from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A nestling hawk or falcon, especially one to be trained for falconry.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A young hawk or falcon in the nest, or that has not yet fledged, especially one that will be trained for falconry.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Unfledged, or newly fledged.
- n. A nesting or unfledged bird; in falconry, a young hawk from the nest, not able to prey for itself.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In falconry, a hawk which has been brought up from the nest, as distinguished from a hawk caught and trained: same as nias.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an unfledged or nestling hawk
With this duty, he said, he always baited the hook with which he fished for her; "or, to take a figure from the old hawking days, her eyas is the lure with which I would reclaim the haggard hawk."
When Roland Graeme was a youth about seventeen years of age, he chanced one summer morning to descend to the mew in which Sir Halbert Glendinning kept his hawks, in order to superintend the training of an eyas, or young hawk, which he himself, at the imminent risk of neck and limbs, had taken from the celebrated eyry in the neighborhood, called Gledscraig.
“What!” said Adam, “you would have me crush a pot with you; but I must first dispose of my eyas, where he will neither have girl to chase, nor lad to draw sword upon.”
“For the wild falcon,” answered she, “whom a dog brought in his mouth to a certain castle, when he was but an unfledged eyas — for the hawk whom men dare not fly, lest he should check at game, and pounce on carrion — whom folk must keep hooded till he has the proper light of his eyes, and can discover good from evil.”
I have lost credit of late, by bringing over no one that had sense to know more than how to unharbour a stag, or take and reclaim an eyas.
Mullenix trivia: The first trained falcon I ever held was an eyas bat falcon taken in Panama and bound for the Peregrine Fund.
For a couple years at highly supervised, cash-poor Florida Game and Fish, there were no fewer than five active falconers on staff, and the sound of screaming eyas hawks and ringing bells could be heard on any of several floors at headquarters.
It's EYE-as, and the etymology turns out to be worth knowing as well: Middle English eias, from an eias, alteration of *a nias, an eyas, from Old French niais, from Latin ni:dus, nest; see sed- in Indo-European roots AHD.
A charming NY Times story by Melissa Sanford on the perilous flight training of urban falcons the NY Times link generator won't give me a blogsafe link for some reason, so this link will rot in a week says "It takes a young falcon, known as an eyas, a week or so to learn to fly," which of course sent me to the dictionary to find out how to pronounce eyas.
So eyas, like orange and umpire, is the result of metanalysis false division of the article + noun unit: "a nias" "an eyas".