Falconry in Washington state

Photo of a falconer casting off an eagle. The eagle's wings are fully extended ready to take off.
Photo by Brian and Linda Kellogg
Casting off an eagle – for Master Falconers with special permission only

Falconry is the art of training raptors to hunt in cooperation with a human and the sport of actively pursuing wild quarry with a trained raptor. A person who hunts with a raptor is called a falconer. Raptors (falcons, eagles, hawks and owls) have always held a special place in the lives of humans. Raptors instinctively know how to hunt. The training of a bird for falconry is to allow her to accept a falconer as a partner in the hunt. Today’s falconers are not only sports men and women, they are committed conservationists. Falconers played a large part in the peregrine falcon’s comeback from the brink of extinction, and every raptor used in falconry has stable and increasing populations.