For many years now, I have had a wish to meet and photograph the falconers of Central Asia. The falconers, also called Eagle Hunters, train eagles to hunt small animals and are usually found in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries. I was in Kyrgyzstan last September, where I had an opportunity to spend a few hours speaking to and photographing an Eagle Hunter.
The eagles–a golden eagle in this case–are usually picked up from the nest at an early age. A falconer keeps them for about twenty years and subsequently releases them in the wild. This is a practice that perhaps helped perpetuate their population in the wild during the times when eagle hunting was a common practice across Central Asia. click to read more »