When Scott Mason took up falconry at the age of 12 in East London he often dreamed of being able to fly like the birds of prey he trained. It wasn’t until his around-the-world tour that lead him to Nepal did he discover the means to fulfilling his dream of flight. Scott hooked up with fellow Englishman Adam Hill who ran the local paragliding school in Nepal after noticing their chutes in the sky.
Scott and Adam often discussed what it would be like to fly with the birds of prey and soon decided to make it a reality by obtaining some birds to fly with. After much discussion they decided that a Pariah Kite would be the best bird to train because of its superior maneuverability and its easy nature.
When Scott and Adam heard of a local farmer had chopped down a tree with three Pariah Kites in it they rushed to the site and found the mother and two starving chicks destined for the boiling pot. Scott managed to pay the ransom of about $30 for the trio, in hopes of learning to fly with these birds of prey.
It wasn’t long before the mother of Kites passed away from her injuries she received at the hands of the farmer. It was just a matter of time before the two starving chicks would be strong enough and healthy enough to start training. After a short stint of living in the office of the paragliding school, the birds were moved to an outdoor aviary that was built especially for them.
The time had come for these guys to begin flying with the birds. In a matter of weeks, the Kites were flying alongside, behind, and in front of the paraglider while taking snacks from the pilot’s hand.
If you are ever in Nepal and would like to take a look at these animals or perhaps watch them fly, feel free to drop a line to Scott or Adam and let them know of your interest. You can learn more about their ambitions or you can help the cause by dropping a few bucks in their can at their website: Parahawaking.com.
Check out this video of the birds in flight featuring the “Kev Cam”, a light-weight camera mounted on top of the bird. More videos located at their website.