29 comments on “Reality check needed at The Guardian

  1. Western technology and organisation meets Arab mediaevalism.

    God, modern capitalism is great.

    I am not an animal rights person and I think that we can do whatever we like to animals, on the whole, but I still have a feeling that those birds should be free, and the person who owns them should be hooded and shackled. This is not the way God or Nature intended such birds to fly.

  2. Whoever owns those birds is a cheapskate. Back in boarding school days I was on the Doha to Bahrain leg of the flight home and saw the whole of first class taken up with falcons, one on each seat. The boy looking after them was consigned to the first row of biz!

  3. SMFS – these are pretty tame birds, bred in captivity (generally in Germany). They wouldn’t last very long in the wild!

    The falconry thing is big business out in the middle-east, each of those birds can be the price of a reasonable Porsche. And the cost of keeping them is pretty astronomical. This is one of the aspects of Arab culture that I’ve got a lot of time for as it is keeping up the old nomadic customs and traditions.

    One of the most unexpectedly interesting days that I’ve had was a tour of the Falcon Hospital in Abu Dhabi. I would highly recommend it to anyone passing through!

  4. “This is one of the aspects of Arab culture that I’ve got a lot of time for as it is keeping up the old nomadic customs and traditions.”
    Uh?
    The old nomadic traditions were following a flock of goats around whilst feuding with neighbouring tribes. It’s like saying English traditions were hunting the greenwood, jousting & waging war in France.

  5. Sorry. Should have read “following a flock of goats around in a cloud of flies”
    I know me goats.

  6. Incidentally, and this is off topic, but I see our own TimN got linked to by Instapundit.

    Yaaaaaaay!!!! Never got that before!!

    (Yes, I’ve been blogging for 13 years but it is still awesome when somebody big links to you.)

  7. I’m more annoyed by the ‘500-pounds-a-bird’ headline. Even I know hyphens aren’t needed here.

    We know the G’s English graduates know nothing about pretty much everything, but you’d think they would at least have a smidgeon of grammar.

  8. James in NZ – “these are pretty tame birds, bred in captivity (generally in Germany). They wouldn’t last very long in the wild!”

    I am dubious about how tame tame raptors are. But that aside. If they are bred in captivity that is more acceptable. If they are taken from the wild – as I would have thought so I am surprised to learn otherwise – that is very bad.

    Raptor numbers are in decline. So more captive breeding is good. More theft of wild eggs or nestlings, very not good.

  9. What baggage allowance did they get? Were they charged for shitting on the seats?

    By the way, even the frickin’ falcons is the RoP have to wear niqab-burkhas!

  10. Witchie – “By the way, even the frickin’ falcons is the RoP have to wear niqab-burkhas!”

    Actually they should count their blessings. Those hoods are a borrowing in the West from the Muslim world. Prior to that, hunting birds had their eyes sewn shut.

    Allegedly.

    Mildly related: Shakespeare must have been a good sort. He was clearly a hunter with birds:

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170111-how-irish-falconry-changed-language

    50 references? I have to say I couldn’t think of one. I wonder what they are?

  11. Prior to that, hunting birds had their eyes sewn shut.

    I’m going to call ‘Bullshit’ on that one!

    Or a least demand a citation for how large birds of prey with vicious beaks and claws would stand there and let someone sew its eyes shut every day. Rather than clawing the face of whoever was wielding the needle and just flying off.

  12. And there’s that bit about ‘a falcon towering in her pride of place, was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed…’ but I can’t remember which play it’s from!

  13. “It’s like saying English traditions were hunting the greenwood, jousting & waging war in France.”

    They should still be.

  14. SMFS, they are super-tame birds.

    Unfortunately don’t do it in Germany, you need a hunting license (inc all the gun stuff) then a bird license, you can’t “time-share” a bird or even (practically) pay someone else to look after it. And the falconry types here are pretty dodgy – it attracts people with, shall we say, out of date views.

  15. People, people, people:

    Twenty-five comments without the most appropriate alternative headline suggestion:

    “Falcons En-Route to Super Bowl LI”

    Enjoy the game this Sunday!

  16. @ Vern

    I’ll be watching. Who to root for? I’m leaning toward NE given Brady’s a Trumpster and the general lefty bollocks that’s been going on in the NFL this year.

    I bloody hope they don’t politicise the half-time show too much, though.

  17. Synp, these are snowflake falcons. After Trump, they need a safe space with teddy bears and kittens to disembowl. They are incapable of flying when so upset

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