US Airways - September 2013 - (Page 19)

explore On a Wing and a Prayer Once the sport of noblemen, falconry is now a tourist draw for Ireland and Great Britain. Here’s a first-hand account. by Lucinda Hahn photo courtesy of ashford castle ★ My hawk’s name is Aztec. His sharp yellow talons clutch my gloved fist, and he trains his beady eyes on mine, as if deciding whether my right or left eyeball would taste more delicious — once filleted by his curved beak, of course, which looms an inch or so from my face. My heart is racing, and I want nothing more than to fling this Harris hawk back to Eoin Connelly, my instructor at Ireland’s School of Falconry Adventure at Ashford Castle. But I’ve traveled a long way to explore the raptor’s lure, from its power and hunting prowess to its increasing prevalence at luxury hotels in Ireland and the United Kingdom. So while hitting under par on Ashford’s golf course is about as close to birdie as I wish to be right now, I tighten my jaw and stare Aztec down. Almost since Homo erectus first drew himself upright, man has partnered with his feathered friends in the art and sport of falconry — the hunting of game with a trained bird of prey. The earliest accounts of falconry date to 2000 BC, and until the advent of firearms, it was simply a way to catch rabbits, pheasants, and quail for dinner. As guns caught on, falconry evolved into an amusement and status symbol among the nobles. King Frederick II’s tome of 1250, The Art of Hunting with Birds, is recognized as the first book of falconry, while the 15th-century Boke of Saint Albans lists raptors suitable to each noble rank: an eagle for an emperor, a peregrine falcon for an earl, and so on. Given the pastime’s royal pedigree, it’s fitting Time to Play Falconer with female tawny eagle at Ashford Castle sePTember 2013 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of US Airways - September 2013

Did You Know?
Making It Happen
Hot Spots: Top College Football Rivalries
Hub Crawl: Montreal-Trudeau International Airport
Adventure: Falconry
Wine & Dine: Las Vegas Dining
Golf: Pacific Links International
University Spotlight: Salisbury University
Style Spotlight: Yacht Club
Gear Up: Cookout Tools
Travel Feature: Jamaica
US Airways: Countdown to Departure
Great Tastes: Fearrington Village, NC
Professional MBA: Wake Forest University
Travel: Apps for Business and Leisure
High Style: Fashion by Peter Millar
Great Dates
Readers Resource Index
Your US Airways Guide
Video Entertainment
Audio Entertainment
U.S. and Caribbean Service Map
International Service Map
Airport Terminal Maps
US Airways Fleet/Customs & Immigration
Passenger Info/Contact US Airways
US Airways MarketPlace®
Window or Aisle?

US Airways - September 2013