The incredible Bird of Qatar
(Hunting dog of skies)
“Falconry is the most popular traditional and cultural part of Qatar”.
“Hook Beaked with Sharp Vision”, The Falcon are regarded as a symbol
of speed and courage. The falcons are the birds of prey, recognized as a species.
A bird with pointed wing, long tail, short neck, and rounded head with
hooked bill, long toes and strong claw that hunts and kills other birds and small
animals. Falcons have more than 60 sub-species and after crows they are
considered as the most intelligent bird.
The root of falconry goes deep in Qatar and across the Arabian
Peninsula. 5,000 years ago falconry began in Iran, and spread over the east and
west. According to legends, the first falconer was a blood thirsty king of Persia
in 7th century BC. Falconry quickly spread throughout the Islamic World.
“Bedouin Tribes” introduced the Falcon as a tool of hunting in Qatar. It is a
bond between wild and most intimate way to connect with nature. Falconry
related verses are even mentioned in the Holy Quran, it considers that the prey
caught with a falcon is halal to eat.
Falconry techniques are widely used in conservation and rehabilitation of
bird of prey. One of the techniques involved is keeping the bird on one arm for
several hours a day, its painful .They use such high-tech equipment that the
hunters can arrive right when the bird is talking down its prey, so they may
separate the bird and kill the prey according to Islamic customs.
Hunting season of falcon in Qatar is September to march. Falconers must
constantly travel around the globe to search for new hunting grounds. It is said
that best hunting ground are found in the Iraqi desert.
Undoubtedly falcon is the cultural heritage and integral part of the
Arab’s region and celebrated as the main symbol of civilization. Bedouin’s
practiced falconry and passed it on the next generation of falconers. Falcon
remain a cherished part of Qatari society as well as time –honored means of
parents teaching children lesson of patience courage and self-discipline.
The national bird of Qatar falcon was usually reserved for nobility. For
example – A King determined as a Gerfalcon, A Noble used a Peregrine falcon, A
Priest used a sparrowhawk, while a merlin was meant for Women, Servant
used for Kestrels.
“The essence of fostering the relationship between a human and wild bird will
still hopefully remain the same for many more than thousands year”.
M.Sc. (Ecology) B.Ed