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Sky Falconry, Southern California’s premiere falconry school, invites you to experience flying a trained bird of prey to your glove and learn about one of the world’s oldest hunting traditions in the picturesque settings of San Diego and the mountains of Alpine.
A bucket list must!
Basic Falconry Lesson
Private Hawk Walk
It's been almost a week since my family and I visited Sky Falconry for a Private Raptor Experience with Denise and Kirk, and I am STILL on Cloud 9 from that day.
I had purchased the event as a wedding anniversary gift to my husband, and it may have been one of the best gifts I could've given my family.
From start to finish, the experience was magical. The drive through the mountains to their ranch was scenic, the facility was tranquil, the birds were majestic, and Denise and Kirk were so knowledgeable, friendly, welcoming, patient and just pure awesome.
Not only did we learn a lot about hawks and falcons, but we gained an even greater respect and appreciation for them by being so close and experiencing them in flight.
It's hard to put into words the feeling you get from watching these birds fly and land on your glove. It's definitely a once in a lifetime kind of thing that as one reviewer has said, "it's the Bucket List item you didn't know you needed."
We loved the passion and care Denise and Kirk have for their birds. The chemistry between each other and the birds is remarkable and creates such a positive vibe that makes you feel almost zen.
As a side note, we visited during Covid-19, and they have done a phenomenal job of creating a VERY safe and sanitary venue.
I highly recommend treating you and/or your family to a Sky Falconry event. You will NOT be disappointed.
Thank you guys!
First: VERY safe measures for COVID. You are never near others out of your party and everyone is masked. Rubber gloves provided to don before the gauntlet glove, hand sanitizer and masks worn almost at all times - only comes off briefly when more than 20 feet from you for falconry teaching.
Second: this is a fully legal way to fly falcons!
Now, the review: BEST EVENT EVER!!!! Okay, we've all been cooped up for COVID. So get in the great outdoors far from others and participate in this incredible experience with the amazing birds! We of course wanted to know what it was like to have the birds land and depart (thrilling--and did not disappoint) but we also learned so much! They have a great format. You aren't sitting for an hour. There is brief yet thorough information given on the animals and then you are right into it. You interact in four different ways: the landing/departing two times each, a big swoop up (forget what it's called, dang it), it eats off your shoe, and then you can be the one in your group to volunteer to toss food for the bird to catch. I cannot emphasize how glorious this was. And you're surrounded by incredible nature and beauty. The bird owners/handlers, Denise and Kirk, are veteran falconers who take the safety of the birds, the environment and their guests very seriously. But they are also a fun, witty, entertaining pair.
Seriously, if you want to do something like no other, THIS is it. Get your sunscreen and your layers and get to Sky Falconry!
Such a great adventure in our own backyard!! Very conscious of COVID precautions. It's a great way to relieve cabin fever.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy beautiful wildlife and learn about falconry and raptors in general, look no more! And because of the unique certifications at Sky Falconry, you'll even be able to interact.
Denise and Kirk share information about the history of falconry, the behaviors different types of birds and personal stories about their interactions - all told in a conversational way that keeps your interest. Then they give very clear instructions on how to use your body language when working with the birds and your hands-on adventure begins!
I purchased gift certificates, so instead of giving more "stuff" we were able to share an experience. It was a great success!!
Even the drive up was an adventure. Highly recommend #skyfalconry
Seldom does an experience exceed one's expectations. This did on every level. The respect for the birds is awesome. The educational aspect was unexpectedly delightful. The opportunity to interact with the birds - a check-off-my-bucket-list experience of a lifetime. Love. Respect. History. You're going back in time when you learn about this sport.
Getting there is an adventure. Plan your day around it, as you'll want to drink up the views as you reflect on what just happened on your drive home. Worth it and I will go back.
Last weekend was my second time here. It couldn't have been better! The views are just extraordinary. Our hosts are knowledgeable, patient, funny, listen to NPR, and clearly adore their birds and put their well-being first.
I'll be coming back very soon.
This was an ABSOLUTE AMAZING, BREATHTAKING, EXHILARATING EXPERIENCE!!!! Honestly words can't describe our day with Shanti, a BEAUTIFUL Harris Hawk. We did the Private Hawk walk with Denise & Kirk last week, they were very educational, and you could feel and sense the passion and love they had for Falconry. The way they interacted and cared for Shanti was so genuine and caring. The walk was excellent, very scenic and almost zenful like, it wasn't rushed and didn't feel like a tour. Felt like we were out and about with some friends and this AMAZING HAWK..... obviously that's the whole reason your there right!!! Interacting (there was a lot) with Shanti was honestly one of the most amazing things we've done, ever! Again, words can't describe it, but we will be back for sure. If your debating, stop and book right away. Seriously. Thanks again Denise, Kirk and more importantly Shanti!!
This was a fantastic and personalized experience. It is for anyone who truly appreciates nature and loves birds. We had the opportunity to be up close and personal with hawks and falcons perching on our arms and got to watch them hunt in action! The speed and agility of the falcon is truly amazing. We also learned about raptor behavior and ecology, as well as, the history of falconry. All of this in a beautiful and safe mountain setting. Thank you, Denise and Kirk, for making my birthday week special.
Amazing experience! We spent an hour and a half with a beautiful bird, getting to see him fly, land on our arm, learning about raptors. Our hosts were knowledgable and friendly. All was covid safe. Truly worth the $....we want to go back! A memorable day!
This should be on everyone's bucket list. Denise and Kirk provide an event that amazes me. We had the opportunity to interact with both a hawk and a falcon. This wasn't simply "watch how amazing they are." We actually put on a glove and had these amazing raptors land on us. More important they taught us how incredible they were: I can't believe how much I learned from them. If someone wants to start a scholarship fund for students, let me know.
PS: Kirk, the book we talked about is "The Evening and the Morning."
This is an absolute must for people who enjoy watching birds of prey flying overhead. The education that Denise and Kirk offer up along with having one of their beautiful birds using your arm as tree branch was a great way to spend a couple hours. My kid spent the rest of the day doing research so she could get her falconers license. Made us promise we would buy her a Harris hawk when she completed the process.
Thank you Denise and Kirk for doing what you do.
Our goal was to divert our two teenage grandsons' attention from video games and explore nature.
We had been to the SD zoo with them on several occasions, but we needed to up our game with something both exotic and intriguing.
We heard about Sky Falconry from a story they did on KPBS radio and decided to give them a try.
After showing up with the boys at 8 a.m. for the Hawk Walk, we had no idea of what to expect.
That was a good thing, as both young and old were surprised and delighted by what we saw over the next hour and a half.
Denise and Kirk are passionate falconers, and shared their wealth of knowledge with dazzling detail and personality.
The Harris Hawk performed awesome acrobatic flights and all we had to do was assume the correct position and hold our gloved arm up to have the magnificent bird land about a foot from our faces.
And we each got several close encounters with Heyduke!
Denise ended our experience with a plea for respect for these awesome birds of prey by explaining how humans can help ensure their survival. The morning was exceptional and is already a treasured memory.
I kind of cannot believe that this is even an option - like in life. To be fair, there is a lot that goes into it so the fact that Sky Falconry is so cautious and good with the birds is what makes it all come together.
My 6 y o is really into birds of prey and it is safe to say that this completely blew his mind. The amazing thing is that he was able to get to work with the birds in an intro course and that it was so accessible. He had no fear and very much appreciated the birds.
We will be back! We have told just about every friend about it and it is hard to imagine having kids and NOT doing this. Even from San Diego it is not a long drive to get to their location in Alpine.
This is a MUST do experience. Very knowledgeable and they absolutely love what they do. Patient with all of our questions and these two genuinely took pride in sharing their experience and passion for and about Falconry!
Covid Note: I felt extremely safe and the team at Sky Falconry took simple and safe steps to ensure the well being of their guests and themselves. Class Act during these challenging times.
An amazing experience! Denise and Kirk are extremely knowledgeable and funny too! They take all the proper precautions and put everyone at ease, following all federal guidelines. Beautiful birds in a scenic setting. You will learn about what makes these raptors tick, and conservation efforts to keep them thriving. We will be going back for more!
Our enriching encounters with birds of prey create memories that will last a lifetime.
Preservation through education
Located in San Diego, California, we are a satellite school of West Coast Falconry, located in Marysville, northeast of Sacramento, California.