ExtraHyperActive: Parahawking- Flying Like A Bird...With A Bird.

Parahawking- Flying Like A Bird...With A Bird.



The video below is absolutely beautiful !

When you go parahawking, you are not just flying like a bird - you are flying with one. And there's only one place in the world you can do it: Pokhara, Nepal and doing it is as awesome as it sounds.

If it's too much to digest, let me first explain what parahawking is.
Parahawking is a fusion between Falconry and Paragliding. Falconry is a huntung sport where birds of prey are trained to hunt prey. Parahawking is different, our birds of prey are trained to fly with Paragliders and to guide them to the thermals. Parahawking also gives you a unique opportunity to interact with birds of prey in their own environment.
When parahawking, you soar with trained Egyptian Vultures, which are an exceptionally unique species of bird. Not only are the Egyptian Vultures incredibly intelligent (they're one of two bird species in the world that use tools to source food (they will actually pick up and drop rocks to break into eggs) but they are incredibly energy efficient. The vultures rely on warm pockets of air, called thermals, to achieve lift — allowing them to soar with minimal effort. The higher they soar, the wider their perspective becomes, allowing them to more easily source food. If there are no thermals, the Egyptian Vulture will find a tree to perch on and conserve energy until it's ready to try again.

Because of their natural dedication to energy efficiency, Egyptian Vultures are an excellent bird to paraglide with, because gliders also rely on thermals to achieve lift. So when paragliding, anytime you want to go up you just follow the birds!

In order to keep the vultures interested in the flight, they have been trained to eat from the sky. The paragliding system is tandem. The pilot, also a trained bird handler, flies; the passenger feeds. Goes like this:

The passenger pulls a piece of buffalo meat from a pouch on their waist. Holds it in their leather gauntlet; covers the meat with their other hand. Egyptian Vultures have fantastic eyesight; if you don't cover the meat, they'll come snatch it when you're not ready. The pilot whistles to call in the bird. The passenger uncovers the meat and holds their arm out as a perch. The vulture swoops down, lands on the passenger's arm, gets his snack, then takes off. Eat, repeat.

Before you jump to any conclusions ( animal cruelty and such...), the man behind this "new activity", Scott Mason, is a bird of prey advocate and runs Himalayan Raptor Rescue.

Aside from having the experience of a lifetime, parahawking supports important vulture conservation efforts. Proceeds from parahawking go directly to the rehabilitation of birds affected by the epidemic, habitat destruction, and other human-generated problems, as well other raptor research and conservation efforts in Nepal.

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