Falcons are beautiful.

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As much as they are aggressive hunters,
their gentleness and elegance is worth admiring.
Here are some portraits of Saker Falcons
from the archives…

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F1 Marshals

In motorsports, such as auto racing, motorcycle racing, and rallying, the track marshals wave the racing flags and assist crashed or broken-down vehicles and their drivers, while pit marshals watch over the procedures in the pits, and fire marshals assist in the event of a fire on the track or in the pit. Seen below are three of the Marshals from the Bahrain Grand Prix…

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Buick

Old cars of yester years always had a different charm. The quiet dignity. The way they carried themself with the elegant sway here and a subtle swing there as they moved forward. Given a chance to pick a car in its class, Buick is almost the sure winner. The feel of the thin, three-spoked steering wheel in itself differentiates the experience of the drive. Here is the winner…

Game

It’s Friday morning. Just had a Sulaimaniya (red tea with no milk, only sugar). Looked at the watch. Still a long way to the prayer. Buddies are around… how about a round or two of carroms? Why not? This was shot in a location known as Bengladeshi Alley in the town of Muharraq, few minutes walk from Bahrain International Airport. Suqs of Muharraq are well known for its spice market.

Saker Falcon

Hoods are made of leather, either calf skin or more preferably kangaroo hide. Thinner and more stiff (for certain styles) is preferred. Stitching should be done with waxed thread to ensure strength and longevity. Hoods should always be stored open, not closed.
Leather hoods made with the smooth side out around the face are lacquered for the longest life-span. This allows the smooth leather to be cleaned well if the bird eats in the hood. The rest of the hood around the back and over the eyes may be suede which won’t show as much wear if the bird scratches. For trapping hoods it doesn’t matter as they are intended for short term usage. Braces should be stiff so that they do not touch any of her feathers and short enough that the bird cannot bite them. The base of the beak opening must be wide enough to allow for the bird’s beak to open. If this opening is not large enough, the hood will not fit properly and the bird will resent it.

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.