Hunting hares with golden eagles – fantastic flights

Hunting hares with golden eagles – fantastic flights


[Music] Although it may look like Roy has opened a
pet pampering parlour, this is all part of being a dedicated eagle falconer. Just as
their diet and weight needs constant monitoring so do all the other important bits – you
wouldn’t take a racing car out without warming the tyres or an aeroplane up without checking
flaps and ailerons, would you, Ginger? Likewise, you don’t take a golden eagle out after hares
without dry feathers. But this comes with a serious health warning: Teflon coated stuff
kills birds, be it a parrot or a peregrine. If your bird inhales the heated gas then that
can kill them. A lot of the parrot forums talk about it as well with people cooking
in their houses with Teflon pans. And again the fumes from those can kill the birds, so
if you are using something like that then obviously be incredibly careful and make sure
it hasn’t got a PTFE or Teflon coating on it. From fluffing feathers to the beak bar for
a bit of a trim. In the wild they would be eating a lot more
hard bone material than we currently feed them when we are flying them. So they are
constantly wearing their beak down. So they also do what we call feeking where they rub
their beak on rocks and that trims them as well. When we are flying them a lot of the
time they are eating reasonably soft food so the beak can become overgrown quite quickly.
There is no discomfort. It is just like trimming your nails. Who’s a pretty boy then. Lincolnshire is well known for its hares and
Roy and his friends have been coming to this part of the England for years. There’s a promise
of some serious action today and with four male goldies and one female, our chances are
good. A female golden eagle, a male golden eagle.
So you can see the female is comparatively larger. And that is pretty much all the way
through with most birds of prey that the females are normally about a third larger. They are
much more capable of taking fox and on the continent they obviously fly a lot of roe
deer as well with them. The guys line up. Roy choreographs the beating
line. It’s going to be hard going today with the heavy Lincolnshire soil, but there are
definitely hares to be had here. Gary has the first flight. It’s brown hares
one, eagles nil. Luckily it went down hill so he got a bit
of steam up and took it. Sat on it bold up and as it started to run it popped up out
of his feet and ran off. Which is hunting unfortunately. The next drive flushes more hares. Unfortunately,
Mark’s youngster doesn’t have the juice to keep chasing this high speed quarry. It was a shame about Mark’s young eagle there.
It was too much for it with the wind he has got. The wind has picked up a little bit and
expecting it to fly into that sort of heavy wind it just took the speed out of it and
the eagle knew that he didn’t quite have the power to catch up with the hare. The guys walk field after field. The hares
at this time of year are properly match fit so are really testing the birds. The most exciting flights of the day are in
the afternoon. Roy spots a hare in its seat. Let’s watch that again in slow motion. Roy’s male eagle, Baby, chases down the hare
which at the last moment turns to face his pursuer – Incredibly the hare judges to
the nano second when Baby is going to commit. He spins up into the air away from those razor
sharp talons and makes his escape. When you see the hares doing manoeuvres like
that you really do have to question whether that is an inherent behaviour that they know,
how to avoid an air borne predator or if they have run the gauntlet and avoided buzzards
when they were a lot younger being predated upon as leverets. Which ever way round they
really, really do demand a lot of respect as a quarry. Next up for a decent flight is Gary’s bird.
The fur flies, but again the hare slips through his talons. There are more close calls and all the birds
get some hunting. It’s really exciting stuff, but the hares have won today, and Roy finds
it tough to admit defeat. No, no … don’t … great misses … right
hang on … oh you don’t know how much this hurts me … All in all we had a superb day. Some brilliant
sport. Some very, very close calls. How the birds didn’t keep hold of some of those hares
I don’t know. I think somebody must have come out last night and smothered them in grease
because they were definitely slipping out of the bird’s feet on this occasion. So we
shall have to try harder next time. With hunting there’s always tomorrow and,
after a misty start, the Lincolnshire countryside clears. Finally, the eagles find their targets.
Baby shows us how it’s done. We spotted another hare in a seat and walked
it up and that one ran perfectly though it ran down the field and gave him a little bit
of an advantage and he made short work of that and cut into it. So again when you see
an experienced eagle fly they will go at it. Cut round to the side and then come back into
it. So it just puts the hare off. On this second flight the experience of a
bird with seven seasons under its wings is clear. Instead of crashing into the hedge
after the hare, Baby bides his time, waiting for the hare to appear the other side. His
patience pays off with a majestic 400 yard flight. He has got it yeah!!! Eagle falconers are a dedicated bunch, putting
in hours of work and preparation for a flight that could last just a few seconds. It’s a
drug – and Roy can’t give it up. You find the best flights when it is a 50,
50 chance whether the quarry escapes or whether the bird does well and I think that is what
drives us and what keeps us going. Just wanting to be part of the hunt, wanting to see it
and having nature in its rawest form played out in front of you. And Nature has given both the predator and
prey the best tools for the job. [Music]

100 Comments

  1. Man, that hare that stopped, waited till the very second he needed to, and then FLIPPED right over the diving eagle was incredible. wowww

  2. Those British people should not be near eagles because eagles are American and they should keep there disgusting hands off of our eagles and even if those eagles are in Britain they should back off of our symbol

  3. I actually hate this. It’s a sport for them, using animal to hunt other animal for their amusement and pleasure, it’s wrong and shouldn’t be allow!

  4. I was just chillin here, watching this with my lil' cockatiel snuggled up on my shoulder… He won't rip my face off. 🙂

  5. You fucken English are so fat a lazy… always seen your hunters with fashionable kit , no walking out of breath.

    I can smell your breath through the videos.

    Always excuses for failure. No wonder why beat the Shit out of you during the revaluation war.

    Garbage.

  6. I wonder if those eagles are losing their edge, knowing their human companion will ultimately offer food, keeping them from pushing that little bit extra necessary at critical points to ensure it’s survival.

  7. One of the most amazing maneuvers I've seen in my life. He turns around, knows the eagle is coming, does a mini jump (or step) to set up a high jump. Once he jumps high he steps on the eagle (that just got to him at like what? 60 mph? More maybe) and does a second jump, thus getting out of the way and beating the eagle. Holy shit man

  8. Are those culture vultures or golden eagles….the world is just about sick of you guys taking everything have you no god damn shame as a race? Leave that to the originators.

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