De Arte Venandi cum Avibus, literally “The Art of Hunting with Birds”, is a Latin treatise on ornithology and Falconry written in the 1240s by Frederick II, and dedicated to his son Manfred.
t is notable that Frederick II mainly confides in his own observations and experiments: he experimented with eggs to see if they would hatch only by the warmth of the sun; he tried to find out if birds used their sense of smell while hunting by covering the eyes of vultures. The author keeps to his intention, formulated in the preface, to describe the things as they are (“que sunt, sicut sunt”). It is a scientific book, approaching the subject from Aristotle, whom he likes to contradict. At the same time it is a scholastic book, minute and almost mechanical in its divisions and subdivisions.
And thaks to the power of internet you can read the whole treatise, in Latin, here on scribd. !!!