Our closest neighbors are about a 15 minute walk and inside their farm they have a traditional Egyptian mud built pigeon house. After noticing that their baby pigeons were going missing en mass, they decide to inspect, discovering a falcon's nest high up in the structure. Suffice to say, the poor nest was destroyed and the five baby falcons left homeless. We were asked if we wanted to adopt them... er... YES!
Our garden farm is full of falcons, sacred birds which symbolize vision, freedom and moving closer to the light. They're beautiful calls are often the first thing I hear when I wake up in the morning.
“Mummy, lets make another nest for them in the fireplace”! Falcons in the fireplace? They're eating their fair share of meat and Luca has spent the morning catching sand worms for them as little snacks.
So what are we going to do with five falcons? Is it a sign to take up falconry?
Falconry is the art of training a bird of prey to fly free, hunt for a human being and then accept a return to captivity. It requires long hours, constant devotion, finesse, subtlety and skill. It's a partnership between man and nature, both barbaric and incredibly beautiful. Falconry has been documented for at least the last 4,000 years and was the most popular form of hunting among the aristocracy. With the modernization of the planet, this ancient art form is slowly being lost.
I've found a group of Bedouins in the northern town of Mersa Metrouh who trains these birds to hunt game and are willing to give me lessons in the art of falconry. During the hunting season, they spend weeks living in the desert, flying these majestic birds. The animals they hunt, rabbit and wild pigeon, are shared between the birds and the falconers, allowing the people to self sustain themselves in the desert. I must say, I'm very tempted. I like the idea that at the end of the day, the birds are free to choose to go back home with you or return to the wild.
For now though, our little baby falcons are safe, well fed and loved. They've already brought us so much joy despite the fact that our sitting room smells like an aviary. Feeling blessed to have the opportunity to care for such majestic creatures and we'll do everything we can to make sure they have a beautiful future in this rapidly changing world of ours.