Hawking is ancient. Through out falconry history It has been seen as a valuable source of food, fun and prestige among the upper classes and the poor alike. Falconry is so rich in history it has made the background of hawking a very complex and long read, so I have decided to only list the most important moments of the sport.
In The Beginning
The truth is, no one really knows when hawking begun. It could be all the way back in 2000 BC, because of paintings and writings such as "The Epic of Gilamesh" .This has all been dismissed by most, as it could be references to gods or mans desire to fly. It was believed that hawking started in East Asia and this was considered to be true in most falconry history documents; Only after the discovery of evidence of the sport in the Mideast was this changed. Archaeologists say that the evidence suggests birds of prey where used to hunt as early as 100 BC.
The first reference to falconers in china is in 680 AD. The sport was introduced and practiced in Europe and Saxon England in 875 AD. There are many documents, paintings and stories suggesting that falconry was a very popular and respected sport.
In most places around the world it was as a past time for the rich and powerful. The tricky to caputre birds had a large price tag and took more time then most could spare to look after. It was common for servants to care for and train the birds.
In the late 18th century firearms slowly begun to overshadow the sport. By the 19th century falconry was considered rare as gun sports become the norm, even among royally. Many held onto the sport and its iconic images, like using birds of prey on family crests to show bravery and strength.
Due to a large amount of books being released the sport grow in popularity during the early 20th century. This lead to the introduction of falconry in north America in the 1900s.
This timeline shows important events in falconry history in the order in which they occurred. This time line is far from complete but covers the most important moments and evidence.
355 AD - The “Nihon-shoki” (translates to “The Chronicles of
Japan”) documents the arrival of the sport in Japan in-between 313 and
500 AD - A Floor Mosaic made by Romans shows a falconer hunting ducks
680 BC - First evidence of the use of birds of prey for hunting in China
875 BC -The sport was introduced to Europe and Saxon England
1390’s - A chronicler called Pero Lòpez de Ayala compiles all the correct information he can about hunting with hawks
1500-1535 - Asakura Norikafe ( a warlord in Japan) Breeds captive Goshawks for the first time
1600s - Dutch records show that sport was in practiced and a town called Valkenwarrd was dependent on it for its economy
1927- The British Falconers Club is founded
1934 The Peregrine Club (the first US falconry club) was formed only to die out later in World War 2.
1941 - The Falconer’s Club of America was formed, only to disband in 1961
1961 - The North American Falconers Association (or NAFA for short) was formed
1970 - The Peregrine Falcon was placed on the endangered species list
1986 - The Archives of Falconry was founded
1999 - The Peregrine Falcon looses its endangered
status due to large numbers being sighted and recorded