In Ontario, becoming a falconer is a highly-regulated process that ensures that the tradition and sport of Falconry is maintained to a high level of safety and standards. To become a falconer, you will need to get a Small Game Hunting License and an Apprentice Falconry Licence, both from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. These allow you to work as an apprentice with a Falconry club and a licenced Falconer who has held a General Falconry licence for no less than 5 years. This enables you to begin a 15-month apprenticeship, which must include two autumn hunting seasons. You may own one native bird while undertaking your falconer apprenticeship.

Image of Peregrine FalconOnce you have completed the apprenticeship requirements, you can apply for your General Falconer Licence and increase your birds of prey to a maximum of three. Becoming a falconer means more than just getting your licence. Training and caring for birds of prey is a major commitment. It takes a lot of practice and attention to detail to ensure the birds are well cared for. You will need space to fly your birds for a few hours each day to keep them exercised, and proper housing facilities (aviaries) to keep the birds comfortable and healthy.

The use of falcons for bird and animal control protects many lives in aviation. Airports and landfills near airports need to control nuisance bird populations to prevent dangerous bird strikes with airplanes. To work at an airport, or for other commercial falconry applications in Ontario, you will need to have your Commercial Falconry Licence, and other special insurance and training depending on the industry. To obtain this licence, you must have either held a General Falconry Licence for 5 years or demonstrate that you have been keeping birds of prey for a period of 5 years prior to applying for the licence.  You will also require a valid small game hunting licence.

To get a taste of being a falconer visit our Falconry Experience » or enroll in one of our Advanced Falconry Classes »

Hawkeye's owner and Master Falconer Dan Frankian has been involved with birds of prey for over 30 years. Did you know that we also rehabilitate injured birds of prey here?

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