Hello all,
My name is Joshua Sweat and I live in Shippensburg, PA. I am 27 years old and i am a electrician/fire alarm technician for the government. My love for raptors goes back years when I was a tiny kid. I witnessed Red Tailed Hawks (my favorite) swoop down and snatch black snakes. Also I recently witnessed a huge beautiful Bald grab fish out of the Saint John River in Northen Maine. Everything about raptors has had me intrigued my whole life. Thats when I stumbled into Falconry. Many of us seen some sort of Falconry whether it be movies, TV or even your local Renaissance Faire. Thats when I started reading into the history. Thats where my interest for Falconry exploded. I never knew that William Shakespeare was a practicing Falconer. Also looking at my genealogy, my ancestors hailed from England and served for King Harold who used his trained raptors to kill his enemies message pigeons.

Reading into the deep history of falconry made my passion to learn it unbearable. I just recently purchased "The Falconer's Apprentice" by William C. Oakes and it was an amazing read. I actually started reading the second time now. I plan on purchasing a few more books that a PA Game Commissioner has told me about. I plan on reading all on the list he gave me. I also am saving for the Falconer's "bible", "North American Falconry and Hunting Hawks". I am going to give myself a good year or so and read on all things raptors. Especially the important topics like diseases and the well being of raptors. I plan on joining the Pennsylvania Falconry and Hawk Trust and would love to meet other members to ask questions and maybe even meet their raptors. I know from everything I have read on this way of life you cant just walk into being a falconer. You have to dedicate your life and time to these wonderful creatures. Also from what I have read you cant just go to a falconer and tell them you want to become one and ask them to train you. These people dedicate their lives to falconry and you have to earn their trust. Thats what I plan on doing in the next year or so. Would love to meet some local falconers and show them my passion isnt just a weekend venture. I am ready to start my new life learning this way of life. I know I wrote a lot but my passion for raptors burns intensely. Thank you for taking your time to read this and if anybody has any tips please send them my way. One thing I learned about this is you cant stop reading about it. Thanks again