light her first flights,- wind and weather, and the position of the being admitted. The first day, the laws having scized the quarry with regard to the surrounding country, inust be food, and began to pull at it freely, the boud must be considered. gently slipped off, and after she has eaten a moderate qunn. Young hawks, on being received by the falconer bcfurę tity, it must be replaced as slowly and gently as possible, they can fly, must be put into a sheltered place, suel as an and she should be allowed to finish lier mcal through the outhouse or shed. The basket or hamper should be filled Jiood. Next day the hood may be twice removed, and so with straw. A hamper is best, with the lid so placed as to on; day by day the practice should be continuci, and form a platform for the young hawks to come out upon to more light gradually admitteil, until Hawk will feed feed. This should be fastened to a beam or prep a few freely in broad daylight, and suffer the bood to be taken off feet from the ground. The young lawks must le most and replaced without opposition. Next she must be accus- plentifully fed on the best fresh food obtainable--good beef. tomed to see and feed in the presence of strangers and steak and fresh-killed birds; the salconer wlien feeding dogs, &c. A good plan is to carry her in the streets of a them should use his 'vice as in luring. As they grow town at night, at first where the gaslighit is not strong, and old enough they will come out, and perch about the roof where persons passing by arc few, unbooding and hooding of their sbed, by degrees extending their flights to neighher from time to time, but not letting her get frightened. bouring buildings or trees, never failing to come at feeding Up to this time slio should be fed on lean beefsteak with time to the place wliere they are fed. Soon they will be no castings, but as soon as she is tolerably tame and sub. continually on the wing, playing or fighting twith one anmits well to the lood, she must occasionally be fed with other, and later the falconer will observe them chasing other pigeons and other birds. This should be done not later than birds, as pigeons and rouks, which may be passing by. 3 or 4 P.M., and when she is placed on her percb for the As soon as one fails to come for a meal, it must be at once night in the dark room, she must be unhooded and left so, caught with a bow net or a snare the first time it comes of course being carefully tied up. The falconer should back, or it will be lost. It must be borne in mind 111: enter the room about 7 or 8 A M. next day, aumitting as the longer bis his can lie left at hack the better they are little light as possible, or using a candle.

He should first likely to be for use in the field, – those hawks being always observe if she has tbrown her casting; if so, he will at once thic best which have preyed a few times for themselves take her to the fist giving her a bite of food, and in lood before being cauglit. Of courou there is great risk of losing

dark room,

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]

hawks when they begin to prey for themselves. When a | is sighted winging his way at a height in the air over an hawk is so caught, she is said to be taken up” from hack. open tract of country free from water. Though he las She will not require a rufter hood, but a good deal of the no chance whatever of competing with a falcon in straightmanagement described for the passage falcon will be forward ilight, the heron has large concave wings, a very Decessary. She must be carefully tamed and broken to light body proportionately, and air-cells in his bones, and the hood in the same manner, and so taught to know the can rise with astonishing rapidity, more perpendicularly, lure; but, as might be expected, very much less difficulty or, in other words, in smaller rings, than the falcon can, with will be experienced. As soon as the eyas knows the lure very little effort. As soon as he sees the approach of the sufficiently.well to come to it sharp and straight from a dis- falcon, which he usually does almost directly, she is cast off, tance, she must be taught to "wait on." This is effected | he makes play for the upper regions. Then the falcon by letting the bawk loose in an open place, such as a commences to climb too to get above him, but in a very down. It will be found that slie will circle round the different style. She makes very large circles or rings, falconer looking for the lure she has been accustomed to travelling at a high rate of speed, due to her strength and see, -perhaps mount a little in the air, and advantage must weight and power of fying, till sbe rises above the heron. be taken-of a favourable moment when the hawk is at a Then she makes her attack by stooping with great force at little height, her head being turned in towards the falconer, the quarry, sometimes falling so far below it as the blow is to let go a pigeon which she can easily catch. When the evaded that she cannot spring up to the proper pitch for hawk has taken two or three pigeons in this way, and the next stoop, and has to make another ring to regain her mounts immediately in expectation, in short, begins to lost command over the heron, which is ever rising, and wait on, she should see no more pigeons, but be tried at So 01,—the “field” meanwhile galloping down wind in the game as soon as possible. Ycung peregrines should be direction the flight is taking till stre seizes the heron alost, flown at grouse first in preference to partridges, not only “binds” to him, and both come down together. Absurd because the season commences earlier, but because, grouse stories have been told and pictures drawn of the heron rebeing the heavier birds, they are not so much teinpted to ceiving the falcon on its beak in the air. It is, however, "carry" as with partridges.

well known to all practical falconers that the heron has no The training of the great northern falcons, as well as power or inclination to fight with a falcon in the air ; so that of merlins and hobbies, is conducted much on the long as he is flying he seeks safety solely from his wings. above principles; but the jerfalcons will seldom wait on When on the ground, however, should-thie falcon be de. well, and merlins will not do it at all.

ficient in skill or strength, or have been mutilated by the The training of short-winged hawks is a simpler pro- coping of her beak and talons, as was sometimes formerly ceșs. They must, like falcons, be provided with jesses, done in Holland with a view to saving the heron's life, tha swivel, leash, and bell

. In these hawks a bell is some heron may use his dagger-like bill with dangerous effect, times fastened to the tail. Sparrow-bawks can, however, though it is very rare for a falcon to be injured. It is scarcely carry a bell big enough to be of any service. The never safe to fly the gosbawk at a heron of any description. hood is seldom used for short-winged hawks,-never in the Short-winged hawks do not immediately kill their quarry field. They must be made as tame as possible by carriage as falcons do, nor do they seem to know where the life lies, ou thè fist and the society of man, and taugbt to come to and seldom shift their hold once taken even to defend the fist freely when required-at first to jump to it in a themselves; and they are tlierefore easily stabbed by a heron. room, and then out of doors. When the goshawk comes Rooks are flown in the same manner as herons, but the freely and without hesitation from short distances, she ought flight is generally inferior. Although rooks fly very well, to be called from long distances from the band of an as they seek shelter in trees as soon as possible. sistant, but not oftener than twice in each meal, antil sho For game-hawking eyases are generally used, though will come at least 1000 yards, on each occasion being well 'undoubtedly passage or wild-cauglit hawks are to be prerewarded with some food she likes very much, as a fresh. ferred. The best game hawks we liave scen have been killed bird, warın. When she does this freely, and endures passage hawks, but there are difficulties attending the the presence of strangers, dygs, &c., a few bagged rabbits use of them. It may perhaps be fairly said that it is sliould be given to ber, and she will be ready to take the easy to make all påssage - hawks “wait on" in grand field. Some accustom the goshawk to the use of the lure, style, :but until they have got over a season or two, for the purpose of taking her if she will not conie to the they are very liable to be lost. Among the advan: fist in the field when she has taken stand in a tree after tages attending the use of eyases are the following:-they being baulked of her quarry, but it ought not to be are easier to obtain and to train and keep; they also necessary to use it.

moult far better and quicker than passage Lawks, while if Falcons or long-winged hawks are either" flown out of lost in the field, they will often go home by themselves, or the hood," i.e., unhonded and slipped wlien the quarry is remain about the spot where they were liberated. Experi. jo sight, or they are inade to wait on” till game is flushed. ence, and, we must add, some good fortune also, are requisite Herons and rooks are always taken by the former method. to make eyases good for waiting on for game. Sligbt mis. Passage bawks are generally employed for flying at these takes on the part of the falconer, false points from dogs, or birds, though we have known some good eyases quite bad luck in serving, will cause a young hawk to acquire bad equal to the work. For heron-hawking a well-stocked habits, such as sitting down on the ground, taking stand heronry is in the first place necessary. Next an open in a tree, raking out wide, skimming the ground, or lazily country which can be ridden over-over which herons Aying about at no height. A good game hawk in proper ars in the constant habit of passing to and from their her- Aying order goes up at once to a good pitch in the airorry on their fishing excursions, or making their " paş. the higher she flies the better--and follows her master sage.", 4 beron found at his feeding place at a brook or from field to field, always ready for a stoop when the quarry pond affords no sport whatever. If there be little water any is sprung. Hawks that have been successfully broken and peregrine falcon that will go straight at bin will seize him judiciously worked become wouderfully clever, and soon soon after be rises. It is sometimes advisable to fly a young learn to regulate their flight by the movements of their falcon at a beron so found, but it should not be repeated. master. Eyases were not lield'in esteem by the old falIf there be much water the heron will neither show sport coners, and it is evident from their writings that these cor be captured. It is quite a different affair when he | hawks have been very much better understood and m

[ocr errors]

aged in the nineteenth century than in the Middle Ages. | tiercel, perhaps a cast of tiercels, waiting or in the air, It is probable that the old falconers procured tbeir passage with some active runners in his field. Then driven froin and wild-caught hawks with such facility, having at the hedge to hedge, from one kind of shelter to another, stooped same time more scope for their use in days wlien quarry at every instant when he shows himseil ever so little away was more abundant and there was more waste iand than we from cover by the watchful tiercels overbeud, his egg-stealing have now, that they did not find it necessary to trouble days are brought to an end by a fatal stroke-sometimes themselves about eyases. We here quote, a few lines not before the field are pretty well exhausted with running from one of the best of the old writers, which may be taken and shouting. The magpie always manœuvres towards as giving a fair account of the estimation in which eyases some thick wood, from which it is the aim of the field to were generally held, and from which it is evident that the cut him off. At first hawks must be flown in easy country, old falconers did not understand flying hawks at hack. but when they understand their work well they will kill Simon Latham, writing in 1633, says of eyases :

magpies in every enclosed country,—with a smart active They will be verie easily brought to familiaritie svith the man, field'a magpie may eveu be pushed through a small wood. not in the house only, but also abroad, hooded or unlıooded; nay, Magpie bawking affords excellent exercise, not only for many of them will be more gentle and quiet when unhooded than when hooded, for if a man doe but stirte or speake in their hearing,

those who run to serve the hawks, but for the hawks also ; they will crie and bate as though they did desire to see the man. they get a great deal of flying, and learn to hunt in com. Likewise some of them being uinhooded, when they see the man pany with men,-ary number of people may be present. will cowre and crie, shewing thereby their exceeding sondness and Blackbirds may be buinted with tiercels in the same way. fawning love towards him.

Woodcocks afford capital sport where the county is toler: These kind of hawks be all (for the most part) taken out of the nest while verie young, even in the downe, from whence ably open. It will generally be found that after a hawk has they are put into a close house, whereas they be alwaies fed and made one stoop at a woodcock, the cock will at first try to familiarly brought up by the man, untill they bee able to flie,

escape by taking the air, and will show a very fine flight. when as the summer approaching verie suddenly they are continued

When beaten in the air it will try to get back to covert and trained up in the same, the weather being alwaies warm and temperate ; thus they are still inured to familiaritie with the man, again, but when once a hawk has outflown a woodcock, not knowing from whence besides to fetch their relief or sustenance. he is pretty sure to kill it. Hawks seem to pursue wood When the suinmer is ended they bee commonly put up into a house cocks with great keenness; something in the flight of the again, or else kept in some warm place, for they cannot endure the cold wind to blow upon them. But leaving to speak of

cock tempts them to exertion. The laziest and inost useless these kind of scratching hawks that I never did love should come

hawks-hawks that will scarcely follow a slow pigeon-will too neere my fingers, and to return unto the faire conditioned do their best at woodcock, and will very soon, if the sport haggard faulcon.

is continued, be improved in their style of flying. Snipes The author liere describes with accuracy the condition inay be killed by firstclass tiercels in favourable localities. of unhacked eyases, which no modern falconer would Wild ducks and teal are only to be down at when they can trouble himself to keep. Many of our falconers in this be found in small pools or brooks at a distance from much century have had eyases which have killed grouse, water, --where the fowl can be suddenly flushed by men or ducks, and other quarry in a style almost equalling that dogs while the falcon is flying at her pitch overhead. For of passago hawks.

Rooks also have been most suc. ducks, falcons should be used ; tiercels will kill teal well. cessfully flown, and some herons on passage have been The merlin is used for iying at larks, and there does taken by eyases.

No sport is to be had at game without not seem to be any other use to which this pretty little falcon hawks that wait on well

. Moors, downs, open country may fairly be put. It is very active, but far from being, where the hedges are low and weak, are best suited to as some authors have stated, tbe swiftest of all lawks. Its game hawking. Pointers or setters may be used to find flight is greatly inferior in speed and power to that of the game, or the hawk may be let go on coming to the ground peregrine. Perhaps its diminutive size, causing it to be where game is known to lie, and suffered, if an experienced soon lost to view, and a limited acquaintance with the one, to "wait on” till game is flushed. However, the best flight of the wild peregrine falcon, have led to the mistake. plan with most hawks, young ones especially, is to use a The hobby is far swifter than the merlin, but cannot bc dog, and to let the hawk go when the dog points, and to said to be efficient in the field; it may be trained to wait flush the birds as soon as the hawk is at her pitch. It is on beautifully, and will sometimes take larks; it is very not by any means necessary that the bawk should be near. much given to the fault of "carrying.” the birds when they rise, provided she is at a good height: The three great northern falcons are not easy to procure and that she is watching; she will come at once with a in proper condition for training. They are very difficult rush out of tho air at great speed, and either cut one down to break to the hood and to manage in the field. They are with the stoop, or the bird will save itself by putting in, flown, like the peregrine, at berons and rooks, and in former when every exertion must be made, especially if the hawk | days were used for kites and bares." Their style of flight be young and inexperienced, to "serve" her as soon as is magnificent; they are considerably swifter than the pere. possible by driving out the bird again while she waits over. grine, and are most deadly “footers." They seem, however, head. If this be successfully done she is nearly certain to to lack somewhat of the spirit and dash of the peregrine. kill it at the second flight. Perhaps falcons are best for For the short-winged hawks an open country is not regronise and tiercels for partridges.

quired; indeed they may be flown in a wood. Goshawks Magpies afford much sport. Only tiercels should be are flown' at hares, rabbits, pheasants, partridges, and wild. used for buoting magpies. A field is necessary at the fowl. Only very strong females are able to take hares; rabvery least 4 or 5 runners to beat the magpie out, and per- bits are easy quarry for any female gosbawk, and a little haps the presence of a horseman is an advantage of too strong for the male. A good female goshawk may kill course in open flight a magpie would be almost immediately from 10 to 15 rabbits in a day, or more. For pheasants caught by a tiercel peregrine, and there would be no sport, the male is to be preferred, certainly for partridges ; either but the magpio -makes up for his want of power of wing sex will take ducks and teal, but the falconer must get close by his canaing and shiftiness ; and he is, moreover, never to to them before they are fushed, or the goshawk will stand be found except where he has shelter under his lee for a poor chařce of killing. Rabbit hawking may be practised security from a passing peregrine. Once in a hedge or tree by ferreting, and Aying the hawk as the rabbits bolt, but he is perfectly safe from the wild falcon, but the case is care must be taken or the hawk will kill the ferret. Where other wise wheti the falconer approaches with his trained rabbits sit out on grass or in turnin fields, á goshawk may

)

[ocr errors][merged small]

F A į ON RY

11 be used with success, even in a wood when tlie Lures course only when there is no danger of their being frightnot too near. From various causes it is impossible, or nearly ened or molested, or of food being given to them by so, to have goshawks in Eugland in the perfection to which strangers. Those who have only seen wretched ill-fed they are brought in the East.

In India, for instance, there hawks in cages as in zoological gardens or menageries, is a far greater variety of quarry suited to them, and wild pining for exercise, with battered plumage, torn shoulders, birds are much more approachable ; moreover, there are and bleeding ceres, from dashing against their prison bars, advantages for training which we do not possess in and overgrown beaks from never getting bones to break, England. Unmolested, -and scarcely noticed except per- can have little idea of the beautiful and striking-looking haps by others of bis calling or tastes,--the Eastern ful birds to be seen pluming their feathers and stretching their coner carries his hawk by day and night in the crowded wings at their ease ai their blocks on the falconer's lawn, bazaars, till the bird becomes perfectly indifferent to men, watching with their large bright keen eyes everything that: horses, dogs, carriages, and, in short, becomes as tame as moves in the sky, and everywhere else within the limits. the domestic animals.

of their view. Contrary to the prevailing notion, hawks The management of sparrow-hawks is much the same as show a good deal of attachment when they have been pro.. that of goshawks, but they are far more delicate than the perly handled. It is true that by hunger they are in a great latter. They are flown in England at black birds, thrushes, measure tapod and controlled, and the same may be said. and other small birds ; good ones will take partridges well of all undomesticated and many domesticated animals.. till the birds get too wild and strong with the advancing And instinct prompts all wild creatures when away from season. In the East large numbers of quails are taken with man's control to return to their former'shyness, but hawks sparrow-bawks.

cercainly retain their tameness for a long time, and their It is of course important that hawks from which work memory is remarkably retentive. Wild-caught hawks have in the field is expected should be kept in the highest health, been re-taken, either by their coming to the lure or upon and they must be carefully fed; no bad or tainted meat quarry, from 2 to 7 days after they had been lost, and must on any account be given to them,-at any rate to eyases after 3 weeks. As one instance of retentivehawks of the species now used in England. Peregrines and ness of memory displayed by hawks we may mention the the great northern falcons are best kept on beefsteak, with case of a wild-caught falcon which was re-captured after a frequent change in the shape of fresh-killed pigeons and being at liberty more than 3 years, still bearing the jesses other birds. The sinaller falcons, the merlin and the bobby, which were cut short close to the leg at the time she was require a great number of small birds to keep them in good released; in five days she was flying at the lure again bealth for any length of time. Goshawks should be fed like at liberty, and was found to retain the peculiar ways and peregripes, but rats and rabbits are very good as change of habits she was observed to bave in her former existence food for them. The sparrow-bawk, like the small falcons, as a trained hawk. It is useless to bring a bawk into the requires small birds. All hawks require castings frequently field unless she has a keen appetite; if she has not, she It is true that hawks will exist, and often appear to thrive, will neither hunt effectually nor follow her master. Even on good food without castings, but the seeds of probable wild-caught falcons, however

, may sometimes be seen so injury to their health are being sown the whole time they attached to their owner that, when sitting on their blocks are so kept. If there is difficulty in procuring birds, and on a lawn' with food in their crops, they will on his coming it is more convenient to feed the hawks on beefsteak, they out of the house bate hard to get to him, till he either go should frequently get the wings and heads and necks of up to them and allow them to jump up to his hand or game and poultry. In addition to the castings which withdraw from their sight. Goshawks are also known to they swallow, tearing these is good exercise for them, and evince attachment to their owner. Another prevailing error biting the bones prevents the beaks from overgrowing. regarding hawks is that they are supposed to be lazy birds, Most hawks, peregrines especially, require the bath. The requiring the stimulus of lunger to stir them to action. end of a cask, sawn off to give a depth of about 6 inches, The reverse is the truth ; they are birds of very active habits, nuakes a very good bath. Peregrines which are used for and exceedingly restless, and the notion of their being lazy waiting on require a bath at least twice a week. If this be has been propagated by those who have seen little or noneglected, they will not wait long before going off in search thing of hawks in their wild state. The wild falcon requires of water to bathe, however hungry they may be.

an immense deal of exercise, and to be in wind, to exert The most agreeable and the best way, where practicable, the speed and power of flight necessary to capture her prey of keeping ahawks is to have them on blocks on the lawn. when hungry, and to this end instioct prompts her to Each hawk's block should stand in a circular bed of sand spend hours daily on the wing, soaring and playing about in -about 8 feet in diameter ; this will be found very con- the air in all weathers, often chasing birds merely for play venient for keeping them clean. Goshawks are generally or exercise. Sometimes she takes a siesta when much placed on bow perches, which ought not to be more than gorged, but unless she fills her crop late in the evening she 8 or 9 inches high at the highest part of the arc.

It will is soon moving again-before half her crop is put over. be several months before passage or wild-caught falcons Goshawks and sparrowhawks, too, habitually soar in the can be kept out of doors, they must be fastened to a air at about 9 or 10 A.m., and remain aloft a considerable perch in a darkened room, hooded, but by. degrees as they time, but these birds are not of such active habits as the get thoroughly tame may be brought to: sit on the lawn. falcons. The frequent bating of thoroughly tame hawks In England (especially in the south) - peregrines, the from their blocks, even when not hungry or frightened, northern falcons, and goshawks may be kept out of doors proves their restlessness and impatience of repose. So all day and night in a sheltered situation. In very wild does the wretched condition of the caged falcon (before boisterous weather

, or in snow
or sharp frost

, it will be ad alluded to), while the really lazy buzzards and kites, which visable to move them to the shelter of a shed, the floor of do not in a wild state depend on activity or power of wing which should be laid with sand to a depth of 3 or 4 inches for their sustenance, maintain themselves in confinement, Merlins apd-hobbies are too tender to be kept much out of if properly fed, for years in good case and plumage. doors. An eastern aspect is to be preferred, -all birds en- Such being the habits of the falcon in a state of nature, the joy the morning sun, and it is very beneficial to them. falconer should endeavour to give the hawks under his care The more hawks confined to blocks out of doors see of per- as much flying as possible, and he should avoid the very song, dogs, borses, &c., moving about the better, but of common mistake of keeping too many liawks. In this

a

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »