the complate explain

national bird of uae

national bird of uae

national bird of uae

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national bird of uae

Falcon is the National Bird of UAE and is a symbol of force and courage, recognizing the importance of falconry in Arab tradition and culture. The falcon species has always been regarded as a very uncommon and shy bird, and it is very rarely met with by amateur birdwatchers (Ali 1968). Arabs constitute 1/3rd part of the world’s falconers.moreover, Falcons are fast flying hunters suited for taking prey in the air. In this pesticide era they are facing serious ecological risks, as their position is at the top of the biological pyramids.

Falcons are strong, fast fliers with great aerial agility. They seldom soar in the manner of hawks. The peregrine has been clocked at 290 km/h (180 mph) in a stoop, or dive. This speed and agility make falcons successful hunters of birds, reptiles, and small mammals. A number of species, however, are insectivorous or eaters of carrion. Although falcons strike or grasp their prey with their sharp claws,moreover, they generally kill the captured prey with their beaks. The short-winged hawks kill with their claws.

national bird of uae
national bird of uae


The judges will carefully evaluate the falcons based on several criteria, said Dr Muller, who treats more than 200 falcons a year at the hospital.

“For example, you are measuring the wingspan, you are measuring the length of the leg, the circumference of the chest,” she said.

“It is very important to have good strong chest muscles to make them beautiful. You also measure the proportion of the head, compared to the body.”

Talons and beaks should be flawless, with no cracks, and the colours should be harmonious and match the feathers, which should have attractive, symmetrical patterns.

“All the feathers need to be flawless, not just the primaries,” said Dr Muller.

“The tomial tooth [or notch] in the beak needs to be the correct shape, and the area above the beak – the cere, moreover, where the falcon’s nostrils are located – needs to be matching the colour of the feet.


“So if the feet are yellowish, then the cere needs to be yellowish. If the feet are a little bit bluish then the cere must match.”

The judges are forensic in their examinations and even check inside the nostrils to see if the baffles (tiny bony nodules) are present, because they are key in helping the falcon breathe when flying at speed.

In this contest, however, the speed, skill and pedigree of the birds are not checked. The winner is purely judged on beauty.

The competition is hard-fought and the judges come under scrutiny.

“It’s very, very competitive because the falconers are very proud of their falcons, you know. They’re like their children,” Dr Muller said.

“Each one wants to have the most beautiful, and that’s why it is important to have the neutral judging process, because maybe somebody might say, ‘Oh she’s winning because she belongs to that person.’

“It’s not an easy process, by the way. It really takes a lot of time to do that correctly.”

Flying Falcons

Falcons can accelerate to astounding speeds and are among the fastest birds of prey in the world. They are aerodynamic, which means their bodies and wings are formed to make it easier for them to fly fast. The fastest falcon species is the Peregrine falcon, which can reach speeds of 390 kilometers per hour, making them the fastest creatures on Earth.

national bird of uae
national bird of uae

Fantastic Falcons

Falconry is a popular sport in the UAE and enjoyed equally by both ordinary citizens as well as the members of the royal families. The sport is practiced in the desert, and the most popular species used by falconers are saker and peregrine falcons, the latter being an especially expensive breed to obtain. Everyone can get up close with falcons and falconry when they book a popular desert safari in the UAE. The half-day excursion entails dune bashing and surfing, flying falcons, entertainment, and a sunset feast. The best part is you have the opportunity to hold a falcon on your wrist, and the snap makes a fitting souvenir for visitors.

Fashionable Falcons

The first time you encounter this magnificent bird, you might find the falcon wearing a little leather hood, which is called al burqa. The hoods are an Arab contribution to falconry brought to Europe by the Crusaders, and they can be embellished with decorative stitching, beads, and even feathers. The cap is less about fashion and instead of an essential part of the bird’s training. It is used to calm the bird and to help forge a strong bond with the falconer.

Watania, a national Takaful company in Abu Dhabi, offers Individual insurance policies that include Motor Insurance, Medical Insurance, and Home Insurance to cover you and your family for loss or damage to your personal acquisitions and property

Falcons were used as hunting birds

What made falcons the favorite of Arabs for hunting was that they could be trained with a little effort. Falcons can also be trained to deliver the game without killing or eating any part of it. This was important to the Arabs because for the food to be permissible to eat (halaal), it has to be slaughtered by slitting the throat while it is alive.

Usually, female falcons are used for hunting. Al-Hurr, as they are called, are powerful and larger than their male counterparts. Out of all the falcon species, the saker and peregrine are the most sought-after raptors.

national bird of uae
national bird of uae

Training the falcons

A falconer needs to have patience and an understanding of the bird’s behavior to train. Manning or acclamation of the birds to men’s presence is the most important part of the training. A hood made out of leather called burqa is for that.

The hood is put over the head of the bird to cover its eyes, thereby helping them calm down. To avoid causing discomfort to the bird, hoods are made out of soft leather. moreover, Other traditional training equipment includes a wooden stand where the bird can perch and a forearm guard that protects the trainer’s hand.

Young birds that are around seven months are chosen for the training. The whole training process takes two to three months. Techniques like food deprivation are employed to make the bird more tamable and bond with the trainer.

The training prepares the Falcon to dive down on the prey, attack them, and then carry the prey and take flight. The birds are trained to lift by gradually increasing the decoy’s weight as they build more muscles. To do that, moreover, a feathered decoy resembling the prey is used. The trainer swings the decoy and trains the bird to chase it and swoop down on it. When the bird is ready, live prey is used.

As a result, these days, GPS beacons are attached to the bird’s legs. Other than for the training purpose, GPS helps locate and identify the bird if it is lost. Good falcons are a prized possession and can cost quite a lot—especially Rare peregrine falcons,

which can easily fetch a few million dirhams.


Falconers use special handmade equipment,
including a leather hood to cover the head and eyes of the falcon when it is not flying. A wooden stand used as a perch for the bird is
comprised of a wide flat top attached to stick that can easily be stuck into sand.
A leather forearm guard is worn by the falconer as a perch for the bird between hunting and training flights.
Today, an essential piece of equipment is the GPS beacon attached to the bird’s leg. This is important, not only because of the bond between falconer and bird,
but also because these birds can be quite valuable, with certain birds worth more than AED 73,500 (US$ 20,000)
national bird of uae
national bird of uae

interesting insights about the majestic falcon

  • Falcons have played a crucial part in the traditional culture of the UAE and their use by Bedouin hunters dates back hundreds of years, making the falcon one of the most important animals in the country.
  • Arabic Falcons are called Saqr in Arabic,moreover they have thin and long wings that allow falcons to fly at high speed and altitude. Falcons have broad wings and long feathered tail, they are very shy and not seen commonly.
  • Falconry is a popular sport in the UAE and enjoyed by all. It is usually practiced in desert and semi-deserts around the region. moreover, The wide-open dunes of the Sonara Camp located in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve provides the perfect place for falcons to soar in the skies.
  • they are the only animals in the UAE that are legally allowed to travel inside planes –but only in business and first class, enjoying a level of luxury that most can only dream of.
  • Falcons have excellent vision, the normal vision of Arabian Falcons are 2.6 times greater than human vision.
  • Falcons are known to be the fastest divers on the planet, they dive at prey with the speed of approximately 320 km/h.


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