The Weird And Wonderful Words Of Falconry

As someone who appreciates falconry I’ve put together a short list of words for anyone who might be wondering what certain terms mean. Understanding the lingo will help you become a better falconer and know what kind of equipment to use.

ABA – This is a cloth wrap used to calm a bird and hold it for examination.

ALULA – Three small feathers used for controlling the flow of air in flight.

ANKLETS – A leather strap that goes around the bird’s leg. Jesses are attached to it.

AUSTRINGER – Someone who flies a short-winged or broad-winged hawk.

BAL CHATRI – A traditional trap used by falconers. It’s a small cage for bait to keep them separated from the bird when it’s attacking.

BAND – A metal or plastic identification ring that goes around a bird’s leg.

BATE – The action of the bird flying from a perch or fist which attached to a leash.

BEWIT – Small leather strips which attach bells or other hardware to a bird’s leg.

BLOOM – The healthy sheen of a bird’s feathers to indicate a good diet, waterproofing and management.

CADGE – A frame used as a perch for several birds at once.

CAST – The action of a bird bringing up indigestible pieces of meat, usually in the morning.

CERE – The smooth, featherless skin above the beak that attaches to the forehead.

CHAPS – Leg protectors for birds, primarily used when hunting squirrels as their teeth can cause damage.

COPING – To re-shape a bird’s beak and trim any growth.

CROP – The part of the throat where the bird places a meal before it moves to the stomach. Food is placed there for quick storage.

DHO-GAZZA – A trap that consists of a net suspended between a bird and bait. The net tangles around the bird when it flies into it.

DRAW THE BRACES – To pull the braces of a hood so they tighten.

ENSEAM – To bring a hawk out of the moulting period by nutritional management.

FEAK – The sign of a happy bird who is rubbing its beak against a surface to clean it.

GAUNTLET – The glove worn traditionally on the left hand.

HACK – To let a bird come and go as they please, however the falconer still provides food and shelter. Used for immature birds who are being raised without imprinting.

IMP – Cutting off a broken feather and replacing it with an undamaged one.

IMPRINT – A bird raised by a human to the point the bird identifies the falconer as its family.

JESS – Leather strips that go through the anklets so the falconer can hold the bird and attach it to the leash.

LEASH – Made out of leather and attaches the bird to the perch on the falconer’s glove.

MANNING – To make a bird used to your presence. A ‘well manned’ bird is one who is comfortable around people.

MANTLE – The action of a bird stretching its wings to hide food.

PLUMAGE – A bird’s feathers.

QUARRY – The game that’s being hunted. Can refer to a rabbit, pheasant or quail.

RANGLE – Smooth stones that are swallowed by the bird to clean the crop.

SCALE – The act of a falconer managing a bird’s weight.

STOOP – The action of a bird flying high and dropping quickly at another bird or lure.

THROW UP – To pull out of a stoop and rise on fixed wings without flapping. Usually done when the bird misses a target.

TIRING – Tough pieces of meat and bone that will keep the bird occupied. Used during the scaling process and conditions the beak as well as exercising the neck muscles.

WAIT ON – To soar or hang on the wind above the falconer. The bird will then stoop at the quarry.

WING OVER – To change direction and flip over in mid-flight.

YARAK – A state of complete hunting focus.


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