The Art of Falconry (2017)

The art of falconry appeared approximately 2,000 BC but faded with the development of firearms. Now it’s an elitist job in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. UNESCO included falcon hunting in the list of Intangible cultural heritage in 2016. 
For hunting, people usually use falcons, hawks and eagles which are deprived of the instinct of submission to the leader. The birds can not be tamed, so it is more like an agreement between them and a hunter, whom they give prey in exchange for encouragement. This becomes possible if a bird is nurtured and accustomed to a person. This requires serious time, moral and material investments. Hunters have to train the bird every day. 

In Russia, the art of falconry was lost during the the USSR period, but nowadays enthusiasts are reviving it. Each year falconers from all over the country gather in the nursery of predatory birds at the reserve “Galichya Gora”. They exchange experience, arrange competitions and demonstrations. The photographs depict participants of the gathering: the people and the birds.