Desert Workshop Days - 4-7 December 2017

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A public Festival of Falconry will take place in Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi, 8 & 9 December 2017, which is free and open to all.

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[sf_button colour=”gold” type=”standard” size=”standard” link=”http://falconryfestival.org/en/khalifa-park-festival/” target=”_self” icon=”” dropshadow=”no” rounded=”yes” extraclass=””]Khalifa Park Festival[/sf_button] [/spb_boxed_content] [spb_blank_spacer height=”30px” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] [spb_promo_bar display_type=”promo-text” promo_bar_text=”In the days before this, a programme of workshops, discussions, and activities will take place at a venue in the desert, open to falconers and those with a special interest in falconry, by prior registration only.” promo_bar_text_size=”standard” btn_text=”Register” btn_color=”grey” btn_type=”bordered” href=”https://www.123contactform.com/form-2524280/” target=”_self” text_color=”#4d4a4a” page_align=”no” fullwidth=”no” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] [hr]

A public Festival of Falconry will take place in Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi, 8 & 9 December 2017, which is free and open to all.

 

 

[sf_button colour=”grey” type=”standard” size=”standard” link=”http://falconryfestival.org/en/khalifa-park-festival/” target=”_self” icon=”” dropshadow=”no” rounded=”yes” extraclass=””]Khalifa Park Programme[/sf_button] [/spb_promo_bar] [spb_blank_spacer height=”30px” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] [spb_divider type=”heading” heading_text=”Desert Workshop Days – 4 – 7 December 2017″ text=”Go to top” top_margin=”0px” bottom_margin=”30px” fullwidth=”no” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] [spb_blank_spacer height=”30px” width=”1/1″ el_position=”first last”] [spb_image title=”Practical Falconry” image=”14188″ image_size=”sf-image-onecol” frame=”noframe” caption_pos=”below” remove_rounded=”yes” fullwidth=”no” overflow_mode=”none” link_target=”_self” lightbox=”no” intro_animation=”fadeIn” animation_delay=”200″ width=”1/2″ el_position=”first”]

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Accipiter Management

Melanie Kruschik, Austria

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“In Austria, imprint hawks are not allowed, so my workshop will focus on my own experience of hunting with a parent-reared goshawk. Discussion will focus on accipiter management during molting season. There is a lot of literature concerning hawk training and preparation for hunting, but what do you do after the end of hunting season? Maintaining contact and playing with you hawk is an effective way of keeping a positive relationship and even having a better start to the next year’s training.”

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DIY Telemetry Workshop

Tom Munson, USA

“This workshop will demonstrate the construction of directional receiving antennas for telemetry using simple tools and common materials. The resulting antennas have gain slightly superior to the commercially available versions. Materials, tools, and instruction will be provided at no charge for those who wish to build an antenna. The workshop will cover designs for VHF and UHF antennas, available telemetry equipment and techniques, compare VHF and UHF frequencies, and discuss of use and limitations of conventional and GPS telemetry equipment.”

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Passage Falcons

Bob Dalton, UK

Passage Falcons are wild falcons trapped during migration, and trained for falconry. This workshop will cover the history of trapping passage falcons and the role they play in modern falconry around the world. In what way is falconry with a passage falcon unique? Which training methods are most successful with passage falcons?

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Falconry Equipment, Perches, and Pens

Hilary White, Ireland

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Which equipment is suitable for which raptor? What is the most suitable and permissible conditions for housing raptors in captivity? What are the differences between the requirements of a breeding falcon and a hunting falcon? This workshop will focus on the best practices from the latest research, experts and falconers.

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Flying Eagles

Lauren McGough, USA

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“The workshop will begin by introducing the history of eagles in falconry, including a summary of the current practice of eagle falconry on six continents. There will be a discussion of the methodology and philosophy of training eagles, and the best practices for hunting with them. For those falconers interested in becoming eagle falconers, there will be recommendations on how to safely and wisely pursue this incredibly rewarding niche of falconry. Questions will be most welcome.”

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Raptor Nutrition

Nick Havemann-Mart, UK

What is the best food for which raptor? Can we feed day old chicks to birds of prey? Who can’t eat rabbit and why? This workshop bring together the latest and best available research and data from veterinarian experts and falconers.

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Sparrowhawks

Aodhán Brown, Ireland

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“I would like to talk about my own personal experience with sparrowhawks, with a focus on how in Ireland we traditionally hunt the European blackbird (Turdus merula). These small birds are strong, fast, magnificent and perfectly matched as a quarry for sparrowhawks. I’ll discuss how versatile sparrowhawks are, capable of flying in almost every environment and style. Above all, I would like to talk about how fun sparrowhawks are and also how underestimated they often are as a full-time falconry companion.”

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Game hawking with Falcons

Shawn Hayes, US and Matthew JG Gage, UK

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Shawn Hayes from the US and Matt Gage from the UK will team up to discuss and share knowledge, thoughts and experiences of training and hunting falcons for waiting-on flights at wild game.

Shawn and Matt met many years ago through the IAF, and always have plenty to say to each other about most aspects of falconry. We would like to lead some lively discussions that focus around game hawking, and achieving the perfect waiting-on flight, whatever that might be for you.

Shawn has over 30 years experience in falconry, training and hunting both wild-taken and captive-raised falcons including prairies, peregrines, gyrs, and gyr-peregrine hybrids. He is an experienced game hawker, hunting many species of both upland game and waterfowl, including the elusive and challenging greater prairie chicken, pintail duck, and wigeon. Shawn resides in the western US and travels the US and the world to experience pursuit of wild game with hawks, falcons and eagles. He is a well-known falconer who plays a major role in the promotion of falconry around the world. As an ambassador for the IAF, he plays an important role in promoting falconry across a huge diversity of cultures and ages. He will explain the methods he has learned and uses to train different species of falcons to help others become better falconers and game hawkers.

Matt has spent many years chasing the perfect waiting-on flight at game with peregrine falcons over pointing dogs. He flies at both lowland and upland game, with red grouse in wild places being a particular addiction. He is also a ‘backyard breeder’, and has tried to create high-mounting peregrine lines that can provide great game hawking partnerships. Matt lives in the UK, but has travelled widely to experience different forms of falconry. He serves on the IAF advisory committee, bringing his experience as a biologist to IAF within the important remits of science and conservation.

We expect that some of the following topics will be covered:

  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • Falco species and sexes for game hawking (pure or hybrid)?
  • Matching your hawk to your abilities, aims and environment
  • Hacked, chamber-raised or imprint – or a combination?
  • Handling, manning and early training
  • Equipment, hoods & hooding
  • Telemetry
  • Initial field training
  • Traditional, bottom-up versus modern top-down training, and the use of kites, balloons and drones
  • Conditioning and fitness
  • Diet
  • Building and maintaining confidence
  • Mental development of falcons
  • Weather: wind, snow, rain and heat
  • Dogs
  • Introduction to hunting
  • Understanding game
  • Travelling, weathering and field meets
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Telemetry and GPS Demonstration & Transmitter Hunt

Marshall Telemetry/ Mark Williams

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Get your sandals on and leave the School gates to experience what it is like to track a falcon in the desert. See how different transmitters are used and what is the best technique to locate the bird in the desert.

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Remote-control Lure Demonstration

François Lorraine, Belgium

The robara competition, originally proposed in 2015, will no longer take place this year. It is considered inconsistent with the spirit of the festival and its theme of traditional hunting falconry. Instead there will be a demonstration of a remote controlled lure. Flying a remote-control lure is fun, but it takes time and practice to learn how to do it safely. This workshop will take you to the desert where you will be introduced to different remote-control lures and flying techniques.

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Lures and Luring

Emirates Falconers’ Club, UAE

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There are as many lure techniques as there are falconers. Come and learn the Arab style of lure swinging, right outside the School walls, with sand and space around you. Practise your moves and get better throughout the day.

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Arabian Desert Craft and Tracking

Emirates Falconers’ Club, UAE

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How do Arab falconers and hunters track quarry in the desert? Finding tracks requires patience and knowledge, but also a bit of luck. There are tracks in the sand, but which animal left them?

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Hunting Trips

Emirates Falconers’ Club, UAE

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Hunting trips will be organised twice a day to let you experience authentic Arab-style falconry from camel and on foot.

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Conservation of Raptors: Breeding for Conservation

Fernándo Feás, Spain

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“Nowadays several projects around the world breed raptors mainly for commercial purposes. Our aim is to create a network of raptor breeding centres to cooperate on efforts in raptor conservation. Our centre ‘Deiroleucus’ in Madrid breeds golden and Bonelli’s eagles, the ‘El Huayco’ centre in Peru breeds condors, and the ABOPS in South Africa breeds vultures. We would like to bring together projects from 5 continents to help bird of prey conservation projects.”

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Conservation of Quarry

International Fund for Houbara Conservation, UAE

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Learn about falconers’ role in the worldwide efforts to restore biodiversity and restore quarry and its habitat. In Europe falconers are actively restoring populations of grey partridge, while in the UAE, the International Fund for Houbara Conservation breeds and releases thousands of houbara bustards every year to revive their population in the Middle East and beyond. What do all these projects have in common? Why and how do falconers conserve their quarry?

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Engaging Falconers in Conservation

Neil Deacon, Zimbabwe

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“There may be an impression that falconers’ contribution to conservation of birds of prey is limited to rehabilitation and captive propagation of raptors. However, the unique insight and knowledge of birds of prey and their environment that is gained through falconry is easily underestimated. The aim of this discussion workshop is to evaluate these skills and understand how they may be employed in mainstream conservation of wild raptor populations.”

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Hybrids and Exotics: Discussion

Matthew JG Gage, UK and Shawn Hayes, US

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Matt Gage from the UK and Shawn Hayes from the US will team up to discuss and share knowledge, thoughts and experiences of the use of hybrids and exotics in falconry. Shawn and Matt met many years ago through the IAF, and always have plenty to say to each other about most aspects of falconry, including the sometimes controversial issue of the use of hybrids and exotics in modern falconry. We would like to lead some lively discussions that focus around the responsible use of hybrids and exotics in falconry, and their risks to wild ecosystems.

Matt has spent many years at the centre of debates both inside and outside of falconry concerning hybrids and exotics. Experiences from his own research into equivalent problems (on a much bigger scale) arising from aquaculture have helped to create an objective and evidence-based position here. He has collated evidence on the risks of invasion and introgression by hybrids and exotics from falconry, and he helped to draft the IAF Position Statement on their use in falconry. He has defended the breeding and use of hybrids and exotics by falconers, and recognizes their particular advantages, but believes that their use requires added falconer responsibility.

Shawn has over 30 years experience in falconry, training and hunting both wild-taken and captive-raised falcons, including both pure species and hybrids. Shawn resides in the western US and travels the US and the world to experience pursuit of wild game with hawks, falcons and eagles, of both pure and hybrid forms. He is a well-known falconer who plays a major role in the promotion of falconry around the world and, like all good hunters, has a strong conservation ethic and love of wild places. As an ambassador for the IAF, he plays an important role in promoting falconry across a huge diversity of cultures and ages. He will explain his own views on hybrids and exotics, and their roles in modern falconry.

We expect that some of the following topics will be covered:

  • What is a hybrid or exotic species in falconry?
  • Why do falconers fly hybrid or exotic species?
  • What is the history of hybrid or exotic use in falconry?
  • What are the big conservation issues about non-indigenous species or hybrids?
  • What are the risks to the natural environment of hybrids – and exotics?
  • What are the threats to hybrids and exotics in falconry, and how has IAF defended their use?
  • What is IAF’s position statement on hybrids and exotics?
  • What is the evidence of hybrid or exotic invasion from falconry?
  • What are the added responsibilities for falconers when breeding or flying hybrids or exotic species?
  • What will we do if hybrids or exotics become banned?
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CITES and Related Conservation Issues

Adrian Reuter, Mexico

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“CITES and Falconry: what is the link? Why is it important?

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a regulatory mechanism aimed at protecting species from unsustainable international trade practices that could threaten their survival in the wild.

With almost 500 species of diurnal raptors listed under CITES, including all species commonly used for falconry, decisions taken under the framework of this Convention can impact the legal possibility to import/export/re-export species from wild origin of current/potential use for falconry and/or related activities (i.e. captive breeding). At the same time it contributes to strengthen conservation efforts and, if properly implemented, promote sustainable use and fair trade practices.

This workshop will provide participants with essential information to better understand what CITES is, how it works, the benefits it can bring, the challenges it faces (as an international agreement with over 180 signatory countries), as well as recent and ongoing discussions within the CITES arena on species relevant to falconers such as the saker, gyr, or peregrine falcons.”

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Engaging in Animal Welfare and Rights

Gary Timbrell, Ireland

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“Following a brief introduction, we will discuss in open debate any welfare issues (real and imagined), and how to learn from each other on real, practical, welfare issues. We will also discuss how to evaluate the arguments at our disposal and have a welfare strategy to defend falconry. It is hoped that all participants will contribute to this workshop in a lively way, as is fitting for the subject matter.”

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IAF School Links Programme: Practice, Principles and Resources

Nicola Dixon, UK & Sara Ichinkhorloo, Mongolia

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“This programme was established in 2010 to explain why 5000 artificial nests for saker falcons were erected on the Mongolian steppe. The programme aimed to link 40 Mongolian school with international schools, exchanging culture and heritage while learning about falconry and raptor conservation. Falconers are the backbone of the programme, visiting schools with their birds and delivering some of the resources. The workshop aims to show international falconers and students how to take part and use the resources available. Join us to discuss ways to improve the programme and how to encourage more schools, students and falconers to become involved.”

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Veterinary Developments and Strategy

Ladislav Molnár, Slovakia

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Dr Ladislav Molnár is Head of the Avian Exotics and Wildlife Clinic at the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Slovakia, and is a practising falconer. He has worked extensively in the Gulf and is the Veterinary Specialist on the Advisory Committee of IAF. This workshop will focus on the latest research in the area of avian medicine disease and prevention.

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Equipment, Perches, and Pens

Hilary White, Ireland

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What equipment is suitable for which raptor? What are the most suitable conditions for housing raptors in captivity? What are the different requirements for breeding and hunting birds? This workshop will focus on best practice and recent research.

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Practical Workshops

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, UAE

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The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital (ADFH) was the first public institution in the United Arab Emirates providing comprehensive veterinary healthcare services exclusively for falcons.

It has emerged as one of the best-reputed falcon hospitals in the Gulf region, as the largest falcon hospital in the world, and as a leading centre for falcon medicine worldwide. Over the years, the ADFH has established a loyal and a wide patient-base not just in the UAE, but also in countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, with around 11,200 falcons received for examinations and treatment each year.

ADFH will be running practical workshops on first aid in the hunting field; imping; husbandry; and rehabilitation.

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Raptor Rehabilitation

Raptor Rehab, Kingdom of Bahrain

How can falconry techniques help injured birds of prey get better and return to the wild? Come and talk to professional rehabbers about their important work and learn what to do if you find an injured bird.

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Raptor Nutrition

Nick Havemann-Mart, UK

What is the best food for which raptor? Should we feed day-old chicks to birds of prey? Who can’t eat rabbit, and why? This workshop will bring together the latest and best research and data from veterinary experts and falconers.

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Falconry and UNESCO

Dr. Awadh Al Saleh with assistance from Bohumil Straka

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The inscription of falconry on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list in 2010 has given falconers around the world a momentum and inspiration to revive and protect their art. Dr Awadh Al Saleh is advisor on Cultural Cooperation at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, and acts as an attaché for requests by countries to join the falconry ICH inscription. In this discussion workshop he and Dr Straka will share their thoughts on the current state of the UNESCO list, and share advice for nations hoping to join it.

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Falconry: Cultural Routes

Jevgeni Šergalin, Estonia/UK

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The Falconry Cultural Routes Project aims to connect and celebrate both the active living culture of falconry as well as its history both in Europe, and in the countries which border it, encircle the Mediterranean, and extend to the Gulf and beyond.

“Falconry is an art and sport that played an important role in aristocratic life during Medieval times. Its rich historic connection with trade routes linked nations and helped it spread across many continents. It is a key element of our history and culture, still an excellent bridge between people of different faiths, and a real basis for friendship. This workshop will discuss research, artefacts, and collections related to this heritage.”

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Falconry Art: Discussion

Dorjlkhagvajantsan Ganbold, Mongolia

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“If you want to draw birds of prey well, then you need to learn more about falconry. Learning and practising falconry provides excellent opportunities for creating beautiful illustrations of different birds.

I wrote and illustrated a comprehensive field guide to the birds of Mongolia, and am currently working on a guide book called ‘Falconry Species of the Western Palearctic’.

During this workshop we will discuss the role of falconry in modern ornithology and taxonomy, the importance of falconry in illustrating bird guides, and my current project – ‘Falconry Species of Western Palearctic’.”

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Falconry in Literature: Discussion on books the have inspired falconers

Véronique Blontrock, Belgium

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Is there a book that inspired you to become a falconer? In this discussion workshop you will learn about different books and manuscripts that inspired falconers around the world.

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Falconry: the Printed Word

Bob Dalton, UK

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“Even in these days of emails and other forms of instant communication, the written word is still a powerful and evocative tool that, used wisely, can create positive thoughts leading sometimes to equally positive actions. As the writer of five books on falconry, and the editor and publisher of a quarterly magazine devoted to the subject, I would like to help develop the skills of those that wish to communicate about their sport and help preserve its heritage through the power of the written word.”

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Leatherwork

Giancarlo Pirrotta, Italy

In this practical workshop you will learn how to use leather and turn it into beautiful and useful falconry gear.

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Hoodmaking

Tim McPherson, South Africa

Jean-Baptiste Benaccio, France

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Learn to make a beautiful falcon hood in this practical workshop. Learn about the best tools and techniques from a professional hood-maker.

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Painting Hoods and Bags

Mike Donnelly, UK

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Making a hood alone can take several days, and painting it will require further skill, time, and attention to detail. During this practical workshop you will learn how to work with leather and decorate it in different ways.

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Falconry Photography

Wilhem Vrijnhoek, Netherlands

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“To capture beautiful moments you do not have to be a top photographer or have an expensive camera. Often these moments are unexpected and we do not have a camera at hand. Many of us own a mobile phone with a camera in it. These cameras have recently become better in quality. As a result, we are able to capture the beautiful moments of falconry with it.
This workshop will give you some tips on how to get the best results for a good photo.”

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Falconry Art: Practical

Laura Doudard, France & Ineke Smets, New Zealand

In this practical workshop you will learn techniques to paint and draw a still falcon.

Laura Doudard

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After studying ceramic art at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et Métiers d’Art, Laura decided to travel the world to become a falconer and a wildlife specialist. Her two-year journey took her to all corners of the world, where she met falconers and their birds, hunted with them, and learnt the ways of wildlife rehabilitation and education. Back home she decided to put her impressions onto paper, and started drawing animals and landscapes. Laura also sculpts totems and figures in clay, and has been exhibiting some of her ceramic works in Parisian galleries. For Laura, the only way to preservation is through education, and she is dedicating her life to this fight. She is currently working on her art to fund a further expedition, seeking more knowledge and encounters with the wild world she is so fascinated by.

Ineke Smets

Ineke was introduced to the world of falconry when she started working for the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre and has never looked back. She loves nothing more than drawing wildlife, pets and of course birds of prey, and usually works with soft pastels. After 7 years of working with falcons and traveling Ineke now teaches secondary school science and biology, in the hope that others will be inspired by nature just as she is.

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Desert Cinema

The Desert Cinema will show films by Roger Upton and others.

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Middle East and North Africa

Emirates Falconers’ Club, UAE

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What is the state of falconry in the MENA region and what is its future? This workshop will discuss the latest concerns, achievements, and future priorities.

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Oceania and Africa South of the Sahara

Janusz Sielicki, Poland

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Central Asia

Bakyt Karnakhbayev, Kazakhstan and Keiya Nakajima, Japan

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As well as addressing issues affecting the whole region, this session will also introduce a film made in Mongolia:

“Mongolian falconers are worried about electrocution by unsuitable electricity installation, and the use of poison, which cause an enormous loss of birds every year. In Mongolia, the public is not always aware of the rich falconry culture that has existed there for a long time, because the practice has somewhat waned in the past 200 years. In an effort to tell the story of falconry in Mongolia, the Mongolian Falconry Association has produced a movie: Falconer Boy of Mongolia. The film is about a young boy who tries to save two baby saker falcons left on the verge of death when their parents are killed by electrocution and poisoning. It touches on falconry, electrocution, poisoning, and the revival of falconry culture in Mongolia. The movie will be introduced along with a report from the Mongolian Falconry Association’s summer research on raptor electrocution, and on the role falconers play in the conservation of bird of prey.”

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Southern Asia

Keiya Nakajima, Japan and Kamran Khan Yousafzai, Pakistan

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“South Asia has two sides to its falconry: as traditional hunting art, and as new trend.  It is essential to keep the tradition by suitable measures.  In the new trend, it is important to prevent the activities in which the welfare and conservation of birds are not considered. We will discuss the role of the falconer in managing future falconry in South Asia.”

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Europe

Janusz Sielicki, Poland

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This discussion workshop will cover all the latest achievements and priorities of falconers across Europe, falconers’  engagement in conservation efforts, and their future priorities.

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The Americas (English language)

Dan Cecchini, USA

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“The Strategic Workshop for North American Falconry will provide an opportunity for conversations and discussions about important issues facing North American falconry. The workshop topics for consideration are: US and Canadian legal issues, the impact of demographic changes, public perception of hunting, animal rights challenges, quarry or landscape ecosystem conservation efforts, positive conservation partnering, and funding of conservation efforts.”

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Latin America (Spanish language)

Henrique Rezende, Argentina

“I am 61 years old and originally from Brazil. When I was 18, I moved to Argentina to study, where I took Argentine citizenship. I am a full-time professor at the National University of Misiones.

This workshop will discuss the status of falconry in Latin America, legislation, falconry associations, breeding projects, exotic and hybrid use in Latin American falconry, and the role of the Latin American Working Group of the IAF.”

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Concluding Workshop: IAF Strategy for Falconry

IAF President Adrian Lombard, South Africa

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This workshop will conclude the desert festival, the part dedicated to the falconers themselves. Notes and strategies discussed in the other workshops will be brought together in this final session, which is dedicated to formulating a strategy for world falconry for the next 40 years.

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Social Media And Falconry

IAF Young Falconers Group with Andrea Villa, Italy

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“These days, social media are the most powerful and widespread means of communication. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we are able to share our emotions with friends who live on the other side of the world. This opportunity obviously applies to our falconry experiences too. Nowadays there are thousands of thematic groups on each social network. How can we use this huge resource in the most effective way?”

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Club Structure & Government Interaction

Michael Calvin, Australia

“How to make friends and influence enemies?

The aim of this workshop is to allow those attending to review and discuss the strategy to safeguard and promote falconry within their nation, and contrast this with other experiences from around the world. It will examine the role and importance of falconry clubs and the need for a club constitution. The workshop will examine how to develop relationships with government departments, officials, important NGOs and influential people, to support the practice of falconry. We will also consider approaches to developing regulations and legislation which will support the practice of falconry.”

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Women in Falconry

Alessandra Olivetto, Brazil

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“The mission of the IAF Women’s Working Group is to assist women falconers around the world through education, promotion, networking and mentoring, as we seek to practise the sport of falconry as a hunting tradition, and to document and preserve the role of women in the history of our art. Join us to discuss how we do this, and to learn about the many women who have contributed to the history, methodology and community of falconry worldwide.”

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With Youth being the theme this year, there will be special workshops led by representatives from falconry schools around the world, including Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, the UAE and Zimbabwe. Teachers and students will share their experiences during informal sessions and highlight some common aims and priorities for the future.

The Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School has been established to pass on the principles and practice of Arabian falconry to the next generation, and promote its unique features and traditions to sustain this important aspect of cultural heritage in the United Arab Emirates. The school commemorates the achievements of the pioneering falconer the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and aims to raise awareness of national and international policies and legislation to ensure Arabian falconry is sustainable and preserved for future generations.

The site of the school was selected for the beauty of the desert environment that surrounds it. The location allows students to learn falconry in the same desert environment where Bedouin have hunted for centuries, to develop an understanding of the ‘face of the desert’ (physiognomy) and recognize the plants and animals that live there. The architecture of the school is inspired by the beautiful design of Qasr Al Ain, where his Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was born and raised.

The school equips learners of all ages with the knowledge, skills and experiences they need to become practicing falconers. Students are taught the principles of Arabian falconry including species of falcons used, falcon training methods, hunting of traditional quarry, common falcon diseases and treatment, falcon nutrition, the biology of falcons and falconry equipment needed.

The Mohamed bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School opened its doors to its first students on the 15 December 2016.  Our weekend courses start as the hunting season begins and students can enroll in our four level curriculum for age groups 7-12 years old, 13-17 years old and adults. Local and international schools are encouraged to participate in our weekday or remote learning courses.

Penryn College, South Africa

 

Penryn College, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, has had a falconry club since 2001. At Penryn, an interest in hawking is a route towards learning not just practical falconry, but also ecology, sustainable use, and falconry heritage. Many pupils from the falconry club at Penryn have gone on to become zoologists, veterinarians and field guides. www.penryn.co.za.

Falcon College, Zimbabwe

Falcon College is a secondary boarding school in Zimbabwe, southern Africa. The College Falconry Club has 20 members, with 11 birds being flown, including a Martial Eagle.  The Headmaster of the College has two breeding pairs of Peregrines and flies another Peregrine and a Black Sparrowhawk, while the Falconry Master flies two Peregrines and a Lanner Falcon. The current president of the International Association for Falconry, Dr Adrian Lombard, is a former student of Falcon College. www.falconcollege.com.

The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Slovakia

The University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice is Slovakia’s sole veterinary university, offering EU-standard veterinary education in the English language. The university is known for the practical experience offered through its clinics, farm, wildlife facility and equestrian grounds. www.uvlf.sk.

ADAJA Falconry Camp, Spain

Every summer in Spain, Avium organizes the ADAJA Falconry Camp. Children between seven and 15 years old live with a team of falconry birds and experienced falconers. For 15 days they share their passion for falconry following a complete program of activities. www.adaja.es.

The other Schools that will take part in the Festival are:

Tuchola Forest School, Poland

and Maximilián Hell School, Slovakia

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The Lecture Programme will take place on the 5th of December from 10 am to 1 pm at Al Ain Zoo at the Sheikh Zayed Desert Science Centre. The programme is organised by the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Germany.


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If you have been invited to attend the festival as a sponsored young falconer, or will be accompanying a sponsored youth, or will attend without sponsorship, you must register.

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