Photographer's Note

`I met this gentleman in a falcon hospital/hotel complex. He was taking his falcon to the veterinarian who after examining the bird gives the clean bill of health and the falconer's prize possession can then be issued with a international travel PASSPORT. The bird can then travel with its master to various countries where falconry is still a sport. The bird is given a seat of its own on the plane.
The gyr falcon is the most prized as it is a large and powerful falcon but the peregrine is prized for its speed, being the fastest bird in the world. So a hybrid is highly valued- a cross between the gyr and peregrine as it combines the best quality of the two parents. I think this falcon is a saker that breeds on the Arabian Peninsula. If so, then these birds are released after a few years and a new one caught and trained. The wild gyr is prone to avian diseases, hence the birds one sees in falconry are the result of international breeding programmes which follow each birds pedigree as they are given on loan to various owners.

Much of the year the birds are not taken hunting and so spend months in top class accommodation: air condition aviary, medical attention, talon clipping, feather repairing etc. If the birds are brought to the vet, it's mainly to imp the flight feathers and to clip the talons under mild anaesthetic. Since it's the sheiks who indulge in this sport, no expense is spared to keep the birds in top form.

If you want to see how the tail and flight feathers are imped, please visit

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Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3569 W: 114 N: 6363] (28730)
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