My name is Sam Kramer, I am a 17-year old high school student at the Ross School in East Hampton, NY. Although I am immersing myself in the sport of falconry as my Senior Project, a graduation requirement at my high school, falconry means much more to me than that. This project was more of a way for me to convince my family, and myself, that I had the time and could put in the required effort to be a falconer.
I have always had a passion for birds and ornithology. I have been bird watching since the second grade and raptors have always impressed me the most. My interest in falconry really started when I read My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George as a young boy. The book was about a young boy from New York City named Sam (coincidence?) who decides to live off the land in the Catskill Mountains. As part of his adventures, he takes a baby Peregrine Falcon from its nest and raises it to be his companion, eventually using it to hunt and provide himself with food. I fell in love with the book immediately and ever since, I’ve loved birds and falconry was always in the back of my mind as something I would like to try one day. Ever since, I’ve been birdwatching and have had a tremendous passion for science. Luckily, I now have the chance to study this amazing discipline.
I found out from my father that one of his friends had been a master falconer for almost 20 years and I started talking to him about falconry. I decided that I was really determined to give it a try and, knowing that my senior project was coming up, I knew that now was about the last good chance I would get before college to try something like this. Naturally, I seized the opportunity as quickly as I could, and it was just in the nick of time. I made up my mind in late January and my only shot to take the test was that coming April. Check the blog for more information on the rest of the process.
For soon-to-be apprentices, or for those who are more interested in the technical aspects of the process, know that I am trying to be as straightforward and honest as I can about the process. I’ve dedicated a page to the construction of the mews, which I’ve found to be the most difficult part to date. As I go along, I’m sure more pages about specific aspects of the process and of falconry in general will start to pop up, so keep checking back if you haven’t quite found what you’re looking for yet.