Experience the Ancient Sport of Falconry
The ancient sport of falconry may have originated in Mongolia or China in around 2000 BC and is thought to have been introduced to Europe in around 400 AD. In Scotland the sport had quite a following among the gentry in the 16-18th centuries and today, with centres at Dalhousie and Jedforest, Falconry Scotland promotes the medieval sport of falconry with displays for the public, special event appearances, various activities and tuition for those who would like to become better acquainted with the skills of these fascinating birds of prey.
Located near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, Jedforest offers daily flying demonstrations, static displays and a variety of activities, with knowledgeable staff on hand to answer questions and offer interesting facts on the centre’s many feathered residents, including eagles, hawks, owls, buzzards, falcons, kestrels, merlins and ravens. The centre’s ‘Hawk Walk’ offer visitors the opportunity to handle and fly a Harris’ hawk in a scenic countryside setting. Training and equipment is provided, and as Harris’ hawks cooperate in a hunting situation, this activity can be enjoyed by a group.
Owls have long been viewed as mysterious and even mystical creatures, and the ‘Owl Encounter’ gives participants a hands-on experience with a number of owl species, including the Snowy Owl and Great Grey Owl. Other owls at the centre include three indigenous species, being the Tawny Owl, Barn Owl and Little Owl, as well as some imported species such as the Mexican Striped Owl, Bengal Eagle Owl and the Boobook Owl.
Promoted as the ‘Ultimate Adventure’, this activity begins with a discussion on the history of falconry and some facts on the birds being used, followed by an introduction to the birds of prey collection. No previous experience is necessary as participants will be fully briefed and equipment is provided. Participants will have the opportunity to handle and fly an owl, a hawk and a buzzard, with an experienced falconer demonstrating the astounding speed and agility of a falcon. The Falconry Scotland Jedforest centre also offers hunting expeditions for both beginners and experienced falconers.