No one knows when Falconry was first practiced but a sculpture dating back to 1700 B.C. was discovered in Khorsabad in Mesopotamia depicting a falconer. The first documentary evidence shows it being practiced in Central Asia around 400 B.C. From there falconry was exported to Japan and Persia. It was extremely popular from 500 AD-1600 AD in Europe but almost came to a complete halt with the invention of the shotgun giving mankind a more efficient way to provide food for his family. In England the birds of prey were allotted to various ranks of medieval society such as Kings given a Gyr Falcon while the Lady flew the Merlin. The priest was allocated the Sparrow Hawk which is the equivalent of our countries Kestrel.
Animal rights activists and people who have little understanding of Falconry call it a blood sport. It is not a blood sport. This perception is based on ignorance and in some cases a social agenda. Hawk's do what comes naturally. They are predators. British Falconer Phillip Glasier rightly put it this way "There are those who enjoy simply watching and studying birds of prey in the wild; there are also those who have the satisfaction and thrill of flying hawks that they have trained themselves. Both should work together, so that future generations will also be able to experience the same pleasures."
My name is John Shea and his name is Sparky and I practice The Art of Hawking. Above is a pic of Sparky. He hatched in April 2015.
Member of the American Falconry Conservancy (AFC).