For what is only the second time in New Brunswick history, visitors to this year’s Gathering of the Scots festival in Perth-Andover will be introduced to the medieval sport of falconry with their new “Birds of Prey Show” scheduled for Saturday, June 4th.
Back by popular demand, festival organizers are very excited about hosting this unique venue in 2016. “For several years, the addition of a birds of prey show to the festival’s schedule of events has been a top priority” says Events Chairman Rod MacIntosh. “After dozens of inquiries, we were fortunate enough to make connections with Falconry Environmental Services Inc. based in St. Lazare, Quebec. Their biologists have agreed travel to Perth-Andover and perform 2 birds of prey “flight demonstrations” in May. In addition, visitors to the festival will be able to stop and see these majestic birds up close and ask questions at the Falconry Environmental booth on the festival grounds.
Although nonexistent in New Brunswick, the art of falconry has a long and distinguished history recorded as far back in time as 722 BC! In the UK and parts of Europe, falconry probably reached its zenith in the 17th century, but soon faded, particularly in the late 18th and 19th centuries, as firearms became the tool of choice for hunting. Falconry in the UK experienced resurgence in the late 19th century which undoubtedly led to its introduction to North America in the early 1900s.
Throughout the 20th century, modern veterinary practices and the advent of radio telemetry (transmitters attached to free-flying birds) increased the average lifespan of falconry birds and allowed falconers to pursue quarry and styles of flight that had previously resulted in the loss of their hawk or falcon.
The final lineup of birds performing at the Gathering is not yet confirmed but will include falcons, hawks, owls and possibly the brilliant colors of an American Kestrel!
Plan you trip to the Gathering of the Scots in Perth-Andover for May 2016 now!
To learn more about these amazing birds of prey and their handlers, visit the Falconry Environmental services website at http://www.falconenvironmental.com.