About the Falcons

Raising and Training Falcons among Arabs

Generally, the Arab countries are similar in their methods of raising and training falcons, yet when it comes to the precise details, these may vary from one falconer to another and they require patience. Falcon training time may last up to a full month of daily work and may reach up to 40 days if the chick is older than a year. When the falcon is older it takes a longer time. Falcons differ in their response time and are dissimilar from each other.  For example, the “Peregrine falcon” is known to be quick in learning and easier to train than the “Lanner Falcon”. However, the main problem with Peregrine falcons is the fact that they are difficult to preserve due to its vulnerability to disease and its slow process of moulting – the phase of replacing its feathers. Nonetheless, falconers never hesitate to take care of the falcon’s health through periodic examination and medical examination.

Falcon training requires many modern and traditional techniques and tools, including “Binoculars” which reveal the falcon movement, the hood “burqa” covering the head of the falcon to keep it calm and tame it, and the “Skin Glove”: a thick garment covering the whole hand and the falcon should be placed on the left hand due its languid pace/less agility and the hand must remain high. The falcon must be escorted to gatherings, so it can get used to noises. Also, it should be given a name and be trained to respond to its name. The methods and tools of training are not limited to the ones mentioned. In fact, methods and tools vary and techniques improve over time.  The most recent technique is the small drones, where the prey is placed in a small cage for hunting practice during the training period. After completing the training, the falconer must be sure that the falcon will not escape when it is propelled and will always return to its falconer.

International Falconry

The European training methods differ from those used in the Arab world but are similar in some traditional falconry tools. Due to the ecological crisis, falcons have been raised, trained and reproduced within private reserves. They are trained inside the reserve and sometimes let go to soar in the wild. In Belgium, although there is high interest in falcons, they are usually left undisturbed, the falcon builds its nest near humans and adapts easily to living in the environment. Today, however, amateur falconers can breed falcons and practice hunting in the UK without a license. However, a falconer must adhere to the laws and regulations of falconry.

A European Model Reproducing Institute for Birds has been established under the guidance of an Austrian Falconer Mr. Josef Hilber. It offers flacons air show using baits. Falcons were used in many other ways in Europe since ancient times, which are not limited to reproducing and hunting. It was not only the rich who owned falcons, the workers also used them to search for food. In World War II, they were used to kill the carrier pigeons for messages, and to scare birds at airports to reduce the risk of colliding with the aircraft.

On the other side comes Korea, where the art of falconry is very popular. It has been practiced during the spring through the winter seasons. They had their own style of training falcons, where they tied its foot and neck with a leather strap and tagged it with a bell on the tail to reveal the location of the landing.