• Kátia Boroni

Individual Temperaments


Each Bird is unique, each one has its own temperament, just like us. Some birds are calm and placid, others are excitable and irritable. Some birds are easy to teach and some are withdraw. Except in cases involving changes in body chemistry there is little scope for altering temperament in hawks, according to Nick Fox. Choosing the right bird is essential, and the falconer has to rely in his/her good judgment or on luck to make this choice and get a bird with a good temperament.


Raptors suffer changes in their body chemistry as they grow up and the seasons go by. The major changes discussed by Fox in this part are:

- Chasing parents for food x hunting: young hawks will chase their parents bagging for food. In this first moment is the parent, not the prey, the stimulus for them to chase. Then there is a change (that can be caused by the parent releasing live prey or by a loss in body weight) that will cause the young hawks switch to prey seeking.

- Migration: the migratory species can change their behavior abruptly on one autumn day, and the responsive hawk may just fly away, ignoring the falconer.

- Breeding behavior: females tend not to hunt anymore, and prefer beg her partner for food; males will hunt in excess to tempt the female with food and courtship displays.

- Drive to store food: some species, like the new Zealand falcon, have a strong drive to store food. Sometimes the activities of hunting and eating can become totally dissociated.

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