Stuffed bird, Sparrowhawk, wearing falconry hood and with leather cord and bell ...

Date Created: 13 June 2018

Author: Unknown

Source: The Internet

Owner: The View (Epping Forest Collection)

Link to: Website

  • Photo
  • 19th Century
  • Hunting
  • Hoods
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From

The View (Epping Forest Collection)

Name/Title

Stuffed bird, Sparrowhawk, wearing falconry hood and with leather cord and bell attached. Female

Object number

LDQEH.2016.20

Peter R 27 Jan 2012 17:43 PM,UTC

This SparrowHawk is a bird of prey that has been tamed and trained by its handler to to fly off, seemingly wild, but always return and perch on his outstretched arm.
A thick leather gauntlet-glove protects the handlers arm from the hawk`s sharp talons, - and a decorative plumed leather hood blinkers and tethers the bird to its resting-perch.
Falconry was the `sport of kings` long before horse-racing, and was practised widely by the medieval nobility of Europe and Asia.
King harold was said to have the largest collection of hawks, and the `Bayeux Tapestry` depicts King Harold with a hunting-hawk before 1066, whilst the `Book of St Albans` mentions local hawk-hunting in this area in 1486, when the birds would hunt other birds in the air, or animals on the ground, to carry back in their talons.
Nowadays they are trained by professional `Pest-Controllers,` or display enthusiasts, and a few years ago as a building inspector I monitored their effectiveness at clearing all the messy pigeons during refurbishment works at four tall blocks of flats in Enfield - and then a year later, demonstrating an aerial display on Chingford Plains during the `Epping Forest festival.`

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