“For thousands of years, the falcon has been the companion of man, living and hunting in close association with him in a state of semi domestication. But never has the Saker, nor any of his raptorial race, truly submitted to domestication. Their kind is too wild, too magnificent, too strong for man to contain and have dominion over.” Shaheen: A Falconer’s Journal from Turkey is a lyrical account of an association between a man and a bird set against the exotic back drop of the Turkish countryside.
Author Paul Jones chronicles the capture and “taming” of the tercel Saker falcon, before the scourge of DDT affected many species of falcons throughout the world. Jones gives readers an inside view of falconry and all its trappings, little changed since the Middle Ages, and complements the text with his own delightful drawings. While the story details the training and hunting episodes that took place with the bird, it is really a study of the bond that can grow between falconer and falcon.
About the Author: A lifelong devotee of raptors of all sorts, Paul Jones was able to acquire his own falcon while he worked with a branch of the United Nations in Turkey during the sixties and seventies as a forestry and forest industry development planner. Jones has been a member of the British Columbia Falconry Association and belongs to a long list of British Columbia birding and natural history organizations. He has authored numerous articles of natural history interest and other works include The Marbled Murrelats of the Caren Range and Middle point Bight and Nature’s Anniversary. He resides in Vancouver.