Ronald Flores, 20, got his start in falconry when he was 18 watching videos on YouTube, reading books on Google or listening to friends online.
HAVANA TIMES – Until a few days ago, Ronald Flores led what he considered a normal life for a falconer in a rural community on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. He fed his hawks and in return they took care of his crops. But everything changed thanks to a video in which he appeared giving orders to the birds caused a furor on social networks.
The admiration for Flores is because he is the first known falconer in Nicaragua. The same young man claims to know of another, his mentor, Walter Gonzalez, but he now lives in the United States.
Flores, 20, got his start in falconry when he was 18 watching videos on YouTube, reading books on Google or listening to friends online.
Without a teacher by his side, Flores immersed himself in Information Technology to learn the art of falconry, not knowing that sooner rather than later he would have the opportunity to have his own hawk to train in a country where the capture of these birds is prohibited, but not their rescue.
It was as if Flores had followed the advice of Pablo Picasso, who one day said about the muses that “if they come, let them catch me working,” but in his case it was two hawks.
He told EFE that during the first 2 years old, “one came to hunt chickens, they were going to catch him, to shoot it. So, instead what I did was grab it with falconry techniques.”
Regarding the second, he recalled: “They were going to cut down the tree where the nest was, they told me that there were some eggs, I went to see, and that one was born in an incubator here. A normal incubator, to get chicken eggs, he came out of there.”
Although Flores knew the theory and executed the practice well, he acknowledged that there were people in the community who feared them.
Alliance between the bird and the falconer
“When I started, everyone was amazed, they said that it was crazy, falconry, and then they got used to the birds. At first, they said that they were going to finish off the chickens here, but in the two years he has had them, only one chicken here in the house was hunted,” he affirmed.
Every afternoon, the young farmer goes out with his hawks to the plot where he has crops of wheat, rice and corn. He releases them for about three hours. When he wants them to come back, he whistles and from wherever they are the birds speed back towards his gloved hand, with which he awaits with a piece of meat.
“Usually it is the alliance that forms the bird with the falconer, because it is inexplicable that a bird with its wings, all normal, is going to return to you. It is an alliance that forms between the bird and the falconer,” he says.
If one of his hawks doesn’t come back with a prey, no problem. “Being a natural predator, it keeps the area clean,” explained Flores, who insisted that “poison” (agrochemicals) is saved and he produces healthy food for his family.
Thanks to the success of his hawks, his community now calls on him to care for any bird at risk.
Flores does not refuse, and now he is thinking of extending his skills, while he waits for the right moment to attend invitations from fellow falconers from other countries.