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dan frankian eagleFalconry is the process of hunting wild game in their natural state and habitat by using trained birds of prey (raptors) such as an eagles, falcons, owls, or hawks. The animals that are hunted vary in size and environment depending on which type of raptor you choose to hunt with. These animals can include squirrels, rabbits, voles, mice, fish, and often other birds. A well trained bird of prey and its handler have a close relationship, resulting from months and years of working together. For many falconers, falconry is not only a hobby, but a way of life.

In modern times, falconry is increasingly used by bird control companies to manage and control the overpopulation of pest birds, like seagulls, for example; this process is called abatement. The specialists who train these predatory birds to hunt and scare away pest birds are called Falconers.

So how how does one become a falconer? Is falconry legal? Which bird of prey are best suited? How can you get started? Here’s everything you need to know!

Which Birds Are Used for Falconry?

Despite the name, falcons are only one of four bird of prey species used in falconry. Here are the different types of birds used for falconry:

  • HAWKS: Hawks are divided into two categories
    Buteos: Red-Tailed Hawk, Red-Shouldered Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Harris’ Hawk
    Accipiters: Eurasian Sparrow Hawk, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, Goshawk, Cooper’s Hawk

  • EAGLES: Golden Eagle

  • OWLS: Eurasian Eagle Owl, Great Horned Owl

  • FALCONS: Peregrine, American and European Kestrel, Gyrfalcon, Merlin

What Is the Best Bird to Start Falconry?

The Red-Tailed Hawk is most often used by beginning falconers in North America. This is due to its ease of breeding in captivity, inherent strength, and its capability to hunt prey such as hares and other small mammals. The Harris’ Hawk is also a common bird used for emerging falconers.

Is Falconry Legal in Florida?

Falconry is legal in Florida, but you must obtain a Federal and State license. You can do so through your State Game and Fish Department.

dan frankian smallWith the opening of our West Palm Beach, Florida office, Hawkeye's Bird Control services and Falconer's Experiences are now available to residential and commercial customers in the United States. 

Master Falconer Dan Frankian frequently works nationally and internationally, for various government agencies and large corporations. Hawkeye's birds of prey as well as some of our dogs have appeared in and/or have opened for several live shows and documentaries, as well as movies, tv series, and promotions such as Harry Potter™.

Dan continues to speak at events and conferences worldwide, discussing and educating on topics regarding bird and animal control, bird removal, bird strikes and abatement. As an expert outdoorsman, shooter, hunter and trapper, he is concerned with environmental issues and renewable natural resources. Dan is CWCP certified and a NWCOA member.

Dan Frankian is also a passionate bird of prey enthusiast. In fact, all of the Hawkeye team members are. We extend to you a warm welcome and an invitation to meet and learn more about our birds of prey - up close and personal! Your very own Falconry experience is waiting for you - book your spot today!

Lesley Riedstra

Loved this outing, even in the sweltering heat we had a great visit with these beautiful birds.

Greg McNeil

We had a great experience, got to see all the birds of prey before getting to meet an owl and falcon up close. We got to see the owl be fed and fly the Falcons ourselves with some assistance which was the best part of the entire session. 10/10 recommend!

Khrystsina Dubavik

Amazing experience! Very friendly people. We fully enjoyed our time spent there. Absolutely worth going!