Silent Cooperation

An unexplainable thrill courses through the human body when this fantastic symbol of Freedom turns to the call and voluntarily returns to the Falconer.



I have searched a long time to find just one word that can describe these birds when they are truly in hunting mode. I believe intensity covers it all, as it does for everything found in nature.

Intensity, as defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary
1: the quality or state of being intense; especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling
2: the magnitude of a quantity (as force or energy) per unit (as of area, charge, mass, or time)



Connections between human beings and the winged ones are nothing new.. For thousands of years native peoples of the Americas have told stories about the common ground between us. Both humans and winged beings walk upright on two legs, the winged ones it is said carry our prayers to the creator on powerful wings, and in many cultures the raptors are thought to be messengers of the Great Spirit. Feathers of birds have been worn in a place of honor amongst many tribes for untold generations and some of these feathers are still worn in ceremonies by the descendents of these ancient warriors after hundreds of years. Through my lifetime I have been fortunate to learn from my elders the old ways of the people and to honor all the creatures who we share this great earth with. When my wife Stacey began her falconry apprenticeship several years ago I was more than happy to help her in her endeavors, from the countless days spent roaming the countryside, as she trapped her first wild bird, to the weeks of training and conditioning both the bird and herself for the hunt . I was honored to be included the first time she hunted the bird from her fist. Many years have passed since that first moment of her bonding with the winged warriors of the sky and I have witnessed the growth of her spiritual awareness and skills as a falconer. But one thing has remained unchanged throughout her journey, and that is her connection to the birds. In this photo I took of her and Abby, you can see the love and respect she has for these majestic hunters. I apologize for the picture I am not a photographer and have little talent in that department. But I am gifted with the ability to notice when someone is walking through life with a good heart and a true spirit… And I am proud to say she is all of that and more… Hawk



Each bird that I have worked with has its own personality and strengths. These personalities can be so unique that sometimes it is difficult not to humanize them. My first falconry bird was Kiva, a mellow tempered male red-tailed hawk who at times, seemed to have a sense of humor. It was obvious that he enjoyed the hunt, but would often come back to hover just off my shoulder as I walked along the sandstone ridges in search of rabbits. I enjoyed hunting with Kiva and came to expect his antics when out in the field. I can recall many specific incidents while we hunted. Maybe that’s how it is with your first bird, but Kiva never ceased to entertain me and each moment spent with him helped to fuel the fire and the passion for working with these birds.
Therefore, when I started hunting with Absaroka, a fantastic dark morph female, I was not prepared for her no nonsense style of hunting, or the roll of flusher (dog) that I quickly was demoted too. This photograph captures the essence of “Abby’s” personality (if you can call it that) .She lived for the hunt, and only the hunt, and would become obviously annoyed with me if I wasn’t working fast enough to flush something for her. She would even go as far as chasing eagles and owls away from our usual hunting area. When Abby would pull this stunt, I worried for her, but thankfully, she always returned a few moments later to land on my fist ready to continue hunting. It did not take me long to I learned to appreciate "her" style of hunting, and I realize that they too have their strengths and will not hesitate to draw on them to survive in this ever-changing world.