Watch what it takes to train a Falcon that is in the Medieval Times Dinner Show in Myrtle Beach, SC. Learn what it takes to train a Falcon and learn about this bird and what makes them part of the Medieval Times Dinner Show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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Medieval Times – Falcon Training
Sir David of Macedonia: In honor of your kingdoms, give me your voices! Greetings my lords and ladies, and welcome to the castle of His Majesty the King here at Medieval Times in beautiful Myrtle Beach. I am Sir David of Macedonia, Lord High Chancellor of His Majesty’s castle and by the grace of God, High Chamberlain to the noble kingdom of Castia.
My lords and ladies; I’m here today to speak to you about the ancient and beloved art of falconry. Falconry originated a very long time ago in the Middle East. It was a tool for hunting, but it was of course also a tool for sport – something to blow off steam in the old days when there was not much else to do. This of course is one of the many types of falcons used in the ancient art of falconry. Her name is Lady Natasha. She’s a 13-year-old Secca falcon from Eastern Europe. Now as you can see, she’s a beautiful shade of muddled brown on the front. And on the back of course, a nice dark shade of brown.
This, of course, my lords and ladies, is to make sure that she’s camouflaged well while in flight. If you’re looking up at the falcon from the ground, you will not see it as easily because it’s white. If you’re looking down at it from above like other birds, it blends in with the natural surroundings.
Now as you can see, this beautiful bird has a beautiful set of claws. These black talons can squeeze 60 pounds of pressure per square inch, easily devastating the hand or the finger of a handler, which is why I have to wear this three-layer, elk skin glove. This of course protects me from and it gives the falcon something comfortable to perch on. It kind of simulates the branches it would perch on in the wild.
Now on her head, many people ask, “What is her hat?” This is not actually a hat for fashion. This is what’s called a hood. This hood blocks out the outside world from the falcon’s range of sight. The reason this is important is because the falcon’s eyesight is the pinnacle of its evolution. It can see on a clear day up to 8 miles away. It can see everything at the same time whenever the falcon’s hood is removed, which is why we have to keep the hood on its head so it does not become anxious during large tournaments.
Now I will show you how the falcon is dishooded right now. And now my lords and ladies, the beautiful eyes of this magnificent creature come into play. As you can see as well, she has a wingspan of approximately three feet. This is a very large wingspan for any bird of prey, but as falcons go, they’re actually smaller than hawks. Hawks are known to hunt on the ground and the air, whereas falcons prefer food source of other birds. They are diving animals. They do not soar like eagles or other red tail hawks or other birds of that nature. These hawks are actually more of a diving bird. They will fold their wings into their body creating almost a football shape, and using gravity and the science of aerodynamics, they can sometimes reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour in the case of the Peregrine Falcon. That is the fastest animal on Earth.
Something that a lot of people don’t know about is falcons of course hunt for food to eat, but they also hunt for sport. They will train, and train and train themselves in the wild. It will not eat the bird sometimes. They will just kill it and chalk it up to a good day well spent.
Now as you can see, this lovely bird is very calm right now, relaxed. But she at the same time can see everything around her. Like an owl, she can turn her head almost 360 degrees. This beautiful creature is of course a long line of noble huntsmen. Falconry is only one of the many parts of the pageantry that you will witness when you come to a dinner tournament here at Medieval Times in Myrtle Beach. These beautiful creatures are on display in the preshow portion of the tournament, and you can actually have pictures taken with the bird (the falcon) before the tournament begins.