Parahawking is an activity that combines paragliding with falconry. Birds of prey are trained to fly with paragliders, guiding them to thermals for in-flight rewards and performing aerobatic manoeuvres.
Parahawking was developed by British falconer Scott Mason in 2001. Mason began a round-the-world trip in Pokhara, Nepal, where many birds of prey – such as the griffon vulture, steppe eagle and black kite – can be found. While taking a tandem paragliding flight with British paraglider Adam Hill, he had the opportunity to see raptors in flight, and realised that he could combine the sports of paragliding and falconry. He hopes that others will also be interested in the combined endeavours. He has been based in Pokhara ever since, training and flying birds during the dry season between September and March.
The team started by training two black kites, but have since added two Egyptian vultures, Kevin and Bob, to the team. Only rescued birds are used – none of the birds have been taken from the wild.
Mason and Hill documented their endeavours, with help from colleague Graham Saunders-Griffiths, in a film entitled Parahawking. In addition to being named Best Debut Film at the 2003 Festival International du Film de Vol libre in St-Hilaire, France (held as part of the Coupe Icare), and winning top prize in the 'Air' category at the 5th Hory a Mesto international festival of mountain films in Slovakia, Parahawking was a finalist in the category of 'Best Film on Mountain Sports' at the 2003 Banff Mountain Film Festival, and competed for the title of 'Best Documentary' at the 2004 Cervino International Film Festival.
Mason's work has been featured in many publications around the world, from falconry-related journals and newsletters, to paragliding publications, mainstream magazines and newspapers.
See also 
- 'German film climbs to the festival's top', 3 May 2004
- Article in The Austringer, journal of The Welsh Hawking Club, 2003
- 'The Himalayan Parahawkers' by Scott Mason, The Falconers and Raptor Conservation Magazine, 2003
- 'Flying a kite...', International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators newsletter, February 2008
- 'From 9 to 5 to Feeling Alive!', Cross Country, 28 November 2005
- 'Parahawking' by Richard Jennings, Cumbria Soaring Club newsletter, October 2007
- 'L’homme oiseau, du rêve à la réalité' by Aurélie Cottier, Aerial, October–November 2007
- 'Under the Wings of Kevin' by Jerome Maupoint, Cross Country, 28 February 2008
- 'Unter Kevins Schwingen' by Louise Crandal, Gleitschirm, June 2008
- 'Parahawking' by Aryn Baker, Time Asia, 15 November 2004
- 'Things to Do Before You Die: Parahawking', FHM magazine, October 2005
- 'News & Views: Parahawking', Action Asia, September 2007
- 'Parahawking in Nepal' and 'High as a kite' by Joshua Iles, Outer Edge, April 2008
- 'Soaring above Nepal with raptor guides' by Christina Ammon, Oregon Live, 10 April 2009
- 'Gliders are hawking in the air' by Kathryn Lister, The Sun, 1 February 2007
- 'Eagle eyed Scott is true wing man', Barking and Dagenham Recorder, 1 March 2007
- 'Birds eye view of Nepal' by Graeme Green, Metro.co.uk, 11 January 2008
- 'Where eagles dare: Parahawk with nature' by Jonathan Green, UK Mail on Sunday, 26 April 2008