Species group: Birds of Prey
Other common names: N/A
Scientific name: Falco cherrug
The large, impressive Saker Falcon has recently been redlisted as an Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), as a result of studies suggesting that the population has been cut in half (or more) in just three generations – an unsustainable collapse. In Europe, its open habitat has been converted to agriculture, while in Asia and the Middle East, the birds have been over-harvested for falconry. Despite its traditional place in the sport, we cannot in good conscience recommend this species to anyone except an experienced expert working as part of a program to restore the species.
The Saker Falcon is a breeding bird of eastern Europe and Asia, and it can be found as a winter visitor in Africa. Its close relationship to Lanner and Peregrine Falcon is obvious at a glance, but instead of being specialized to take birds on the wing, this fast and maneuverable species often pursues running mammals such as ground squirrels.
The Saker Falcon may remind the casual viewer of the Peregrine, but it has a warmer brown or cinnamon back, rather than slate-gray. It can also be confused with the Lanner, although it has dark thighs, while the Lanner usually has light or barred light thighs. Females, as with other falcons, can be much larger than the males.
Male: 730 - 990 grams (26 - 35 oz.)
Female: 970 - 1,300 grams (34 - 46 oz.)
47 - 55 centimeters (18.5 - 21.5 in.)
15 - 20 years
Behavior / temperament:
As one of the most highly regarded falconry birds, the Saker Falcon has been a victim of its own success. The large young females are the most coveted, and apparently they have been preferentially removed from the wild. Rather than extol the widely known virtues of the Saker, it might be best to encourage people to support captive breeding projects and anti-smuggling efforts until the population is once again secure.
A good Saker Falcon pen, aviary, or mews will provide shade from direct sunlight in the summer, protection from extremes of winter weather, and good security to lock out thieves. A roof that completely covers the structure is stronger and offers more protection from high winds than a partial roof. Don't shortchange them on space, since their long wings mean they really need space to stretch out. Like most birds of prey, they will enjoy some clean, shallow water for bathing.
The Saker Falcon is a carnivore that needs to consume some whole prey in order to allow its digestive system to work properly. In the wild, they would chase good-sized mammals, such as ground squirrels, and their diet should include a healthy variety of such items as rodents as well as pigeons. They should also be provided with water.
Written by Elaine Radford
adept intelligence, air quarries, great endurance, huge wingspan
A Necessity Item for Any Bird
Cuttlebones help keep your bird's beak in shape. Most also love chewing on the bones because they provide a natural foraging activity. Cuttlebones are also an ideal way to supplement your bird's diet with crucial minerals such as calcium to encourage healthy bones, nails, feathers, and beak. The cuttlebone usually comes with a small attachment so you can quickly snap it to the bars of the bird's cage. Your bird will chip away at it on a daily basis. Once the cuttlebone is gone, your bird will probably anxiously be waiting for the next one. .
From KimberlySharpe 134 days ago
It may Help the Bird Stop Plucking
Clomicalm (clomipramine) treats stress and agitation. Many animal behaviorists believe that some birds pluck their feathers due to stress. The plucking becomes a nervous habit that is difficult to break. The prescription medication may relax the bird enough that the habit ceases. Unfortunately, when the drug is discontinued, many birds again start plucking.
Always discuss the possible side effects of the medication with your veterinarian before administering it to your pet bird. .
From KimberlySharpe 142 days ago