Penryn College student passes C-level falconry with flying colors


A learner from Penryn College, Tom Armitage, recently graduated as a C-level falconer, receiving 90% on his exam and his own falcon to work with.

The 10th grade student, who only started at Penryn this year, said it took him a period of hard work and theory before he finished his C class, and is excited to be working with his own around wood pigeons in the coming weeks.

Deciding to take his falconry seriously, he joined Penryn because this college is the only school in the country to offer falconry as an extracurricular activity.

A Lanner Falcon.

“You are more of a spectator when it comes to falconry. Stand back and let the bird go, ”Tom said.

“You can be up close with the bird, see how it flies and learn to understand how it hunts. You also get to know a bird. They each have a personality. We keep the birds fit and healthy. They are amazing animals and some of them can be very intelligent.

He said he started working with his female wood pigeon about two weeks ago.

A molting Lanner Falcon.

“She has a bit of an attitude, but she’s also very curious and wants to check everything out,” he said.

Tom said the falcon hunt only takes place once a year and the rest of the year is spent looking after the bird, ensuring it is in the best environment. possible, with accommodation, food and equipment, as well as health care.

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He added that he would like to complete his level B and A qualifications in falconry, but that he should wait until he has worked a bit more with his goshawk before starting with the other levels.

He said his favorite birds are black African goshawks and hawks.

African Around Tom will receive from Dullstroom in the coming weeks.

“They have shorter wings and longer tails. It’s amazing to watch them navigate through the bushes and trees while flying, ”he said.

Tom said falconry is a lonely sport. He works with and teaches Penryn’s program coordinator and longtime falconer Steve van Rensburg.

Tom said the birds are molting now and cannot really fly during the process as they get stressed easily. But he might be able to show off his falconer skills in the coming weeks.

He said that after enrolling he wanted to study herpetology (the study of amphibians), but planned to pursue falconry for a very long time.

Penryn College said they are extremely proud of Tom’s achievement and look forward to showing his falconry skills in the future.

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