Plans hatching for a falconry experience tour

Plans are in the works to develop a “falconry experience tour” on Catalina Island. The tourist attraction would be a partnership between the Santa Catalina Island Company and On the Wing falconry.
Master falconer Rocky Post hopes the falconry experience will help pay for the local pest bird abatement program.
Post said the planned falconry tour would show people what falconry is, how it works and what is required for both the birds and the people who work with them.
He said the show would last about an hour and would feature a lot of birds.

Plans are in the works to develop a “falconry experience tour” on Catalina Island. The tourist attraction would be a partnership between the Santa Catalina Island Company and On the Wing falconry.
Master falconer Rocky Post hopes the falconry experience will help pay for the local pest bird abatement program.
Post said the planned falconry tour would show people what falconry is, how it works and what is required for both the birds and the people who work with them.
He said the show would last about an hour and would feature a lot of birds.
According to Post, it will be located on the grassy area near the Zip Line Eco Tour.
“The perfect location for it,” Post said.
He said he already has two new full partners in the falconry business who he described as motivated to make the best falconry experience possible.
“This will be the best thing since the Zip Line,” Post said.
One of his partners is master falconer Ken Miknuk, who Post described as one of the best falconers in the counry. Miknuk, a professional falconer for 30 years, does pest bird abatement and education programs on the mainland. Miknuk’s expertise includes owls and eagles. Post expects the proposed show to have at least 10 birds.
The planned falconry experience will not take flight immediately. Post speculated that the falconry experience tour would probably start next summer.
Post said they are still building the facility and polishing the program. They have to train the birds. Post said that as far as he knows, the Avalon pest bird abatement program, which began with a city contract that was approved in 2012, will also continue.
Post said fellow falconer Miknuk would also participate in the bird abatement program. They will have apprentice falconers working with them for both the entertainment and bird abatement programs. The bird abatement program uses the presence of known predatory birds to discourage the continued presence of unwanted birds such as seagulls. The falcons do not to kill birds. The bird abatement program has been credited with helping to improve water quality in Avalon Bay by removing a source of bird waste.
According to Post, one of the benefits of the falconry tour is that it will allow him to keep his birds on the island all the time. Currently, he and the birds are here three days a week. Housing for the birds has been an on-going challenge to the abatement program. Post and his birds have moved off the island twice and come back. He said it is now coming together. Post said it was obvious to him that the falconry experience would pay for the pest bird abatement program.
At one time, the abatement program faced cancellation because of the cost to the city.

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