The first hurdle of falconry is the fear. A full-grown raptor rockets down from the sky to nail a landing by grasping your forearm in its razor-sharp talons. The next is disabusing yourself of the notion that these are extravagant pets for oil sheiks. This millennia-old art is actually a sport—and it’s thriving in the United States. Falconry is working in tandem with a bird of prey—an eagle, hawk, falcon or even an owl. Skilled falconers ramble through nature as their avian partners—don’t call them pets, they’re wild animals by law—fly alongside. The human’s job is relegated to flushing out game (squirrels, jackrabbits and snakes) from the brush, so the bird can …
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