Dave casts a Harris hawk into the air.

Dave recently took a lesson at the British School of Falconry. The lesson was a Christmas present I gave him last year (he’s hard to buy for and I must admit, this was one of my better gifts).

During his beginner falconry lesson, Dave learned how to handle, cast and recall a Harris hawk named Haggis. Wearing a yellow calfskin glove on his left hand, he walked around with Haggis on his fist before eventually casting her to a perch in the distance. A few minutes later, Dave called Haggis back by slowly raising his hand.That was just the beginning. After Dave’s 45-minute lesson, he participated in a “hawk walk,” an hour-long guided hike in the Vermont woods where Haggis followed Dave from tree to tree. Occasionally, Haggis would return to Dave’s gloved fist for food.

What I thought would be a fun, offbeat holiday gift turned into a day we’ll always remember. Who knows? With Christmas right around the corner, maybe we’ll get to see Haggis again next year.


  • Anonymous — Thank you! We had a great day out there, and Dave was in his glory,

    Hotel Santa Monica — Thanks so much. The hawks are such beautiful, interesting creatures.

    Thanks Margs! He had a blast.

  • hi erica, missed reading some of my fave blogs this summer and of course yours is one of them…love falconry and always wanted to try…just this morning i spotted either a red tail or coopers hawk on my fence post. he was quite brave but when i backed down the lane to get a pic, he flew off. so sorry to hear about your mother. praying she will recover though i couldn’t find out from past few posts what was going on…take care!!

  • Hi Kritter — Thank you so much! I have a lot of catching up to do myself. The falconry lesson was so much fun. It was nice to do something after all of the stress we’ve had with my mom. She is doing much better and now in assisted living (thank you for asking!).

    Thanks Larry! The birds were amazing and very intense!

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