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Falconry

Glossary

Cere – The area at the base of the bill or beak.

Clutch – A group of eggs or chicks in a nest.

DDT – dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, a colorless insecticide widely used during the ’50s and ’60s whose side effects wreaked havoc on a number of species, including the peregrine. Though banned in the U.S. since 1972, DDT is still in use in South America, where many peregrines winter.

Egg tooth – A hard pointed knob on the top of the beak of an unhatched peregrine (or other bird) used to break out of the shell.

Eyas or eyass – A young peregrine still in the nest (or a raptor taken while still a nestling).

Falconry – The art of training falcons to capture wild game or fowl for a human hunter. Also known as hawking.

Furniture – The equipment needed by a falconer.

Hack/hacking – Giving birds complete liberty. Falconers may "hack" young birds during the training process so they can develop their flying skills.

Haggard – A mature wild hawk or falcon.

Mews – Main living area for a falconer’s bird.

Passager – A raptor still in its first-year plumage.

Raptor – A bird of prey.

Scrape – A nest.

Stoop – The hunting technique in which the raptor folds its wings and dives at its prey. Peregrines, which only hunt other birds, can reach more than 200 miles an hour.

Tiercel – Male raptor. Technically, only the female is a "falcon."

 

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