Off topic: falcons as consumables

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Off topic: falcons as consumables
From: David Rees <>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2017 08:58:20 +0000
I've got  Potter and Aspinal (2010) Birds of the Middle East by Princeton Uni Press and Grimmett et al (2011) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Helm,  in front of me, so reasonably/probably current. These birds look close but currently mapped distributions are very different, but Sakers look the brownest.  Birds on the plane look like Sakers to me but hybrids are not impossible as we have discovered.  Suspect they like Gyr Falcon genes 'cos they make the birds get nice and big. Wonder if these crosses are fertile, probably not a good thing to be doing within the natural range of a species as you say.


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 6:55 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Oh really hybrids? That was not mentioned in the original post. Of course if the species being imported comes from another part of the world into the range of a native species, that could create confusion and lead to hybrids. By my looking at books (well Cade anyway) I reckon it would be pretty hard to differentiate between the 3 species of large brown falcons (Saker, Laggar & Lanner) in north Africa and middle east at the best of times. They look almost the same. Are they really all valid separate species anyway? Not that I have any experience with any of them or ever likely to....... These people allegedly even like the Gyrfalcon, that comes from close to the arctic, how would they survive the Middle East? Wow would Arab countries have rarities panels?




From: Michael Lenz [mailto:m("","michael.lenz.birds");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Thursday, 2 February, 2017 4:16 PM
To: David Rees; chatline

Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Off topic: falcons as consumables


...and inevitably some of those falcon hybrids escape, giving headaches in identification to observers and rarities panels!


Michael Lenz


On 2 February 2017 at 15:22, David Rees <> wrote:

an example of a rearing facility  and     - apparently you can get crosses -the things you learn, did not know that


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 2:55 PM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Yes obviously and the use of (hawks, including buzzards and eagles etc) surely includes more species that the number of falcon species) is part of falconry and most books of relevance still refer to them all as order Falconiformes. I agree they look like Saker Falcons but that is only by going by the book: “Falcons of the world” by Tom Cade, that starts the Saker Falcon species text with: “Favourite hunting bird of Arab falconers.......” The implication from the article is that all these birds are all captive bred. It does not say where this breeding is happening, to then be sent to en route to Saudi Arabia. As for the word use 'falcon hawks' it is not in usual use but I stand but my description of not unusual ignorance. It is not as bad as those (many people) who would call apes, monkeys, even worse because they are our relatives............ Remember the furore about Adam Goodes being called an ape, of course he is, as am I, but I am not a monkey.




From: David Rees [
Sent: Thursday, 2 February, 2017 10:23 AM
To: Philip Veerman
Cc: Con Boekel; canberrabirds chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Off topic: falcons as consumables


The word 'falcon' is well understood by the worldwide English-speaking community. The usual English word for the activity these birds are kept for is 'falconry' after all!!  True, use of 'Birds of prey' to describe a 'functional group' has a place, even though it consists of two quite separate groups of birds, same with 'Vultures' - given the differences between 'new world' and 'old world' sorts.  


On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:25 AM, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

Nothing unusual about the ignorant or people writing for the ignorant – or even the ordinary non expert person, referring to 'falcon hawks' as on the basis that most people in the world would not know what a “falcon” is. As for Falcons and Hawks as we now know are quite unrelated!  Well may be so but that is a recent technicality that hardly anyone knows. There is a vast amount of books and literature about “birds of prey” etc that refer to them as one group. They may have different origins but that is hardly common knowledge but they functionally and ecologically are entirely reasonable to consider together.




From: David Rees [
Sent: Thursday, 2 February, 2017 7:36 AM
To: Con Boekel
Cc: canberrabirds chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Off topic: falcons as consumables


Interesting that the Guardian used the words 'falcon hawks' - Falcons and Hawks as we now know are quite unrelated!  Look like Saker Falcons to me - wonder if they were captive bred?, as they are declining in the wild.




On Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 6:40 AM, Con Boekel <> wrote:





<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU