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Birds of prey amuse audience at annual contest in Hanoi

Monday, October 28, 2019, 15:22 GMT+7
Birds of prey amuse audience at annual contest in Hanoi
A trainer handles a sea eagle during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A competition among trainers of predatory birds was held in an outlying district of Hanoi on Sunday, offering the Vietnamese audience a rare view of the majestic raptors.

The 5th annual Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest attracted over 300 trainers from the northern and central regions of the Southeast Asian country.

Around 50 raptors of various species including eagles, falcons, kites, and hawks were brought to this year’s contest in Hanoi, according to Tran Hoang, an organizer.

Birds of prey are known for their keen eyesight for detecting food at a distance and powerful talons for grasping and killing prey.

They also boast incredible speed, which wowed the audience during flying performances on Sunday.

The 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Video: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Competing trainers were required to wear protective gloves and have their birds wear blinders, which helped keep the animals calm and focused.

Electronic bells were also attached to the raptors so trainers could locate their positions at a distance as they soared high above the sky.

Hoang Hien, 34, who has been a raptor trainer for five years, said training birds of prey takes time and is a costly hobby.

Feeding these birds requires great attention to prevent them from getting too fat or too thin, which may hinder their ability to hunt, Hien said.

Trainer Hoang Hien handles a raptor during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Trainer Hoang Hien handles a raptor during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

The youngest contestant was eight-year-old Do Bao Vu from Hanoi, who came with his friend raptor ‘Bo.'

“I practice with Bo every day, and he’s a good boy,” Vu said.

“Training raptors helps me improve my patience, spend less time on video games, and relieve stress from school.”

Raptors are seen at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Raptors are seen at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Trainer Nguyen Quang Tuy, 23, handles a steppe eagle during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Trainer Nguyen Quang Tuy, 23, handles a steppe eagle during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Trainer Nguyen Quang Tuy, 23, handles a steppe eagle during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Trainer Nguyen Quang Tuy, 23, handles a steppe eagle during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Participants are required to wear protective gloves at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Participants are required to wear protective gloves at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

An electronic bell is attached to a raptor to locate its position in the air at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

An electronic bell is attached to a raptor to locate its position in the air at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

An eagle-owl is seen at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

An eagle-owl is seen at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A raptor is seen at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A raptor is seen at the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A raptor performs tasks during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

A raptor performs tasks during the 5th Northern Vietnam Birds of Prey Contest in Hanoi, October 27, 2019. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

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