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  #21  
Old 13-02-2009, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

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Originally Posted by John Beaumont View Post
Another option is to become a volunteer on one of the high-profile raptor conservation projects around the world. Some of them have ornithological laboratories where the incubation and brooding is done and where you would learn avicultural skills; some projects are involved in other stages, such as hacking, and require hack site attendants to watch over youngsters and ensure that mongooses or wild raptors don't get them. Other projects are rehabilitation centres - there you would learn how best to set up your facility with weatherings, moult pens, breeding chambers and seclusion pens; I think the University of Minnesota's is where Pat Redig works and is a very eminent place where you may learn the application of falconry techniques in one of their widest possible contexts. You may find, for example, that, if you work as a volunteer on the San Diego Zoo California Condor Project you are learning applied avicultural skills/raptor conservation in a laboratory environment - you may discover that you have a passion for laboratory work or ornithology. That, in turn, could lead to your doing a degree at Oxford and joining Wildcru!
I've found that fieldwork is not sexy nor glamorous. Do it because you're a passionate field man or don't do it. Do it because you might get a paper out of it and therefore some professional kudos. But be prepared to be bitten, stung, sweaty, dirty, itchy, talked down to and other antisocial things.
I started out several years ago on the Mauritius kestrel project when that was at its highest profile (international team of raptor biologists; living in a tented camp in MaccabÚ forest, working as a voluntary hack site attendant and sometimes in the laboratory; killing things). Some of those personnel need no introduction and have remained where they are because they founded their respective organisations (eg Tom Cade); others have been lucky enough to remain as raptor biologists in the UK. Many were/are falconers.
After Mauritius I went on other projects and then did my degrees and then worked in admin before telling myself enough was enough and high-tailing it out to Brazil where I founded the Pantanal Institute. I now enjoy some involvement with Neotropical raptors, but raptor biology is not my bread-and-butter - yet. Instead, I teach and translate the work of other raptor biologists. We are developing other courses but it'll be a while before I'm a practicing raptor biologist or professional falconer or whatever. I just dig being around things with hooked beaks. On the plus side, I do love what I do now, even if it's not all creances and washed meat, all the time.
What I would definitely say, though, is travel and hook up with a genuine conservation project for a season, preferably in the tropics.

Hope this helps.

This just might be the best post on this thread!!
Certainly made me think.
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  #22  
Old 13-02-2009, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

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Originally Posted by Little Joe View Post
Dont let any of the doom prophets put you off. If its your passion and dream, go for it!!!
It's not about being a doom prophet , it's about being realistic about Falconry being a serious career proposition in the over-centred UK!
I read with sheer admiration John Beaumonts post, but such skilled dedication to raptor biology and conservation is undertaken by a select and dedicated few, the impression I get from the originator makes me think they're after a far more general Falconry career flying birds of prey as opposed to studying them.
Joe I think you need to pop over to the UK and see some of these centres, they mostly attempt to be mini versions of The National Bird of Prey Centre, with a small selection of raptors, they'll be a Kestrel and/or Barn Owl for the kids to hold, a Harris or Buzzard (usually the former) for Hawk Walks for the adults and some of the more experienced kids will fly a Lanner to the lure for the wow factor, some places opt for a Eeo or similar to fly through the crowd and many will offer 'hunting days' flying a couple of Harrises at bunnys on the local farms (courses with these are offered too). You can
Forget hunting long or short wings (too difficult) or any decent conservation projects, as for fieldcraft, forget it but you may be lucky enough to name owl chicks from the latest Barn Owl clutch!

Whilst centres of this nature help to show school kids what things with a hooked beak look like they do very little else, there are far too many of them with the blind leading the blind - trying to forge a career in it over here is a non starter unless you get local sponsorship and even then it's hardly a career for life as the money soon runs out! there is more money to be made clearing landfill sights but even then unless you hold the contracts yourself you'll be on a pitance!

In the originators position I would go with his parents (let's face it as a kid these days you need them) and find a career that allows him to earn enough money to live in a poor financial climate, I wanted to be a Rally Driver or Stuntman when I was a kid (think the latter was due to Lee Majors ) but I wouldn't thanked my parents for allowing me to p1ss my life away on a dream, there is nothing wrong with being realistic!!

Pete
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  #23  
Old 13-02-2009, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

In life the answer you want is not often the answer you get.

The earlier you learn this lesson the better your life will be.
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  #24  
Old 13-02-2009, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

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In life the answer you want is not often the answer you get.

The earlier you learn this lesson the better your life will be.
Possibly one of the best bits of advice ive read on this forum...Col
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  #25  
Old 13-02-2009, 09:51 AM
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Possibly one of the best bits of advice ive read on this forum...Col
Agreed, but these days we have the 'Pop Idol' generation - 'I want it so I'll have it, if I don't get it I'll throw a tantrum/cry till I do, I don't intend work hard to get it either, the world owes me it!'
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  #26  
Old 13-02-2009, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

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Agreed, but these days we have the 'Pop Idol' generation - 'I want it so I'll have it, if I don't get it I'll throw a tantrum/cry till I do, I don't intend work hard to get it either, the world owes me it!'
Tell me about it, I hear it every day! However this is absolutely not aimed at the thread starter, who is clearly thinking carefully about his future.
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  #27  
Old 13-02-2009, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

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Originally Posted by Daave77 View Post
Agreed, but these days we have the 'Pop Idol' generation - 'I want it so I'll have it, if I don't get it I'll throw a tantrum/cry till I do, I don't intend work hard to get it either, the world owes me it!'

I'm in full agreement with you. And in response to other post's on this thread, I'm sure my knowledge isn't that vast nor do I think I'm gods gift after working with birds for just a few years. Maybe I went a bit O.T.T over the display falconer thing. I just remember the lack of encouragement my then boss gave me when I was a teenager, and because of my passion for raptors I can remember feeling upset at his response when I approached him. (by the way, I worked at an animal park at the time not a falconry center and knew he kept birds at his home). I just don't like peoples don't do it attitude that's all.
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  #28  
Old 13-02-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

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See to me that is utter ****!
I think what David is getting at is you should have a grounding in proper Falconry first, but I like the way you assume thats a couple of seasons with a Harris! How sad it is that should be the definition of proper Falconry!! Then you quote some lad in another post who gets a Harris!!!
A grounding in proper Falconry IN MY EYES would be hunting VARIOUS different raptors over a good few seasons, getting out with experienced folk who HUNT with their raptors.
I feel I can comment on this as when I was 17 (14 years ago), I did exactly what the originator in this post wanted to, I got a job as a Falconer for the (then) National School of Falconry. Daily I would either be involved in one of their pest control contracts or taking people on Hawk Walks or involved in hunting days (as well as all the poopy jobs possible) - I loved it but there was NO money in it and I wasn't paid - thats not a job!
All to often people are told to get to their local centre to volunteer and whilst that may teach you how to handle birds of prey it doesn't teach you Falconry in its true meaning.
"Display Falconer" indeed! there is a contradiction in terms if ever I heard it! thats like saying "Car Polisher Driver", IE you get to polish lots of cars but the only one you drive is the garages Vauxhall Astra, or in the case of a most centres you only hunt with Harrises! Yes good displays wow members of the public who know nothing of birds of prey, but don't suddenly think you're gods gift to all things Raptor! I've done it and it wasn't hard!

My advice to the originator like others (including your folks) is get a job that allows you time and money to get the raptor of your choice and hunt with it - centres are all well and good but all to often when I have been there is some teenager (yep that was me once but at least i'd done it on my own first) telling me how the birds hunt having never seen a Long or Shortwing do so, like David I would like to see a credible FALCONER at the helm, not the local kids.

Now the "DISPLAY FALCONERS" can jump on my back....
Firstly when did I say that flying a Harris for a couple of seasons was the true meaning of falconry. Secondly, why just because I've learned a lot in a short space of time do I think I'm gods gift to falconry. I would be the first to admit that I'm just a novice and will not think otherwise for a good many years to come. I may have been a bit over the top in my first post and apologize for that but there are no issue's where my ego is concerned. That's the problem with forums/text - all too often it gets miss understood. I also like to add that I hunt privately as well ( Eagles, Hawks Falcons and buzzards) for roughly six months of the year.

Last edited by Island Lad; 13-02-2009 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Missed info about my job
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  #29  
Old 13-02-2009, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daave77 View Post
It's not about being a doom prophet , it's about being realistic about Falconry being a serious career proposition in the over-centred UK!
I read with sheer admiration John Beaumonts post, but such skilled dedication to raptor biology and conservation is undertaken by a select and dedicated few, the impression I get from the originator makes me think they're after a far more general Falconry career flying birds of prey as opposed to studying them.
Joe I think you need to pop over to the UK and see some of these centres, they mostly attempt to be mini versions of The National Bird of Prey Centre, with a small selection of raptors, they'll be a Kestrel and/or Barn Owl for the kids to hold, a Harris or Buzzard (usually the former) for Hawk Walks for the adults and some of the more experienced kids will fly a Lanner to the lure for the wow factor, some places opt for a Eeo or similar to fly through the crowd and many will offer 'hunting days' flying a couple of Harrises at bunnys on the local farms (courses with these are offered too). You can
Forget hunting long or short wings (too difficult) or any decent conservation projects, as for fieldcraft, forget it but you may be lucky enough to name owl chicks from the latest Barn Owl clutch!

Whilst centres of this nature help to show school kids what things with a hooked beak look like they do very little else, there are far too many of them with the blind leading the blind - trying to forge a career in it over here is a non starter unless you get local sponsorship and even then it's hardly a career for life as the money soon runs out! there is more money to be made clearing landfill sights but even then unless you hold the contracts yourself you'll be on a pitance!

In the originators position I would go with his parents (let's face it as a kid these days you need them) and find a career that allows him to earn enough money to live in a poor financial climate, I wanted to be a Rally Driver or Stuntman when I was a kid (think the latter was due to Lee Majors ) but I wouldn't thanked my parents for allowing me to p1ss my life away on a dream, there is nothing wrong with being realistic!!

Pete
I hear you Pete. I havent been to England...yet

A stuntman, hey?

Maybe in this financial climate one should be a banker - their bonuses seem to be intact....

But I wonder what advice Richard Branson wouldve given the lad?
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  #30  
Old 13-02-2009, 10:55 AM
Daave77 Daave77 is offline
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Default Re: Career in Falconry??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island lad View Post
Firstly when did I say that flying a Harris for a couple of seasons was the true meaning of falconry.
You answered David Ramplings post
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rampling View Post
You need a proper grounding in REAL falconry first.
With:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island lad View Post
Ive learned more in just a couple of years working with anything from American kestrels all the way up to golden eagles than I ever would hunting a Harris season after season.
So faced with a question on "proper falconry" you've come up with hunting a Harris - not a massive leap for me to assume really was it??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Island lad View Post
Secondly, why just because I've learned a lot in a short space of time do I think I'm gods gift to falconry.
For a start off the very fact you've think you've learnt more from displaying birds than hunting them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island lad View Post
I would be the first to admit that I'm just a novice and will not think otherwise for a good many years to come. I may have been a bit over the top in my first post and apologize for that but there are no issue's where my ego is concerned. That's the problem with forums/text - all too often it gets miss understood.
There is a place for display centres and there is no reason the Isle of Wight shouldn't have its own, but don't confuse centres with Falconry, its displaying birds of prey. When YOU have hunted a variety of birds i'd be interested in hearing a demonstration from you, in the meantime you're quoting others and that doesn't a Falconer make.
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