Birds

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Birds

There is a range of birds that are used by the Arabs for falconry.

The Peregrine falcon, the shahin, is one of the most widespread  and popular of the falcons. It is very strong and fast - in a dive it can cover 100m in a second. They can weigh between 450g to 1200g, with females roughly a third larger than the males.

.A peregrine falcon

Barbary Falcon.  Similar to the Peregrine, the is Barbary - a desert falcon. It is a little lighter in colour than the peregrine and those found on Arabia have reddish spots on the back of the neck, whilst their cere, eyes and feet are bright orange yellow. It weighs between 360g - 730g and has a slightly shorter tail than the peregrine. It is found in fairly large numbers in Yemen and Oman.

 

 

 

.Also popular among Arabs is the Saker falcon, from the Arabic saqr.   It is a versatile, tough bird that has a reputation for intelligent tactics when hunting. It is a high speed hunter that can fly at low altitudes making it good for hunter the houbara bustards. It weighs between 700g - 1300g, with again the female beginning about a third larger than the male.

The Gyr falcon is an arctic type and though liked by Arab falconers due to its speed, strength and large size, it cannot be kept for long periods away from its northern cold home. It is considered to be one of the largest falcons in the world with the larger females weighing up to 2100g. It can reach speeds of 160km/hr. It comes from Siberia and Scandinavia and can die in hot sunshine!

 

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