The walls of my home have enlarged photographs of the birds native to my area in Florida. There is the Osprey, the Cranes, the Hawks, and most recently a Florida Bald Eagle shown here sitting quietly in my neighbor’s pine tree.
When I was fortunate enough to be teaching English in Mongolia, I heard of the Golden Eagles that were used for hunting. I did not see any in action on either of my trips, but a friend of mine sent an article about an amazing 13-year-old girl who is now joining the young boys and men who hunt with eagles in Mongolia. I found this fascinating as this young girl, who now has a laptop and knows how to email, also knows how to scale the mountains through the snow and hunt with her eagle.
William Kremer of BBC Magazine wrote this about her:
“Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill as well as the girl, Ashol-Pan. “To see her with the eagle was amazing,” he recalls. “She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it.”
The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people who hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practicing falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress…”
Mongolia has a yearly Eagle Festival when the hunters bring their eagles and show what they can do. I am certain that this young lady will be a part of the all male group very soon. Here are a few of the other pictures photographed by Asher Sydensky.
Enjoy the video below on the history of the Eagle Hunters of Mongolia