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Soar with a Falcon

Thrust one arm out, and bam! There’s a Harris’s hawk eating out of your hand. And you’re glad it all happened so fast that you never quite realized what foodstuff it was that New Hampshire master falconer Nancy Cowan tucked into your heavy glove. This wildlife rehabilitator, author of Peregrine Spring, has turned what began as her husband’s hobby into one of the world’s few licensed falconry schools. The falconer’s task, like his or her tools, has changed little in four millennia: “Set things up, so the wild instinct comes to the bird.” Introductory classes are exhilaratingly hands-on. When you drop your arm to fly a hawk, it’s hard to contain your awe as his wings unfold and he soars  … alights … waits … stares. By now, you don’t care that it’s feathered chicken feet for dinner. You want to feel that wildness, that power again—the untamed teamwork of bird and human.

Kim Knox Beckius, Yankee Magazine