Have you ever said that you were "Fed Up"? You've had enough? You're done? If you have ever said this, you got that phrase from falconry. "Hoodwinked", "Under My Thumb" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" all stem from the sport of falconry, too.

Falconry is the hunting of wild animals in their natural state and habitat by means of a trained bird of prey. When a falcon or hawk is "fed up", it means they are full and done eating and will perch up in a tree. They are literally FED up! I learned this when I recently had a peregrine falcon land on my arm during a falconry experience.

Historically, falconry was used as status symbol for the nobles of Medieval Europe, Middle East, and Mongolian Empire. It's been around for over 3,000 years. It was one of the first sports to allow women to participate. In medieval times, falconry was used as a status symbol. The higher your rank, the bigger your bird. While imprisoned, Mary Queen of Scots was allowed to go outside specifically to keep her raptors trained.

Today, The North American Falconers Association, founded in 1961, is the premier club for falconry in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and has members worldwide.  NAFA is the primary club in the United States totaling over 75,000 members. In the United States, falconry is legal in all states except Hawaii, and in the District of Columbia. A falconer must have a state permit to practice the sport.

Acquiring a falconry license in the United States requires an aspiring falconer to pass a written test, have equipment and facilities inspected, and serve a minimum of two years as an apprentice under a licensed falconer. Here in Michigan, there is the Michigan Hawking Club. If you're interested in becoming a falconer or just enjoying an experience, click here. You can also find more information from the Michigan DNR.

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