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Glossary of Falconry Terms

In falconry, unique terminology is often used. This glossary explains many words or terms used. We hope you find this helpful as you read and learn more about the sport.

Accipiter
The Latin name for a genus of raptors with short, broad wings and narrow tails
Common North American species of accipiters includes sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, and Goshawks
Aspergillosis
A fungal disease of the respiratory system in raptors
generally fatal
Bate
An abortive attempt to fly off the fist or perch when a bird is restrained by a leash
Bind
To seize quarry with the feet and hold it, either on the ground or in the air
Block
A block of wood, usually inverted, used as a perch for falcons
Braces
The leather straps used to open or close a hood
Bumblefoot
A bacterial infection of the foot particular to raptors
Buteo
The Latin name for a genus of raptors with broad wings and tails
called buzzards in Europe
Common North American species of buteos include red-tail hawks and ferruginous hawks.
Casting
The indigestible portions of the last meal of a raptor
usually bones, feathers, and fur, that are formed into a compact pellet and disgorged through the mouth
Coccidiosis
A bacterial infection causing inflamed intestines and specks of blood in the mutes
caused by dietary deficiencies and exposure to other infected birds.
Cramp
Dietary deficiency causing muscular spasm in "downy" birds
often severe enough to break bones
Creance
A long, strong cord or line used to secure a hawk during its first training flights
Eyass
The name applied to a young raptor while still in the nest
a trained raptor of any age that was obtained as a nestling
Eyrie
The nest or nesting ledge of any raptor
Falcon
The Latin name for a genus of raptors with long narrow wings and short tails
also refers to the female of raptorial species
Common North American Falcons include gyrfalcons, prarie falcons, American kestrels, and peregrine falcons
Frounce
(Trichomoniasis) A cheesy, yellowish growth in the mouth and throat caused by a protozoan parasite
Hack
A state of complete liberty as in returning a bird to the wild
Haggard
The name applied to an adult raptor either trapped or wild
Hood
The leather cap used to cover the head and eyes of a hawk
Imping
A method of repairing broken feathers in raptors
Jesses
Leather straps permanently attached to the legs of a trained raptor
Leash
Leather thong and swivel attached to jesses securing bird to perch or glove
Lure
An artificial quarry used to train, control, or retrieve falconry raptors
Mantle
The spreading of wings and tail over the food or quarry
Mew
A building or room in which hawks are kept
Mutes
The excrement of raptors
Passager
A flighted raptor in its first year either trapped or wild
an immature raptor is commonly referred to as a passage bird
Quarry
Any bird or other animal a trained raptor may pursue
Rouse
When a bird erects all the body feathers and then shakes itself.
Stress Marks
A weak point on feathers showing as a line, caused by no food or other stress which permits feathers to break rather easily.
Stoop
Head-first dive of a raptor from above
Tiercel
The male of any raptor
Wait On
To fly, circle or hover above the falconer for some time