Grande Lakes Orlando hotels adds falconry to outdoor sports offerings

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The Grande Lakes Orlando falconry program includes photo ops with the swift and powerful birds of prey.
The Grande Lakes Orlando falconry program includes photo ops with the swift and powerful birds of prey.

The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes and JW Marriott Grande Lakes, which both make up the sister hotels of the Grand Lakes Orlando resort complex, are now offering falconry as part of their outdoor sports lineup.

Grande Lakes is located on 500 acres of pine and scrub-oak forest and wetlands, so there's plenty of room for the birds to accomplish a demonstration of the ancient art. The complex is offering two separate falconry programs: Walk With a Hawk and Falconry School.

The Walk With a Hawk program begins with an introduction to falconry, followed by interactions between guests and birds. The birds will perform some basic skills learned in training, and guests will have opportunities for photos and videos with the creatures. The activity lasts up to an hour and a half and is priced at $300 per person.

The Falconry School experience is a more in-depth introduction, including the history of the sport, rules and regulations, modern equipment, species identification, biology, training and historical applications. The program includes light interaction between guests and the birds, and guests can hold the birds for photos. The class is one hour long and costs $250 per person for up to five people or $1,500 for groups of between six and 50 people.

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