Do I have to catch things with my hawk? Is it harmful if they don’t take quarry?

Not at all. Most people take up falconry to see their hawk or falcon fly, usually chasing something, but it is possible to avoid taking quarry. However, the bird must be flown free as often as possible – preferably every day, but at least 3 days a week.

Why should I buy The Falconry Shop (Ben Long) equipment?

You will get the best quality, with the best service, and all products are guaranteed. If you have a problem (which is highly unlikely) we are on hand to deal with it. Just email or phone. Many years of development and refinement have gone into the range of furniture you see on our website, and new products are still being added.

What licences to I need to have for a bird-of-prey?

None at present in the UK. Certain birds (at present only the goshawk and the golden eagle which could be considered as falconry birds) are registered and come with a certificate which needs to be returned with your details (and a fee) to DEFRA (see link), who then issue you a new registration certificate. Some birds also have to have an “Article 10” if they are to be displayed to the general public, bought, sold or in some other way used commercially. These are ones considered to be European species, or hybrids of those species.

Can I buy my equipment in any other way than by onlne or mail order?

We attend quite a number of game fairs and country fairs in the UK between March and September, and we advertise these venues on this web site. Clubs also invite us to their monthly meetings from time to time. We also try to go to various shows and falconry club meetings abroad, including Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain etc., the Middle East and USA.

It may also be possible to come to us here in sunny Gloucestershire to pick up what you require, but we need you to arrange it by phoning us beforehand.

How do I start falconry?

Before anything, obtain and read as many books as you can about the subject. Also view any dvds. Then go on a good quality course for at least a day. Then try to find a local falconer to go hawking with. All this will help you to decide whether it’s really for you. It is a great commitment, and time needs to be devoted to your hawk every day. Also, examine your motives for having a raptor. You should only wish to have one to fly, not to pose with nor to help you become a minor celebrity! You will also need access to land to fly your hawk, so you will have to make friends with local farmers and landowners.

If you are serious, come on a course with Ben at the Falconry School, and after 3 days you could be ready to take on your own hawk – with a bit of backup! If you are in doubt, Ben will try to put you back on track.

What should my first bird-of-prey be?

The majority of beginners choose a Harris’ hawk, as they are hardy, easy to train and fly, and not easily lost. You could equally well have a redtailed buzzard, although they have to be flown with a little more care. They will both take quarry very well, and last for many years (maybe 30 years in the case of a redtail!). There are other species which can be ok for beginners, but they may not be any good for taking quarry, or you may need closer supervision or much more commitment than you are prepared for. Some people are keen to have owls, but they are unlikely to take quarry readily, and are generally much harder work, even just to get them to fly to you.