Before their vision evolved, birds of prey struggled to see and constantly dove into fields to retrieve eyeglasses that had fallen from their beaks, accidentally catching mice and rabbits instead. Meet nature's original nearsighted hunters with today's Groupon to West Coast Falconry in Marysville. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get a 45-minute introduction to falconry lesson (a $30 value).
- For $25, you get a 60-minute basic falconry lesson (a $50 value).
Although the human staff members of West Coast Falconry possess sharp insight and broad expertise, neither can rival the talons and wingspans of the school's resident raptors. In the 45-minute introduction to falconry lesson, students strap on thick gloves so they can hold and create a secret handshake with a live bird of prey as an instructor extolls their hunting prowess and its effects on local ecosystems and habitats. Although class size is limited to 15 participants, others can tag along and take bird-friendly photographs for an additional $8.
The basic falconry lesson extends beyond the forearm as students learn to cast hawks from their glove and call them back using special birdcalls such as, "Come back, bird!" Laying the groundwork for future aerial hunting, the class may include creance work, in which a tether or leash allows the hawk to roam free without the risk of escape. As with the introductory lesson, instructors run through the history of falconry and the role of conservation in keeping birds of prey in our skies. Class size is limited to eight participants, but any tag-along spectators, photographers, or medieval squires may attend for an additional $13.
Both classes run by appointment year-round. However, birds may only fly if temperatures do not exceed 80 degrees due to potential hazards such as rattlesnakes and hawks suddenly flying off to catch the ice-cream truck.
West Coast Falconry
Guided by the watchful eyes of master falconer Kate Marden, West Coast Falconry introduces avian enthusiasts to eagle owls, falcons, and hawks through an apprentice course, educational demonstrations, and aerial displays of predatory birds hunting. Various excursions give small groups of participants up-close interaction with the birds, enabling them to explore natural avian habitats and observe the predatory birds in flight, hunting, and while picking up their dry cleaning. Gloved game chasers can also try casting and calling owls, hawks, and falcons to and from their fists.
10308 Spring Valley Rd.
Marysville, California 95901