Falcon

Falconry is the upkeep of falcons. It is a very valued tradition of the desert. The two main species used for hunting in the UAE are the Saqr falcons (Falco Cherruq) which are brought from other Middle Eastern countries and the Peregrine (Falco Peregrinus) The Saqr is the most popular because it is good for desert hawking. The female Saqr (Al Hurr), which is larger and more powerful is the one which is used more than the male (Garmoush). The female Peregrine (Shahin or Bahri Shahin) is also thought to be better than the male (Shahin Tiba) for hunting purposes. 

Al Burgu is another piece that is used in this sport. It is put on the falcon’s head to cover his eyes. This is because they have very good eyes and they could see very sharply. They also need to be slowly adjusted to any new environment. Their eyes are covered as a part of the training process. Then they are taken off slowly through showing them slowly the environment around them.

Al Mukhlat is the bag in which the trainer hides wrapped up houbara wings or pigeons. These things which are in the bag are used to attract the falcon back to get them. This way of attracting the falcon back is called the tilwah. The wakir is the sitting place of the falcon. It is a long and decorated wooden stand. On top of it there is a flat padded place for the falcons sharp claws to rest on. The falconer shouts “yalla” and after a second, the falcon with all its power opens his wings and moves them very fast and powerful. Then moves quickly into the sky. As soon as it sees the animal which he is supposed to catch, he quickly chases it. This chase goes on for some time until the gets tired and slows down and at that moment, the falcon flies down quickly and pulls it to the ground.

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