Accommodation

Most of all, make sure you have the correct housing, food and equipment before your bird arrives. The correct accommodation for a falconry bird is not an aviary, but should be a fully-enclosed “mews” (a modified wooden shed is OK) for initial training and afterwards every night. From the time when the hawk is at least part trained, during the day the bird is “weathered” – tethered to its perch, with a bath within reach, if possible on a lawn, but under a lean-to-shelter (a “weathering shelter”) in case of bad weather or very hot summer sun. No hawks should be left outside in temperatures BELOW FREEZING, or you will risk the hawk having frostbite. This is often in the form of “wing tip oedema”, and the wing tips will be damaged such that the hawk will NEVER fly properly again. The weathering lawn may need to be fenced to keep out dogs or foxes if no-one is around to look after the hawk. Domestic cats are not usually a problem.