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Experience Falconry

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hang gliding

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Jonathan Marshall has been a falconer since he was a boy. His all consuming obsession with birds of prey was born after his first sight of a Golden Eagle while on holiday in the Lake District. Every penny of his pocket money was spent on books, posters, post cards from the Grizdale forest gift shop. It was the beginning of a love affair with raptors which would steer his life in a direction he would never of dreamed of.

The young Jonathan persuaded a local falconer, ( Steve Halsall ), to help him and after nearly driving the poor man mad through constant pestering he finally agreed to make him his apprentice.

He learned the falconers art by serving his apprenticeship training Kestrels and Sparrow Hawks. By 1982 he was successfully flying Lanner falcons at quarry over Lancashire farmland.

His first job as a falconer was at Windsor Safari Park in 1985 where he was part of Bob Haddon's display team. He learned much about presenting shows for the public and gained valuable knowledge in training and flying Eagles.

After a brief period in the RAF Jonathan joined the Hawk Conservancy where he flew birds for demonstration purposes as well as lecturing and teaching. His work also included training birds for films and TV.

In 1991 he moved to North Devon and after meeting local theme park owner Trevor Stanbury he designed, planned and built The North Devon Bird Of Prey Centre. He gave twice daily displays from April until October for 10 summer seasons building his reputation as one of the UK's top display falconer.

Jonathan now tours the country during the summer months giving displays at Game and Country fairs. His work also includes taking small groups of people on Experience days and providing training courses.

To date Jonathan is the only falconer in the world to fly with his own birds by using his skills as a hang glider pilot.

     

 

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North Devon Show 2005
With son Saul and chick 2005