Falconry is an ancient tradition still practiced today defined as "The sport of taking live quarry with a bird of prey". The skills and knowledge surrounding this sport are passed down from sponsor to apprentice in a global community of less than 10,000 active falconers. North American falconers have adopted many of the traditional methods while maintaining a focus on the conservation of the raptors we partner with. Falconry methods have been an invaluable addition to rehabilitation efforts in endangered species like the peregrine falcon which was brought back from the brink of extinction in the 60's.
Today almost every state in the US has a falconry organization dedicated to preserving and promoting their sport by sharing it with others. In Arizona we are fortunate enough to have access to a very unique species which is the only raptor in nature that hunts cooperatively in social groups. The Harris's Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) has seen global nonrecognition for this unique trait which makes them particularly adapted for falconry. On November 12th Harold Smith, a local general falconer will be at Agritopia to give a demonstration of these birds abilities and offer an opportunity to get up close and personal with them.