Nobility of the Air
There is no substitute for the patient skill required to train, or man, a hawk. The falconer must show consummate kindness, rewarding the bird with food and gently proving himself an impassive and humble hunting partner, rather than an enemy. Gradually, the falconer learns to understand the hawk’s moods, to predict its movements and reactions, to understand the intimate interaction between predator and prey.
Without strong bonds of habit, hunger and partnership, the bird will refuse to return to captivity. The falconer cannot create these bonds without feeling them. To train a bird, then, is also to train oneself—to sharpen the senses and to become, as White wrote, “half bird.” In effect, to touch the wild. See the full article on Jungles in Paris