In January 2017 a photo of 80 birds of prey on board a jet in the Middle East went viral after being posted on RedditIt transpired that they were falcons flying to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, supposedly for a hunting trip.

It is not uncommon for airlines in the Middle East to transport birds for hunting purposes. Arab countries have for centuries used falcons to catch prey or for sports. Falconry, as it is called, is the favorite sport in Arabian Peninsula. Arabic Falcons are called Saqr in Arabic; they have thin and long wings that allow Falcons to fly at high speed and high altitudes. Falcons are very powerful birds, often called “hunting dogs of skies”.

Falcons are regarded as precious birds and are in great demand in Arab countries. They are seen as the symbols of courage and force. Falcons have excellent vision. The normal vision of Arabian Falcons is recorded as 2.6 times greater than human vision. Falcons are also known to be the fastest divers on the planet. They dive at prey at a speed of approximately 320 km/h.

The national bird of Saudi Arabia is a falcon. It is also the national bird of Qatar, Oman, UAE, and Yemen.




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