Discover one of the world's most ancient sports
Ireland's oldest School of Falconry is a must-try when you stay at The Lodge. Guests are always astonished by the hawks' grace and stealth - and there's simply no better setting than in the grounds of Ashford Castle. Suitable for all ages no experience is required as you are led on a private hawk walk and watch as the Harris Hawks display their dexterity and fly to your gloved hand.
As you fly the hawks, your instructor will explain all about the hawks' incredible eyesight, their speed & agility and how they were trained by the Falconry School themselves.
You will never forget the moment when your hawks first swoop down from a tree and land back on your gloved fists.
Under the guidance of your instructor, enjoy the opportunity to fly a Harris Hawk with our one hour private Hawk Walks. You’ll set off into the spectacular woodlands to fly your hawk, and along the way you'll learn about the hawks' incredible eyesight, speed and agility and the training process each bird receives. Watch as they fly down to your gloved fist and swoop from tree to tree.
For those with a keen interest, the Extended Hawk Walk allows you to go for a longer walk in the woods giving more flying time and a greater insight into the fascinating hawks’ world.
Meet Sonora, Beckett & Lima as babies in 2013! Sonora is the big female Harris hawk, Beckett is next to her and lastly is Lima, one of our female Peruvian Harris hawks – the Peruvian sub-species is smaller than usual, hence the size difference between her and Sonora! Missing from the photo is young Andes – our only male Peruvian Harris hawk – he couldn’t play nicely with the other babies so had to be sent to the naughty step!
Meet Dingle, our European Eagle Owl, and one of the founding members of the Falconry School when he was a baby in 1999. He does the least work out of all the birds we have, yet is one of the most popular!
Here is fabulous Joyce, one of our big female Harris hawks. She and her three siblings:- Swift, Stoker & Wilde, were hatched in 2011 and have been with us since they were two weeks old. Joyce is unusual in that she has 13 tail feathers, Harris hawks normally have 12.
We had great fun when trying to re-enact the scene from the film ‘Ladyhawke’, during which a hawk flies so low over a lake that the wingtips trail. Killary proved to be the master at low flying and you can see in this photo where his talons have dipped into the water. Hatched in 2005, he has one of the nicest temperaments we have ever come across.
Here is beautiful Milly, the first hawk we ever bred ourselves, she was hatched in 2007. She is one of the most dominant of all of our female Harris hawks and very often bosses the other hawks about. Her dominance is rarely challenged and, on the whole, all of the hawks (and us!) do as Milly says!
Here is Wilde, one of our male Harris hawks. He became a skilled flier very quickly when he was a young hawk, much quicker than his three siblings - he was the most adventurous and experimental with his flying by far.