History of England Raptors

To: "birding-aus List." <>
Subject: History of England Raptors
From: "John & Sarah" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 16:59:20 +1000
Hi All - Regarding the raptors in History of England - I think could be Harris Harrier but wouldn't rule out European Black Kite (Milvus migrans).    Two years ago we spent the most amazing afternoon at a professional falconer's home in Scotland.   Individual birds were sitting tethered on their respective wooden posts out in the open, unhooded, watchful but quiet of we intruders.   She had Peregine Falcons used to catch rodents; 2 or 3 Black Kites, 2 Harris Harriers - used to catch pheasant, grouse, etc. & one female Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) of which she was very proud as it had recently collected a rabbit.     She also told me of a colleague who flies Golden Eagles to collect foxes & rabbits etc. he has to wear a heavy metal brace around his torso, shoulder and arm, without which the Eagle on take off would break his arm......just as well Eagles don't land on their owner's arms!     This lady falconer had won many many prizes for her birds which she had trained over 40 odd years.    Must say the birds were in immaculate condition & we treasure the time we spent with these mighty raptors at a distance of inches - the Harriers had individual enormous cages but still only at arm's length, they were unconcerned and we felt a strange sense, not as intruders or the next possible meal, but as if they were proud to 'show' us their home.   A magic day.
We agree about the clash with Blue Planet - just record it & watch SBS first!!
Regards to all - Sarah Knight
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