Photographer John Burton and his wife travelled to the far west of Mongolia to photograph the Mongolian Eagle hunters. This book is a large 'coffee table' style photographic book.
Probably since the time of Genghis Khan the skill of hunting with golden eagles has been passed down from father to son. Mongolian Kazakhs only hunt with the larger female eagles which can be nearly a third heavier than the males. The eagles are collected as chicks from nests on the mountains. Often hunters will secure themselves with ropes and make a hazardous climb down the mountain to take a chick from the nest.
Once the hunter has obtained his eagle he will spend several months rearing it and training it to fly for its reward of food. Eventually the eagles become a highly efficient hunting machine with acute eyesight and powerful talons, used to hunt rabbits, hares and foxes. The eagle hunters lavish great care on their birds and eventually after ten or 15 years will release them back into the wild in the hope that they will pair up and breed. Their owners often tie threads of material into their wings before releasing them so that they can see how ‘their’ eagle is doing once returned to the wild.
John Burton is a photographer living in Carmarthenshire, Wales. He is a previous winner of the Renaissance Photography Prize.