Training & Tuition



Coronavirus Update

We are now taking bookings for training courses.



John Dowling Falconry Ltd offers courses, training and tuition for all needs and budgets. We offer our services to complete beginners as well as those who may want to advance their current skills.

We also offer specialist training including bird control, how to train your own bird and wild bird recognition.

Our courses can be held over a variety of durations to suit your unique requirements – whether it be a half day, a whole day or even a full week for more in-depth training, suitable for those who may want to go on to fly and hunt with their own bird one day.


A Day in the Life of a Falconer – Falconry Taster Day

Have you been on a Falconry experience day and felt eager to find out more? Or perhaps you are interested in the idea of owning your own bird of prey but are not sure how much is involved?

Following a number of queries from those wanting to have a taste of the “behind the scenes” aspects of training and flying captive birds of prey, we have put together a Falconry trial day.

The day will start with meeting the team and our collection of magnificent birds of prey, learning how we keep and take care of them. You will be able to see how we weigh and assess the condition of our birds each day, how we prepare the food and how we feed them. We will discuss the different types of equipment and furniture needed to handle and house birds of prey, as well as learn to tie the Falconer’s Knot, an essential skill to keep the birds secure. Throughout the day you will discover more about the ancient art of Falconry and how we train captive bred birds in the UK. In the afternoon, you can see how we prepare for a bird training session and come with us to our private flying field, where we will fly at least four different birds of prey.

The Falconry Taster Day is held at our base in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire from 10am until 4pm. We will take a break for food so please bring a packed lunch with you (there are also some local shops/cafes nearby).

The cost for the day is £130 (inc. VAT) per person and you will participate in groups no larger than 3 people.


Great service, all staff very supportive and helpful both during and after training. Would highly recommend!

Holding Hawk

Raptor Awards

We are an approved training provider and assessor for the Raptor Award, the only recognised award of its type in the UK.

The award covers all aspects of raptor management, welfare and husbandry, basic training and beyond.

The award is suitable for those:

  • That are new to falconryTraining Provider Network Member
  • Interested in working or volunteering with birds of prey
  • Who wish to keep their own raptors
  • Experienced keepers/falconers that want an award to evidence a minimum level of competence
  • Looking for additional training or a CPD course

In order to be successful candidates will be required to provide a range of evidence to show their competence within each of the modules. This can be a mixture of demonstrations, written documents, photographs, video clips, diagrams or verbal discussions. Your allocated mentor will guide you through this process.

A certificate is awarded to successful competent candidates, as proof of your achievement.

The basic Raptor Award course is broken down into eight modules which will take you from a beginner’s level to being able to handle, train and fly your own bird.

The first five modules cover all aspects of bird of prey husbandry, whilst the final three cover training.

The course is delivered on a one-to-one basis, with lessons structured around the student’s preferred learning methods. Typically the course can be completed within 7-10 sessions, which can be of a duration suited to the individual. Lessons are a mixture of theory and practical elements.

We provide ongoing advice and mentoring following completion of the course, including helping to source a particular species and accompanying you to collect your own bird if you wish.

  • C1 – Bird of Prey Accommodation & Equipment
  • C2 – Feeding & Nutrition in Birds of Prey
  • C3 – Monitor & Maintain Health in Captive Birds of Prey
  • C4 – Catching, Restraining & Moving a Bird of Prey
  • C5 – Keeping Birds of Prey, Legal Aspects & Welfare
  • C6 – Falconry Furniture & Equipment for Handling Birds of Prey
  • C7 – Birds of Prey Species, Types & the Impact on their Training
  • C8 – Inital Training, Manning & Weight Management


Bird Control Certificate

Those that have completed their Beginning Falconry Award sections C1 to C8 have the option of taking a Professional Certificate.

The Bird Control course has been developed by a group of professional bird control experts within the industry and meets the National Standards set out by Raptor Awards.

John Dowling Falconry Ltd is an approved assessor and training provider for this certificate.

The Professional Certificate requires completion of a workbook as well as a practical skills assessment in the field.

The workbook covers:

  • K1 – The legal framework in which bird control (abatement) takes place
  • K2 – The objectives of abatement operations
  • K3 – The natural history of avian pest species
  • K4 – Welfare during abatement operations


Candidates that complete the Raptor Award modules C1 to C8 as well as a Professional Certificate have the opportunity to be enrolled onto the International Register of Bird of Prey Professionals as an Associate Member for one year. The cost of membership is included in the fee for the Professional Certificate and will be approved subject to the submission of valid references.

The IRBPP membership holds several benefits, including: 

  • Professional recognition within the industry, from clients and employers
  • Networking opportunities
  • Improvement of knowledge & skills using the online learning platform and forum
  • Exclusive discounts on courses, events and meetings

For more information, visit the IRBPP website here. 

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