Glossary

The following is a partial glossary of some of the common terms used in falconry. The term “hawk” is used here to refer to falconry birds in general.

AERIE – a hawk nest.

AUSTRINGER– A falconer that trains a Shortwing or Broadwing hawk.

BAL-CHATRI– (pronounced “ball-SHOT-ree”) A harmless livetrap used to capture hawks. It is a wire cage enclosing a live mouse that has attached loops that close around a hawk’s toes or leg as the hawk attempts to capture the mouse. No harm is caused to either the mouse or the captured hawk.

BATE – when a hawk jumps off the falconer’s glove or a perch.

BEWIT– small leather straps used to attach bells or transmitters to a hawk’s leg.

BROADWING – a raptor of the genus Buteo or Parabuteo.

CARRY– when a hawk tries to fly away from the falconer with it’s food.

CAST – three meanings: 1) to wrap or restrain a hawk for medical or maintenance purposes, 2) when a hawk regurgitates a pellet, and 3) several hawks flown together.

COPE – filing-down a hawk’s overgrown beak and/or talons to sharpness.

CREANCE – a spool of light line used to train a hawk.

ENTER – starting a hawk out on a certain type of prey.

EYASS – two meanings: 1) a young raptor on the nest and 2) a raptor acquired from a nest. (Please note that Ohio law prohibits the taking of eyasses from a nest for falconry.)

FOOT– when a hawk repeatedly grabs and squeezes prey (or the falconer’s glove) with it’s talons.

GAUNTLET-the heavy leather glove worn by the falconer.

GIANT HOOD– a ventilated box used to transported hawks.

HACK– two meanings: 1) the process of preparing a hawk for release to the wild and 2) the process of releasing and re-trapping a hawk to allow it to gain wild hunting skills.

HAGGARD– a wild hawk in it’s second year or more of plumage (adult).

HARD-PENNED– when all of a hawks feather’s have grown in. After the moult for an adult and after the downy stage for eyass.

HOOD– the leather covering placed over a hawk’s head to help keep it calm and reduce stress.

IMP – repairing a broken feather with another feather from the same or a different hawk.

IMPRINT– a hawk raised by people that ceases to identify with hawks of its own species. Generallly cannot be released to the wild.

INTERMEWED– a hawk that has aged to maturity and kept through a complete moult.

JESSES– the leg straps used to hold a hawk.

LONGWING – a raptor of the Falco genus.

LURE –  a leather or cloth dummy made to look like a hawk’s primary prey.   A small piece of meat is often tied to the lure.  Some lures are used to exercise a trained raptor, such as the type a falcon swings over his head to induce a falcon to repeatedly stoop .   The other type is used to retrieve a stubborn hawk (usually Buteos and Accipiters) from a perch or to transfer it off of captured game.    In any case the lure is  finally “given” to the bird as a reward and positive reinforcement to repeat the response the next time.  

MAKE-IN TO– the act of approaching a hawk that has caught prey.

MANNING -the process of taming a hawk.

MANTLE– when a hawk fluffs-up its feathers and attempts to cover a kill with its wings.

MEW– the facility or building for keeping a hawk.

MOULT– the process of shedding old and growing new feathers.

MUTE – hawk droppings.

PASSAGE or PASSAGER – A wild caught hawk on migration in immature plumage.

PITCH– the altitude a falcon “waits on”.

PUT OVER– when a hawk moves food from it’s crop to it’s stomach.

ROUSE– when a hawk fluffs and shakes its feathers.

SHORTWING -A true hawk of the accipiter genus.

SLICE– when a hawk propels its droppings out away from the nest or perch.

STOOP– a high speed dive made by a falcon toward it’s prey from high altitude.

TALON – a raptor claw or toe nail.

TELEMETRY – a tracking system based on radio technology. It consists of a transmitter that is attached to a hawk and a receiver that is carried by the falconer. Sometimes during a hunt the hawk will become separated from a falconer. These two items allow the falconer to use the radio signals from the transmitter to guide the direction of the search to where the bird is located.

TIERCEL– a male raptor.

WAIT-ON– when a falcon circles above a falconer waiting for game to be flushed.

YARAK– when a hawk or falcon is hungry and ready to hunt.

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