A small group of nomads keep alive the tradition of eagle hunting alive in the outskirts of Mongolia. This, very ancient tradition of hunters, requires professional training to handle these big birds. Previously it was a noble practice that was restricted to the same class but in today’s world berkutchi- as it is known in Mongolia is the prerogative of young folks inhibiting the Western region of Mongolia Altai.
The popular big birds of the region are golden eagles very rare species that is hard to train and is very notorious. Almost 300 eagle keepers force a deep bond with others and work in collaboration to hunt foxes and hares. Daniel Kordan spent much time with Mongolian eagle keepers where he could capture the beauty of these big birds of Mongolia. These amazing animal photos are captured by Daniel Kordan after a long struggle of days in deserts and tough terrains.
In September every year a berkutchi festival is held that attracts tourists from the whole region. But Kordan’s this photography expedition was very cordial as he used the regional guides to collaborate with these nomads who helped him connect with these eagle keepers.
Kordan also hold photography workshops and expeditions and came away successfully with a renewed respect and honor for the nomads he encountered.
Simplicity of the lines. Last smooth rays of light draw incredible patterns on the sand.
First 2 nights at Gobi desert were without a single cloud in the sky. On one hand we made beautiful night series, on the other sunrises we very quick. And only last morning we were fortunate to meet this tender pink sunrise.
Last night we discovered this stunning location near Flaming cliffs in Mongolia. We called it “mini monument valley” of Gobi.
It was a true highlight of our Senja island hiking tour last week. We walked up Keipen for sunset. Once we almost reached the top clouds start to disappear leaving us in awe in front of this fantastic scene.
Mongolia… Vast steppe, rough terrain. We were driving here hundreds and hundreds of kilometres meeting not a single soul on the way.
The story of Eagle hunter continues. I was fascinated by tradition of Kazakh people and the bond between them and Golden Eagles forming for years.
In the next posts I’ll highlight best moments of my photography expedition to one of these families. Sadly there are not so many hunters left, but they still keeping this tradition in generations.
He has captioned following photo as, “One of the most stunning moments of my Mongolia expedition – this photoshoot with golden Eagle hunter under full moon. It was like being on a movie set, where dim distant moonlight fill the silhouette of the rider with his Eagle.”
He went to Myanmar after Mongolia, says Kordan, “After quick break from Mongolia journey I continue my travel to Myanmar. Just arrived to Yangon today. Just in one week I selected and edited more than hundred images from Mongolia using new @skylum_global Luminar. Such tools like sky enhancer and build in filters help a lot to process “on the go”. Stay tuned for updates from Myanmar! New chapter begins today.”
Kordan considers his Mongolian expedition one of the memorable ones.
He says, “Mongolia turned out to be fantastic destination for photography. This October I had very intense scouting expedition in Mongolia and it’s scenery and culture just left us in awe. From vast steppe and rugged snowy mountains in the West where we lived in nomad family of eagle hunters to canyonland and desert of Gobi. After this trip I optimized the tour program and created itinerary for next year.”
“Today we returned back from Altai mountains in Mongolia. Wonderful golden colors shine across larch valleys with snow capped mountains. We photographed hunters with golden Eagles in Mongolia for last week. Stay tuned for updates from this pristine country.”Via Daniel Kordan
He says about Gobi “In Gobi desert we met this beautiful nomad couple. They have 150 camels, herd of horses and goats here. Such a pleasure to talk to them and see their happy faces, their shining eyes. They love this place. Although the life is tough and without any comfort we used to in cities, they are very happy to be in the nature.”
For my photography group in Mongolia I’ve organized a “mini festival” with 20 eagle hunters. All of us, photographers and hunters, enjoyed this event. It is in their blood – to enjoy the fast ride across the steppe, along with their Golden Eagles.
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Featured Photo: My Modern Met