.All Trips / Alaska / North America

Focusing on Hawks and Falcons, Fairbanks

00 Creamer’s Field, Fairbanks

While visiting Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge we attended a short talk and demonstration on hawks and falconry given by two of the local residents.  They had their beautiful birds on hand.  I believe the bird shown above is a red-tailed hawk, although I’m not 100% sure about that.

The birds were hooded and carried on thick leather gloves, as expected.  The owner of the hawk gave us a display of how the hawk flies and tries to catch prey while in flight. 

Releasing the hawk, Fairbanks
(Releasing the hawk, Fairbanks)

Once unhooded and untethered, the hawk took to the air and began soaring, elegant and graceful.  A leather decoy was whipped about and the hawk repeatedly caught it.

The display ended when a bald eagle (seen below) approached our demonstration.  Bald eagles kill hawks, so our demo bird was called back and rehooded.  But it still was a memorable and impressive demonstration.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

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