Books and Literature

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read or would like to read related to falconry.  I’ll try to review them as I get through them. I’ve also included links to where you can buy them (some can be difficult to find or are sold on dedicated websites)

Books for Apprentices

“The Falconer’s Apprentice” by William C. Oakes (my review, buy it here) – A basic introduction to falconry and training your first red-tailed hawk.

“American Kestrels in Modern Falconry” by Matthew Mullenix (my review, buy it here) – A basic introduction to falconry and training your first American kestrel.

“Apprenticeship Manual” by the California Hawking Club (my review, buy it here) – Short introduction to falconry.

“Apprentice Study Guide” by the California Hawking Club (my review, buy it here) – This book is filled with multiple choice questions, the answer for each question, and an explanation to the answer.  Useful for studying for the written test, though the law questions only apply to California and are slightly out of date, especially with the new federal regs.  Still useful though.

“Falconry: Art and Practice” by Emma Ford (my review, buy it here) – Very good introduction to falconry with chapters on making equipment and facilities, training, and other aspects of falconry.

“Falconry Equipment. A Guide to Making and Using Falconry Gear” by Bryan Kimsey and Jim Hodge (my review, buy it here) – An illustrated guide to making all sorts of falconry equipment and facilities, from mews to perches to hoods to leashes.

“Trapping Essentials. An Illustrated Guide to Trapping Raptors” by Ben Woodruff (my review, buy it here) – Reviews of various ways to trap hawks.  Perhaps not as useful to an apprentice trapping a red tail or kestrel with a Bal-chatri trap, but it may be very useful for someone wanting to trap other birds, such as merlins or peregrines.

Rabbit and Hare Hawking

“Dirt Hawking, A Rabbit & Hare Hawker’s Guide” by Joe Roy III (my review, buy it here) – A review of hawking rabbits and hares.

“Hawking Ground Quarry: A Treatise on Hawking: Adventures with Prairie Falcons in the High Desert” by Martin Hollinshead (my review, buy it here) – have only found this on  I assume it’s about hawking rabbits and hares, though admittedly haven’t seen a copy yet.

“Rabbit Hawker’s Dogs: Dogs for the Bush” by Brian Kellong et al. (my review, buy it here) – “This is the first book completely dedicated to the selection and training of dogs by falconers to hunt rabbits. Written by falconers from across the United States, living and hunting in diverse terrains, Rabbit Hawker’s Dogs provides a wealth of information never before available in one place”

Crow Hawking

“Classical Falconry: A Treatise on Rook and Crow Hawking” by Nick Fox (my review, buy it here) – The only book (as far as I can tell) about hawking corvids, it “deals specifically with the modern forms of falconry and high flights obtained from out-of-the-hood”

Quail Hawking

“Desert Hawking IV: Quail” by Harry McElroy (my review, buy it here) – Written in two parts, the first covers hawking Harris hawks and the second covers aplomado falcons.  It includes 327 illustrations including color photos, drawings, and works of art.


“The Harris’s Hawk Revolution” by Jennifer and Tom Coulson (my review, buy it here) – “This falconry book is specifically designed to help falconers become better caretakers, trainers, and hunters, to help breeders increase production, and to make captive bred raptors better falconry birds and hunting hawks. The Coulsons teach about husbandry, rearing, training, socialization, scouting, hunting, selective breeding, and captive propagation techniques.”


“A Hawk for the Bush. A Treatise on the Training of the Sparrowhawk and other Short-winged Hawks” by J. G. Mavrogoradato (my review, buy it here) – An introduction to training the European sparrowhawk, though useful for most Accipiters.

“The Passage Cooper’s Hawk and Those Who Fly ‘Em” edited by Bill Boni (my review, buy it here) – A collection of chapters written by different people detailing their experiences manning, training, and flying passage Cooper’s hawks.

“The Imprint Accipiter II. Including Tame Hacking” by Michael McDermott (my review, buy it here) – An in depth review of McDermott’s process of raising and training an imprint Accipiter.  Very useful if you’re interested in flying imprint Accipiters.

“Accipitrine Behavior” by Michael McDermott (my review, buy it here) – “This is a comprehensive work written on accipitrine psychology. It is based upon a study in which 100 accipiters with behavioral problems were correctly diagnosed and then successfully treated by their trainers.”

“Captive Propagation of the Northern Goshawk” by Dr. Meg (my review, buy it here) – A 45 page text and 45 minute video on captive breeding goshawks, including collecting and shipping semen and housing for an imprint female.


“A Falcon In The Field. A Treatise on the Training and Flying of Falconrs” by Jack Mavrogordato (my review, buy it here) – As the name suggests, this is a treatise on the training and flying of falcons.  It’s the companion volume to “A Hawk for the Bush”

“The Passage Merlin” by Jeremy Bradshaw (my review, buy it here) – Everything you need to know about trapping, manning, training, and flying the passage merlin.


“Hawking With Golden Eagles” by Martin Hollinshead (my review, buy it here) – “Based on practical field experience, Hawking With Golden Eagles is a brekthrough book giving a full account of training and hunting procedures, and takes a close look at the quarries a golden eagle can currently be flown to”

Popular books

“Falcon Fever: A Falconer in the Twenty-first Century” by Tim Gallagher (my review, buy it here) – The author of many popular books, including “Grail Bird” which documents the rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker, Tim Gallagher documents his life-long experiences with falconry.

“Falconer on the Edge: A Man, His Birds, and the Vanishing Landscape of the American West” by  Rachel Dickinson (my review, buy it here) – “Rachel Dickinson profiles falconer Steve Chindgren, a man willing to make extreme sacrifices to continue practicing the sport that has ruled his life. Dickinson arrives at a sense of falconry’s allure: the unpredictable nature of the hunt and the soaring exhilaration of success.”


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