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I would like to start hawking for rabbits with a bird of prey

In your opinion what’s the best sort of hawk to start with and can you recommend any good books on the subject of training?

Edward Cook
Taking on a bird of prey should not be done on a whim because ownership of one entails total devotion and dedication to its welfare.

Training, feeding and exercise take up a huge amount of time.

If you’re still keen then first task is to find someone who has a good name in the falconry world and ask if they will take you on as a helper – this way you will learn masses that no book can possibly teach you.

True, lots of people do go out and buy a hawk with little or no knowledge of the subject but this can often mean the bird ends up being fed a poor diet, given tiny living quarters, and with nowhere to hunt.

This, in turn, means the hawk has a miserable existence and, often, a premature death.

To find out more about hawks and their needs you should definitely go along to places such as the Hawk Conservancy at Weyhill near Andover, Hants and talk to the staff there.

Centres of this sort are a mine of information and they also run courses on handling, feeding, housing and flying different birds of prey.

I fly a female Harris hawk and I’m lucky in being able to use her as part of my job when ferreting or lamping.