Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, click on the Contact page and ask there.

1 - Contestant Q & A

Can Children Attend?

Yes and No. The Utah Sky Trials can be a wonderful family event. However, some younger family members often get bored easily after a “long drive” and especially when they can’t see what everyone is staring at 1000 feet into the air. Our only concern with children at the Sky Trials is when they want to explore out away from the crowd.

Our birds are trained to fly high and follow usually a single person. When children are playing out away from the crowd, the falcons may want to follow them instead of the falconer, causing a serious distraction.

Please help us keep your children within the boundaries of the crowd.

Another great option for children to see falcons and hawks up close is Winterfest held in Sandy, Utah on January 30, 2016. It begins at 10:00 am at Lonepeak Park (10140 S. 700 E. Sandy, Utah 84070.) For more information, visit the Facebook page:  Winterfest 2016

We hope you find opportunities to let your children see the falcons up close and to get a glimpse into the passion and art of falconry.

Who Can Attend the Awards Banquet and Raffle

The banquet and raffle is open to anyone. The cost is $20 per person for the dinner. There are a limited number of dinners and you can pay for yours online by clicking here. If you pay online, you will also get 5 free raffle tickets. If you wish to just attend the raffle and not eat dinner, there is a $3 cover charge.

What About Bad Weather?

We will hold the Sky Trials rain or shine. Some years have been more rain than shine, but the show goes on! Make sure you dress warm with layers, warm footwear, gloves, hat, wear sunglasses and apply sunblock.

What Time Does the Sky Trials Start?

The Sky Trials begins promptly with the first flight leaving the fist at 7:20 am Sharp! Both days. Many of the best flights are the first of the day, so you may want to get there early.

Where is the Utah Sky Trials held?

The Utah Sky Trials is held out in Rush Valley along the Pony Express Trail __ miles west of Lehi, Utah.  From the Maverick gas station in Eagle Mountain on Route 73 it will take you about 30 minutes to get to the Sky Trials flying field.  Click here for map and directions.

2 - Spectator Q & A

Can Children Attend?

Yes and No. The Utah Sky Trials can be a wonderful family event. However, some younger family members often get bored easily after a “long drive” and especially when they can’t see what everyone is staring at 1000 feet into the air. Our only concern with children at the Sky Trials is when they want to explore out away from the crowd.

Our birds are trained to fly high and follow usually a single person. When children are playing out away from the crowd, the falcons may want to follow them instead of the falconer, causing a serious distraction.

Please help us keep your children within the boundaries of the crowd.

Another great option for children to see falcons and hawks up close is Winterfest held in Sandy, Utah on January 30, 2016. It begins at 10:00 am at Lonepeak Park (10140 S. 700 E. Sandy, Utah 84070.) For more information, visit the Facebook page:  Winterfest 2016

We hope you find opportunities to let your children see the falcons up close and to get a glimpse into the passion and art of falconry.

How is the Competition Judged?

The Sky Trials is all about witnessing what these magnificent birds do everyday in the wild. The falcons are judged in short on the artistry of the flight. For complete details click here.

Who Can Attend the Awards Banquet and Raffle

The banquet and raffle is open to anyone. The cost is $20 per person for the dinner. There are a limited number of dinners and you can pay for yours online by clicking here. If you pay online, you will also get 5 free raffle tickets. If you wish to just attend the raffle and not eat dinner, there is a $3 cover charge.

What About Bad Weather?

We will hold the Sky Trials rain or shine. Some years have been more rain than shine, but the show goes on! Make sure you dress warm with layers, warm footwear, gloves, hat, wear sunglasses and apply sunblock.

What Time Does the Sky Trials Start?

The Sky Trials begins promptly with the first flight leaving the fist at 7:20 am Sharp! Both days. Many of the best flights are the first of the day, so you may want to get there early.

Can I Pet the Birds?

No. Some animals appreciate strangers touching them. Many of the birds you see at the Sky Trials are nervous around strangers. You may see falconers stroking or touching their birds. This is a trust that has been earned over many hours of training.

Some falconers also have dogs with them. You will need to ask permission with the owner to see if they will let you pet their dog.

Also, it is always best to ask the falconers if you can take pictures of them or their birds. Most are friendly, but it is always best to ask.

Where is the Utah Sky Trials held?

The Utah Sky Trials is held out in Rush Valley along the Pony Express Trail __ miles west of Lehi, Utah.  From the Maverick gas station in Eagle Mountain on Route 73 it will take you about 30 minutes to get to the Sky Trials flying field.  Click here for map and directions.

How Much Does It Cost?

To offset the expense of the Utah Sky Trials, the cost is $5 per person for Friday and $8 per person (the cost of a movie), for Saturday. Group discount for Scout troops–$10 per vehicle.  Children under 10 are free.

3 - Questions About Falconry

Will the Falcons Peck my Eyes Out?

Sparrows peck. Falcons do not have a reputation of pecking people’s eyes out. 🙂

Excerpt from American Falconry Magazine Article: “Will That Bird Peck My Eyes Out?”

“My son came in the other night with his two roommates. Mercedes, my prairie falcon was chillin in the living room. The roommates froze in their tracks. “Whoa!” and “Dude” and guy noises, pre-words that didn’t really have time to form, came blurting out.

Some day I’m going to get an alien about the size of ET and put it in the living room. I would just like to measure the reaction difference between a falcon and an alien. I’m thinking the response has to be close. If anyone has already done the research on this let me know.

Once the roommates could speak in complete or nearly complete sentences, the questions flew like scattered mallards. “What does it eat, where did you get it, can I have one, could it kill a little yappy dog, can we see it do that, are those claws real, why is it looking at me like that, can I touch it, is it really tied up?”

And of course, the favorite: “Will that bird peck my eyes out?”

To the eye-pecking question, I said “no, not usually,” and went on to answer the question about the falcon’s hearing.  One of these days I will respond to the eye-pecking question by looking straight into the eyes of the questioner like I was detecting a cataract and say,  “Your eyes? Not sure. Lie down here for a second and hold your head real still. Mercedes…EYES!”

–Written by Shayne Clarke