Michiganders preserve ancient art of falconry

Feb 16, 2015

Hamdy Kassem is a master falconer. Perched on his arm is "Skunk," a 14-year-old female red-tailed hawk.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

From ancient China to modern day Michigan, the history of falconry spans both continents and centuries.

In medieval Europe, hunting with birds of prey was known as “the sport of kings,” with certain breeds reserved for the aristocracy.

While you don’t have to be royal to be a falconer anymore, it’s still a pretty exclusive club.

There are only about 130 licensed falconers in the state of Michigan.

Current State talks with Ed Taylor, a member of the Michigan Hawking Club who’s been a falconer for close to four decades, and Hamdy Kassem, another Michigan Hawking Club member and a master falconer living in the Lansing area.