I have been a critter person since childhood and a big fan of raptors since my teens growing up in the woods of southern Ontario. Life (and apartment dwelling) intervened after college until I moved to eastern Manitoba in 1980. When I bought my first home (1997) there was a pair of Golden Eagles nesting in the trees behind my house and I felt this place was truly blessed! (The eagles moved away when red foxes moved in and cleared out the small game about 2004 )

I retired in 2012 and this past year something (maybe missing my eagles) prompted a renewed interest in raptors. There are many in the general area that I see or hear occasionally, from Goldens nesting somewhere east of me to Red Tailed Hawks, Snowy Owls (in the winter), and I have heard Great Horned Owls and Barred owls nearby. I am particularly fascinated by owls and that led to a whole bunch of online research, including Provincial laws governing the keeping of raptors and searching for local falconers. I am also a "handler in training" at a wildlife rehabilitation centre and was recently introduced to a Kestrel.

Despite my interest in owls, a smaller hawk would likely better suit my somewhat limited income (a pension) and my resources. Building a large mews would be expensive and, with our climate, outdoors wouldn't be suitable during hot summer days of 90F and LONG COLD winters of -22F. I don't have a large house but a Kestrel could be housed indoors without much trouble. Being close at hand would probably foster a closer relationship with my bird and make maintenance easier.

Though I have no interest (at this point) in hunting "wild game", a falconer's permit would be easier to obtain under Manitoba laws and it could be fun hunting mice, voles, and grasshoppers with a Kestrel in my "back 40"!

Excuse the long introduction - I do tend to get "wordy" LOL!

Anyway, I am continuing my learning while waiting to hear from the authorities about a permit to keep a raptor. Then it will be time to start collecting the things required to keep a bird of prey.