Anyone who has wanted to visit Saudi Arabia or live there, no doubt has done some research on the history of the country. When you visualize symbols of Saudi Arabia such as desert life, camels, people, palaces, Mecca, date trees, falcons are right at the top. Why is the falcon so important as a national symbol, and why do they inspire pride in this desert people? “The national bird of Saudi Arabia is a falcon. It is also the national bird of Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Yemen.” (arabiconline.eu 2017) I have not seen a falconry show or even seen a falcon in person, so I’ll have to be content for now with the resident pair of hoopoe birds that come around the compound. Those are some unique looking birds for sure, yet I hope to see the cultural heritage of falconry myself.
There are three articles I found on the web that give a nice history of falconry and the place it has in Saudi society and sport, as well as how these birds are valued.
The first link is “The history of falconry training in Saudi” by visitsaudi.com website.
The second link is “A History of Falconry” by Int’l Assoc. for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey.
The third link is “Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia” by Reuters