When needed, falcons would also be used to hunt for animals. However, falconry is not very common these days neither is the strong bond between the falcon and its owner. This hobby has evolved over the ages as diversified methods of breeding falcons have been used in various countries of the world. Falconry has turned from a hobby to a profession, as it became an integral part of the lives of people.
Some falcons were classified as rare and endangered animals after World War II, and most countries adopted legislation and strict laws, accompanied by awareness campaigns that help reduce excessive hunting and preserve ecological balance and wildlife. Falconry has also been included in the 2010 list of UNESCO’s non-human heritage, in which it lists a number of countries involved in this practice: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Morocco, the Syrian Arab Republic, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Spain. The document explains the great importance of falcons, as they constitute a broad cultural heritage base, which is associated with long-standing relations.
Studies indicate that Europe was known to practice falconry as early as the third century AD, but this hobby didn’t become popular until after the sixth century. The obsession with falcons peaked in the seventeenth century with some kings of Europe issuing a legislation limiting falconry to the elite. In addition, this new law also identified the types of falcons that were not allowed to be owned or hunted by the elites as these types were reserved exclusively to the kings.
Falcons were spread across vast areas of the medieval European countryside and cities. The rulers saw falconry as an art that served as a great challenge to their character in terms of endurance, perseverance and concentration.
Falcons became a rare and threatened species of extinction, and they were not seen in the cities as much as before as people were used to seeing them often nesting on the edge of the windows of tall buildings. However, these countries didn’t consent to silence while watching falcons’ extinction, they made a fuss about it and that led to set measures in place to protect the rest of the falcons and monitor their breeding with special devices. The hunters were subject to strict laws. More importantly, pesticides, such as DDT, were also banned. In late 1999, after these major efforts, falcons were removed from the list of threatened species. The world’s fastest birds had returned from the edge of the abyss, adapting to a new environment, ready for breeding and growth, both within cities and beyond.