Fly with a bird at Torrey Pines Gliderport

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) --  As San Diegans, we’re lucky to have some of the world’s best beaches in our backyard. 

But there’s another, lesser-known way, to experience them: parahawking.

"To me, it's an entirely different experience, it's like you're a bird flying around with other birds," said Dave Metzgar, owner of Total Raptor Experience and FlyWithABird.com.

Dave Metzgar combined his two obsessions, flying and falconry, to give people the rare experience of parahawking at Torrey Pines Gliderport.

"We train them to come back to us and to trust people for security and for food, but to otherwise essentially do what they would do in nature," said Metzgar. 

Guests are able to soar alongside a trained free-flying falcon in a tandem paraglider. 

Metzgar says the coastal cliffs of La Jolla offer the best and most consistent flying conditions on earth, allowing soaring birds and paragliders to fly effortlessly over the breathtaking coast. 

For those who prefer to stay on ground, Total Raptor Experience offers another way to connect with birds of prey, guiding customers on the basic steps of raptor handling.

Classes and Pricing

  • Total Raptor Experience
    • Classes at Gliderport every Friday, Saturday, Sunday: $70-$77 per person
    • Private encounters starting at $300 for two participants
    • Education programs for schools, scout groups, corporate team building events
  • Fly With a Bird
    • Contact: flywithabird@gmail.com
    • $400 
    • Requires patience as the activity is weather-dependent 
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