Every week, a Harris hawk flies over the shopping centre where I live, to stop the pigeons pooping on the shoppers.
If I hear the jingle of the bells, I go down to chat to the falconer, and greet the splendid bird – who flies much more and much more freely than birds in aviaries. He’s not there to kill the pigeons, I should make clear – he’s supposed to scare them off and stop them even thinking about nesting!
This time, the falconer asked if I wanted to ‘catch’ his bird.
I’m not actually doing any catching, as you can see. The bird comes to the glove, and especially the little treat on the glove.
Then, when you’ve admired his steely eye, and his proud pose, you can push upwards, and he’ll fly off.
It was this urban bird, with jesses, that made me think of the murderous, hungry hawk I heard hunting n the fog out on the Yorkshire moors