Falconry was once the sport of kings, and no wonder, who wouldn’t look super cool wearing a Falcon?
Anyone can put on some stupid top hat or add an accessory like a walking cane, umbrella, or Mr Peanut monocle, but nothing quite says “this guy is bad-ass”
like having one of nature’s fastest most efficient killers keeping looking out from your shoulder.
Now we know what you’re thinking. Pirates have been wearing birds for years, and they look pretty bad-ass, why don’t I just get a parrot?
The way we see it is this. Pirates are ugly and most likely use these brightly colored birds to take people’s focus of their ugly faces. As well, the parrot is more of a pet than an ally, and at best will make a nice meal for our Falcon.
A Falcon on the other hand, is more than just a pet that sits around mooching off your scraps and pooping down the back of your shirt. Its is also a really cool hunting buddy who just may help you catch a rabbit ducks or pheasant.
Essentially if you are starving, a parrot can only feed you once, whereas a falcon can feed you for a lifetime.
So what does a Falcon do that makes them so badass?
Well, if you think that you can create a loving bond with a Falcon, Eagle or Hawk, you couldn’t be more wrong. The bond between falcon and falconer is one of opportunity.
The Falcon sticks around because you feed it the best parts of any kill. It will gladly take down 3 or 4 rabbits for you in exchange for the prime cuts. Of course in the hunting relationship, you are the dog and the falcon is the master, so you have to go scare the rabbits and prey out of the bush so the falcon can swoop down and take care of business.
If you get real serious about hunting with falcons, you can upgrade to a golden eagle. Just remember the following rule.
The bigger the bird, the bigger the bastard they are.
Cormorants are also known as shags and their is no Austin Powers pun intended.
People have been using these birds to catch fish since long before the invention of the fishing rod. In the early days, a human on a raft would attach a snare around the birds throat so that it couldn’t swallow any fish and send it out fishing. When the bird returned to the raft, the human would remove the fish from the bird’s throat.
That’s right, before the invention of “choking the chicken”, there was “choking the cormorant”, which was a code word for “fishing” by yourself. (okay we made this last part up, cormorant fishing masters ride with a helper or “nakanori” and a champion rider or “Tomonori”)
Of course, choking a deep throated cormorant isn’t easy. In fact, they are known for the ability to hold up to 6 big fish in their throat at a time (they can still swallow the small ones).
In Japan, cormorant fishing is called ukai and has continued on the Nagara River uninterrupted for 1300 years.
3. Homing Pigeons
Years ago, homing pigeons weren’t just a way to send someone a delicious meal, they were also used to carry messages back and forth.
The Egyptians and the Persians first used carrier pigeons 3,000 years ago, while In 1860, Paul Reuter, (the founder of Reuters press agency), used a fleet of over 45 pigeons to deliver news and stock prices.
The world’s first ‘airmail’ stamps were issued for the Great Barrier Pigeon-Gram Service from 1898 to 1908.
And Homing pigeons are still employed in the 21st century by certain remote police departments in Orissa state in eastern India to provide emergency communication services following natural disasters.
Oh yeah, and have you heard of “VOIP” (voice over internet protocol)? Well there is now a proposal (although a humorous one) in computer networking and communications called “IPOAC” which stands for: Internet Protocol Over Avian Carriers.
In September 2009, a South African IT company, based in Durban, took an 11-month-old pigeon named “Winston” who was equipped with a secret 4GB memory stick and put him up against the ADSL service from the country’s biggest internet service provider, Telkom.
Winston took an hour and eight minutes to carry the data 80 km (50 miles). Including downloading, it took two hours, six minutes, and 57 seconds for the data to arrive, the same amount of time it took to transfer 4% of the data over the ADS.
Honeyguides are known for deliberately leading humans to bee hives in a mutualistic relationship where the humans get the honey and the honey bees get the grubs and bees wax.
According to scientists, The Boran tribes of east Africa use a specific loud whistle, known as the “Fuulido”, right before they begin a honey search. This “Fuulido” whistle doubles the encounter rate with honeyguides.
Like the Cuckoo Bird, the honeyguides are bastards. They are born into a nest of other birds and hatch as a sort of “orphaned ugly duckling” Naturally being pissed off, they are known to kill the other baby birds in the nest from time to time as a way of getting all the food from their new adopted “host parent”
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