This post takes us back at Carisbrooke Castle where last time I showed you the Jousting (see Tuesday 27 August), however I am going to show you the Falconry display this time. I only have a very short video at the end as the bird and his master never stopped moving so I decided stills were the wisest option. He flew the Hawk first and then you will see the Peregrine being flown.
The lady is red did all the commentary and she explained that these were totally wild birds and could not be fully trained. This became very evident when the Peregrine decided not to return but look for his own food. The master had to go up on a hill eventually and swing the lure and eventually he came closer and closer.
This is a lure. It is an object used in falconry, usually made of leather with a pair of bird wings or feathers attached. A Falconer swings the lure round and round on a cord for the falcon to chase for exercise. A lure also may be used as an object to train the falcon to retrieve.
This is the Peregrine Falcon.
The peregrine falcon is arguably the fastest bird in the sky. Its streamlined body, powerful muscles and swept-back wing shape are perfect for fast flight.
During level flight, with motion generated by wing-beats alone, they can reach speeds between 40-60 mph. This is one of the fastest known speeds for level flight with only a few species of duck, wader and pigeon known to reach similar speeds in comparable flight.
Most species of wild bird will have many different flying styles which they use in different situations. Birds will reach different speeds during these different flight styles. Migrating birds will often have a fast and steady rhythm, often using the wind to assist them. General flight will be more pedestrian whilst display flights and predator prey interactions can result in short sharp bursts of fast flight. It is during aerial pursuit where extremely fast speeds are reached by both predator and prey and this is where the peregrine is in a league of its own.
Birds of prey often use a controlled dive known as a stoop whilst hunting. This hunting technique is amongst the most spectacular of wildlife behaviour across the animal kingdom.
The actual speed that a peregrine reaches in a stoop will be effected by the wind speed and duration of the dive, which will vary in every situation. Because of these variables there is not a confirmed top speed however it is thought that it is possible for a peregrine in ideal conditions to reach speeds of up to 200 mph which is phenomenal.
The forces that the peregrine is exposed to during a stoop are mind boggling. What makes it even more fascinating is that at the end of the stoop, this unique raptor is still able to deliver a controlled blow and to carry away the unfortunate victim.
All the birds below were at the masters tent and he said he would be flying one of the Owls in the afternoon, however we did not stay to see that as it was so hot and we were both dying of heat exhaustion!!
I hope you enjoyed coming with me to see these beautiful birds. It is not often you can see them at close quarters and to see them in action.
The very short video can be accessed at
If there is a black space below, click it and the video will appear.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you will return soon.
I am linking up with The Bird D'Port