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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Glossary of Falconry Terms - The Unique Words and their Interesting Meanings
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Glossary of Falconry Terms - The Unique Words and their Interesting Meanings

Falconry refers to the art of hunting for wild quarry in their natural habitats with the use a trained bird of prey. Some historians believe that falconry may have been practiced since 2,000 BC. Today birds such as golden eagles, buzzards, gyrfalcons, peregrine falcons and lanner falcons are commonly used in falconry. It is quite an interesting sport that includes a unique set of terms. To get the best falconry experience, base yourself in one of the leading Abu Dhabi resort hotels the likes of Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.



A haggard is an adult bird captured from the wild. A wild raptor that is more than a year old is also called a haggard.



When a bird needs to be held still for examinations a cloth wrap is generally be used. This wrap is called aba in falconry terms.



Bowsing is when a raptor drinks. If a bird is known to drink a lot, that bird is called a boozer.



Some falconers carry several birds together to the hunting grounds on a portable perch. These are called cadges.



If a falcon receives good nutrition, proper grooming and water proofing, its feathers will have a healthy glow. This lustre is what is referred to as bloom in falconry terms.



There are several meanings to this term.

A healthy bird would throw up the indigestible parts of the food they eat, more commonly in the morning. Pieces including feathers and bones are expelled by the birds after the nutritious bits of their meals are fully digested. The bird will appear to be vomiting and may alarm or concern someone who is not familiar with their behaviour, but this is a quite a normal thing for birds to do. This act is known as a cast, and the lump of remnants that they bring up is called casting.

A cast can also mean holding down a raptor for examinations or for grooming. A flock of birds hunting as a group is also called a cast.



An infant bird forms an instinctive bond with its parent or perceived parent and this endearing and fascinating act is what is called an imprint. A birdsthat is raised by humans without the involvement of a parent bird is also called an imprint.



Rousing is when a bird shakes its feathers while grooming itself. This word is commonly used in our day to day conversations to refer to the act of waking up or stirring.



To allow a bird to gorge means to let it eat as much as it wants. This is generally a tactic used to reward birds for good behaviour.



To hack is to allow a bird to come and go out of its own free will. Generally the falconer will continue to give it food and shelter during this period. This is done usually while young birds are being raised. When a bird is to be sent back to the wild too, hacking is done to gently get it used to the new surroundings.



The act of sleeping is called jokin in falconry terms. Birds usually sleep with their heads tucked beneath a wing, while standing.


Make in

These birds of prey can be very aggressive once they have had their kill. Approaching them should be done with care and this action of walking up to a bird on her kill is called 'make in'.