Heightsafety Training Academy recently invested in a birds-of-prey handling and training program. The long-term goal is to set up a birds-of-prey sanctuary and to be able to re-establish these birds back in nature.
The question that sparked this initiative, was: “How do we give back to nature?” Have you ever wondered how it is possible that we just take from the earth and take from nature without considering the long-term effects. We are so tied up in our rat race corporate lives that we don’t stop to breathe and see what is missing, and what can we do to make a difference.
Sitting in traffic, I’m always mesmerised by the lonely falcon that hovers for prey next to the highway. I remember when traveling with my parents as a small boy, the swarms of birds of prey, especially kestrels, and now there is almost nothing. I sometimes pick up the dead birds next to the highway and it saddens me as I can identify them by their most extraordinary plumage. Then you start hearing stories of poisoned birds due to some inconsiderate individual. Small ecosystems that are ripped out of balance and sooner or later it will become irreversible and we will pay the price.How do we prevent this? The key is to inform and to educate.Eastcoast Falconry in Durban was most helpful in sharing their hard-earned skills and knowledge with us.
On the 25th and 26th of October 2017, six local, horse handling grooms where introduced to the complex world of the falconry. Form picking up the birds and how to approach them, how to tie jesses and lanyards, how not to lose the bird, how to weigh and feed the bird to how to tether the birds.The most amazing feeling is when that live creature trusts you enough to fly to your hand and feed from the glove. Feeling the strength of its feet with the controlled bounce on the point of landing on the glove, realising the muscular form, from the wings all the way through the body strength and how it rips the meat apart. A true natural killing machine.
Special thanks, goes to Rowan and his daughter, Mcyla for taking the time and patience to make this training session happen. Watch this space as this is only our first step.If we don’t start caring, we will all disappear.