Foretoken (foretoken) wrote in little_details,

Falconry in the Medieval period

Search terms: medieval falconry types of birds used, medieval falconry, various species names + medieval falconry, etc.

I've also borrowed a book from a library titled 'Hawks, Falcons, and Falconry'. I have not yet finished reading it yet, but it has more details about modern falconry than medieval.

Setting: a very medieval-like fantasy setting. It isn't based on one specific country or one place, though, or at least, I don't think it is. It's for a roleplaying game.

I've got a lot of general information now and know what type of hawk my character will probably use (Goshawk), but I still have some questions that are almost too specific to find the answers to.

My questions: On some websites it states that medieval lords often ended up carrying their falcons/hawks around as status symbols - Is this true? How in the world would they have done that? Did they continually hold their arm up while the falcon perches on it? Is it possible that the bird might instead be perched on a shoulder? How did they prevent them from depositing waste wherever they went?

I know they'd wear a glove on the hand that carries the hawk and keep the bird in a hood to keep them calm, but I don't how they would deal with those other questions.

From reading the book I borrowed from the library, and from this website, I learned it was apparently standard practice to release the bird after a certain period (a year or two, or whenever they could not feed the hawk, like winter). Would it be unusual for a noble to keep a hawk around because s/he's attached to it (particularly a knight)? Would it be completely unheard of?
Tags: ~animals: birds, ~hunting, ~middle ages

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