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The Squadron

Picture of a Bonelli's Eagle

Bonelli's Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus)

Bonelli's Eagles are an Old World species that inhabits Europe through the Middle East and all the way to South East Asia. Bonelli's Eagles are a medium small eagle, about half the size of a golden eagle. They are one of the swiftest of eagles and they feed mostly on crows, gulls, partridges, pigeon and other birds. Bonelli's Eagles make excellent falconry birds but few are bred in captivity. We use them for their excellence in crow and canadian geese control.

Picture of a European Eagle Owl

European Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)

The eagle owl is considered by some to be the largest owls species by average in the world. They prefer dense forest environments with steep rocky terrain. European Eagle Owls greatly resemble their smaller cousin, the Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) in looks and temperament. They are strong, ferocious, and silent hunters from dawn till dusk and take can advantage of cloud cover to hunt on overcast days. They are opportunistic in what they eat. Their diet consists of other birds, rodents, small deer, and even other predatory birds. European Eagle Owls breed locally over much of northern, eastern and southern Europe. Subspecies of the Eagle Owl stretch from Siberia, to Africa, and across Asia to India and China. Owls are not a classical bird of falconry however some species are capable of falconry training, although the training is twice as long and much more difficult therefore taking an extremely patient falconer.

Picture of a European Goshawk

European Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

The European Goshawk is the largest Accipiter (true hawk). They are a fast and skillful hunter, capable of sudden bursts of speed, darting from trees and branches with great agility due to their unique build consisting of short, rounded wings and very a long tail. As its Accipiter cousins (Sparrow Hawk, Sharpshinned Hawk, and Cooper Hawk) it is stealthy and reclusive therefore difficult to observe in it habitat. Due to its high strung disposition, this bird isn't for the beginner falconer. They prey mostly on woodland bird species, such as crows, jays and pigeons, however rabbits, squirrels, and a variety of small rodents are also a big part of their diet. The European Goshawks is one of the few raptors to normally attack humans at the nest site, unfortunately many protective parents meet their end due to this behavior. They range from Morocco, Iberia, Britain, and Scandinavia across Eurasia to the Bering Sea and even Japan. The European Goshawks is a classical bird of falconry, in Medieval times it was flown by the common man, the male being reserved for serfs.

Picture of a Lanner Falcon

Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus)

Similar in shape to a Peregrine falcon, this desert falcon prefers dry, open country with cliffs and rocky outcrops. Lanners feed mostly on other birds taken in flight as well as ground quarries (rodent, reptiles, etc). Lanners range through southern Italy, Sicily, and the Balkans east to Iraq and Arabia, and even south through most of Africa. A separate Southern race resides in southern Africa. Regrettably the Lanner has vanished from much of the European range. The Lanner is a classic bird of falconry, in medieval times it was reserved for the upper middle class and upper class, only slightly less valuable than the larger, stronger Saker.

Picture of a Saker falcon

Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug)

The Saker is a tough, hardy, intelligent bird, favored by Middle Eastern falconers for its bold and aggressive attitude. It is the second largest of all the falcons, the Arctic Gyrfalcon being only slightly larger. The Saker often attacks animals larger than itself though prefers a diet of birds and rodents. Being a large falcon with broad wings and a long tail, it favors habitats such as steppes, plains, semi deserts, and other flat, open country from lowlands to high plateau. Sakers travel in the summer to Eastern Europe and central Asia then winter in Africa and India. Considered the most intelligent of all the falcons due to survival in a harsh environment. The Saker is a classic bird of falconry, in Medieval times it was reserved for minor nobility and the wealthy upper class.

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