The New Zealand Falconers have been busy over the past few months.
Falconry has been a regular fixture at some of the country’s best falconry courses in New Zealand, including the Big Kahuna, which hosts more than 400 falconers annually.
There are now falcon shows in some areas of the South Island and there are falcon tours throughout the year.
But, this year, falcon fans in New South Wales will have a unique opportunity to see falconer and owner Mark Dickson at his farm in Cairns.
Mark Dickson has spent the past three years creating a falcon tour which is a part of a larger falconery programme, where he runs the Hawkes Bay Falconry and Falconry School in Cunard, the Southport Falconry Club and the Southland Falconry Academy.
The Hawkesbay Falconry has hosted the Hawke’s Bay Falcon Club for five years, and the Hawkke’s Valley Falconry for four years.
And Dickson says the Hawks Bay Falconries are just the beginning.
“The Hawkkes Valley Falconries is an excellent program, and we’ve done quite a few shows around New Zealand and the New Zealand Coast,” he said.
“There’s a lot more to come.”
The Hawke-Bay Falconry Schools in Caunard, and other falcon schools around the country, have partnered with Dickson to offer falcon training, education and entertainment opportunities for children.
“We have all of our courses open to the public, so we can bring them all together,” he explained.
This year, Hawkes Valley has hosted an online course where students can learn to fly a Hawke and Falcon together, and there is also a falcoing demonstration course.
Dickson said it was great to be able to offer a show at the Hawkas Valley, which has become one of New Zealand’s favourite tourist attractions.
“We were hoping to have an event here, but that was the best we could come up with, as we were in a very busy period for us,” he added.
“But it’s a good time to be doing falconing.”
Falconer Mark Dillard says falcon show is a huge success with more than 50 students at the time of publication.
Falconing on the Hawker BayFalcon shows have been a popular attraction at the South Shore of Hawkes and Bay since at least 2011, and Dickson said the trend continued into the past year.
“It’s really fun for people who are into falconning to come here,” he told 7.30.
I think it’s really exciting, and it’s something that you can do for a while, you can fly it around, and then you can bring it back to your house, and get your family and friends to see it.
“That’s the key thing about falconering.
You can bring people together.
You know, people who don’t know each other have a great time.”
They’ll watch you and they’ll know you and you’ll know them.
“Dickson has also recently added to the variety of shows he can offer students at his Hawkes Bays Falconry.
A new series of classes will be offered every two weeks over the coming months, with a new course every two months.”
Falconers are really good at teaching students how to fly the falcon and we’re really keen to give them the opportunity to learn how to make their own falcon, and that’s something we’re looking to expand into a longer term, more regular course,” he says.
While falcon lessons can be enjoyed in New Britain and in other areas of New South Welsh, Dickson is particularly excited about the opportunities falcon school can provide for students in the Hawka Islands, where the region is home to some of New Guinea’s most iconic birds.
Falcons can be seen in the water at Hawka Island.
Photo: Supplied”Hawke Island is one of the most beautiful islands in New Guinea, so I think the people of the Hawkers Bays will be really pleased to see people there,” he laughed.
It’s not just birds that are attracted to the island, but also the fact that Hawkes is famous for its native animals.
In 2015, Dillard added a new falcon course to the Hawketan Falconry Centre in the Bays, which also houses the Hawkins Bays Falconry School, which was founded by the late Mark Denton in the late 1970s.
Now in its fourth year, the Hawkan Falcon School has grown to offer an array of lessons for children from a young age, including falcon handling, falcons training, falco jumping, falCOND, falcoding and falcon navigation.
They also have an extensive education program for children through the Hawken School