Falconer learns to fly like his birds

A Devon falconer is so obsessed with birds of prey that he has learned to fly just like them.

Jonathan Marshall has reared the fearsome hunters all of his life but recently decided standing on the ground and looking up was not enough.

He has now taken up paragliding and hang gliding to soar across the coastline near his home whenever the conditions are right. But he admits to being jealous of his Harris Hawk and Peregrine Falcon which can fly whenever they like.

Along with learning how to fly, he has also taught Samson – a nine-year-old Golden Eagle who he rescued – how to take to the skies. Marshall said: “The paragliding and the hand gliding give you the ability to experience what it’s like to fly like the birds.

“Sometimes when I try to fly the wind does not work for me and I reckon the birds have a laugh at me.

“I reckon they think what the hell are you waiting for but as humans we are stuck on the floor.” Marshall, who lives with his partner and two children, added: “I think I’m incredibly lucky to share my life with these beautiful creatures.”

His story is one of several which features in new Animal Planet series Preposterous Pets, which continues on Thursday, 17 April at 8pm.

Post published in: World News

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