An #eagle caught mid-cry. The 4,000 year-old Kazakh art of hunting with eagles is passed down from generation to generation and involves an extremely delicate training process. The bird is not something to be controlled; instead, master and eagle nurture an intense bond based in mutual respect. #eaglehunters#mongolia#falconry Check out my Instagram photography portfolio @thewanderingwillowphotography
Just before leaving the eagle hunters, I followed them to a demonstration where they showed off their magnificent birds to curious tourists. They explained that after hunting with an eagle for 10-20 years, they set it free so it spends its remaining decade in the wild. The eagle hunters confessed that parting is always difficult and they would periodically go back to the same mountain where they released their eagle to make sure it was alright. Soon the visits become fewer and far between, and the eagle becomes, once again, wild.
Eagles are highly intelligent creatures. It only takes 3-4 years to train young eagles before they completely ready to help their masters hunting wolves, foxes, hares, and other small creatures. The training must be done by one person, who regularly hums, sings, and speaks to his/her eagle so the bird could imprint his/her voice in the bird's memory. When the eagles have formed intense emotional bond with their masters, then it is time to show them the hides and furs of the animals they must hunt. As soon as the eagles get used to the smell and characteristic of the prey, they are taught to catch leather lures that sometimes contains meat and sometimes does not. #mongoliankazakhs#westmongolia#eaglehunters#eagletraining#nikon#nikond850#ancientculture#worldtraditions#traditionalsports#worldtraditionalgames