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Catalina Falconry offers unique experience

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For thousands of years, kings, queens and their courtiers spent their days hunting with some of the most majestic predators on earth. And now, thanks to one of the newest things to do on Catalina Island, you can experience this thrilling activity as well.

The Catalina Falconry Experience showcases this ancient sport and the powerful birds of prey that made it so compelling for nobility around the world. Hawks, falcons and owls feature in the experience, which combines history, education and conservation to create a unique up-close animal encounter.

After learning about the hunting styles of raptors, participants will be able to have a hawk land on their glove and “cast” the bird. The bird will free fly at Desansco Beach before it returns, swooping in to land in a rush of outstretched talons. Ideal for bird lovers and animal fans, the Catalina Falconry Experience provides plenty of opportunities for unforgettable memories and memorable photos.

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Offered on weekends, this unique island adventure happens at Descanso Beach, where several other Catalina activities are offered, including the Frog Rock Kayak Tour, the Catalina Aerial Adventure or the Zip Line Eco-Tour.

The Catalina Falconry Experience isn’t the only time that Catalina visitors can get an up-close look at these awe-inspiring predators. For the last several years, On the Wing Falconry Services has used hawks and falcons to keep Avalon’s streets and beaches clear of aggressive seagulls and over-populating pigeons. The nuisance birds are not harmed, but their instinctive fear of the flying predators keeps their numbers down.

Several days a week, the raptors of On the Wing, swoop through town, scaring off the pigeons and keeping the seagulls in line. As they do so, visitors and locals alike have been fascinated to see the predators up close – in fact, it was the public response to the falconry service that inspired the development of the Catalina Falconry Experience at Descanso Beach.

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