Source: The Internet
Owner: The View (Epping Forest Collection)
Link to: Website
Stuffed bird, Sparrowhawk, wearing falconry hood and with leather cord and bell attached. Female
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.`
The FHT aims to establish a portal for the world's falconers and other interested parties to access aspects of the sport's rich heritage by linking existing physical archives, including international private and public collections, through the medium of an electronic archive. This archive will feature falconry furniture, works of art, books, correspondence from leading falconers and film and photographic material for the education and interest of falconer and scholar alike. We hope that, whatever your background or interest in our sport, you may find something of value through our archive to deepen your knowledge, understanding and passion for falconry and will help us, through your support, to preserve this precious cultural heritage for future generations.
Falconry Heritage Trust
Phone: within the UK (01267) 233864
and from abroad +44 1267 233864
Fax: within the UK (01267) 233864