Archive for May, 2013

The falconry setting at Blenheim Palace.

van1_Z6O9819-1021Here is a special picture of Bleheim Palace before we start our days activities – two three day events per summer – in the Jousting arena with the The Knights of Royal England.

We have always tried to present a themed falconry display with costume because falconry was a glue that binded medieval scociety together.

The jousting event at Blenheim reenacts an occasion important to the Palace itself. More of a family occasion and this is reflected in the birds of prey displays with the presence of watching families and our Eagle Owl ‘Bo’ gliding with mixture of beauty and stealth as she drifts over the heads of the audience – amazing!

Birds of Prey and falconry Displays by Michael Davie – May 2013

185Well we had a very sucessful Bleheim Palace Jousting and falconry event with record numbers of visitors enjoying the sun – I will say that again enjoying the sun!!!!! but a few days later we are back to wind, rain and generally miserable weather.

In fact last weekend we were in Reading and then Hay on Wye doing events. In both cases we were severely compromised with a very gusty wind. We managed to fly the birds. ‘Leah’  our older lanner Falcon was just brilliant like a fine yacht out at sea – looking splendid against a rough sea.

Everybody knows that I am a great falcon fan having aspired always from boyhood to fly them – my first experience of falconry was seeing a peregrine stoop to the lure at the Falconry Centre which has left an impression that has lasted! Also now I feel falcons are seen less often at birds of prey displays. There are reasons for this but I will always fly falcons and make them the high point of any display that I do.

I must not forget the contribution of the harris hawks that we have ‘Red’ and ‘Arizona’. They are very versatile and can always be flown and of course do a lot of interactive work with guests or show visitors. That hands on experience is thrilling and Red in particular is an unsung hero in this department.

I have had him for 23 years and have the strongest relationship that is is possible to have with a hawk. He reads me like a book and though he does have some eccentric habits he is just the most fantastic hawk – always there, always willing to do his best and I would be lost without him.

He has done countless displays and flown to many people and as my displays have changed and evolved he has too.

Above is a  picture of him chasing the dummy rabbit off the fist. He will no doubt attend many of our displays this summer. See you there.