“Rofalconry – The art of falconry using robotic prey in place of live quarry”
Why Create Rofalconry?
At Wingbeat, we believe that one of the most beautiful things falconry can offer is the pursuit flight. The contest for aerial supremacy, which can play out in so many ways, is the perfect demonstration of the predator/prey relationship. These flights demonstrate so much of the falcon’s potential and allows the falconer, now merely a spectator, to experience ringing flights, dramatic stoops and rapid low-level tail chases.
The perfect pursuit flight is a culmination of many factors and is only achieved when they all synchronise. The falcon, the way she is exercised, shaped and managed, as well as the quarry and the environment are all key elements.
As falconry continues to progress, we are seeing an increased availability of top class falcons due to the success of captive breeding, but a decrease in suitable land and quarry. As feildsports evolve, all accept a degree of artificial substitution in order to fit into an ever-changing world.
Wingbeat specialises in the production and use of Roprey. Our artificial quarry, engineered specifically for this purpose, allows for a whole new branch of falconry. Our aim is to provide every falconer with the opportunity to achieve consistent high quality flights and truly optimise the performance of their falcon. When Rofalconry is combined with hawking live quarry, the effect on the falcon must be seen to be believed.
Above all else we want falconers to enjoy flying their hawks to the highest standard. By making Roprey available, and therefore largely removing the constraints of suitable land, we hope to see falconers across the world enjoying their falcons like never before.
What are the Advantages of Rofalconry?
- Unlike live prey, the behaviour of Roprey can be carefully controlled to allow the falcon to learn and succeed at the desired pace
- Roprey can be tailored to match a huge number of real prey species and so are excellent for developing a falcon’s search image, a great preparation for hawking live prey
- Falcons become hugely motivated to chase Roprey, and those falcons with a tendency to abandon the lure in favour of something more exiting to chase rarely pull off from a Roprey slip
- With instruments such as altimeters, airspeed meters and timers, it is possible to put a falcon through a carefully prepared programe of physical and mental development. Such a falcon can gain a year’s hunting experience in a month.
- For falconers who do not have access to good hunting grounds, Rofalconry allows flights to be undertaken in one chosen spot without the need for many square kilometers of hunting area. Also friends can bring their falcons along too and everyone can enjoy flying their falcons together at the same venue. In countries such as Japan, and in western Europe, where the land is heavily developed, this is a huge advantage.
- Not only can falconers enjoy rofalconry individually, it is possible to hold competitions together, creating a whole new sport in its own right.
- For flying displays, Rofalconry is the best way to show what falcons love to do best – chasing prey. Instead of tame displays calling falcons to the lure or fist, it is possible to watch them hunting high in the sky as they do in nature. One quickly forgets that the prey is not real.
- Rofalconry allows falcons to hunt prey every day without any danger of reducing the numbers of wild prey. It is a totally sustainable sport and has had great conservation benefits to species such as the Houbara bustard in the Middle East.
- Rofalconry does not use wild prey, so there are no welfare issues and Roprey can be hunted at any time of year. Even where it is illegal to hunt wild prey, the falconer can still fly falcons in Rofalconry.
- Our models are now being used in rehabilitation of raptors. Both orphaned raptors and injured raptors need proper fitness training and practice hunting skills before they can be returned to the wild.
- Our Rofalcon predator models can be used in pest control at airfields, landfill sites, vineyards and areas of valuable crops, to chase away pest birds.
- Roprey can be flown from moving cars out in the desert in high speed hunts across the dunes. Total adrenaline rush!