Gary Render, a master falconer and the husband of Ursuline Associate Stephanie Render, brought his red-tailed hawk Angelica to Maple Mount on Sept. 21 to share his love of falconry with the Ursuline Sisters.
Render said after seeing the movie “My Side of the Mountain,” which came out in 1969, he decided he had to learn how to train wild birds of prey, even though he was only a teenager. He’s been falconing for 46 years and has three red-tailed hawks. Pocahontas is a female like Angelica, and Ernest is the male who he found starving on his property one day and nursed back to health.
Render showed a video about falconry, then answered questions from the sisters in the Rainbow Room of Saint Joseph Villa. Religious communities in Europe were heavily involved in falconry in centuries past, and Saint Albert the Great was a noted falconer, Render said.
“When guns were invented, it became easier to shoot something than train a bird to catch it,” Render said.
Here are some pictures from his visit: