Lana is our White faced Scops Owl, although a few years ago, the powers that decide on species split them into two different species and they became known as the Northern White Faced and the Southern White faced. The northern and Southern is referring to Africa where these owls originate from.
They are also known as the ‘Transformer owl’ for their defence mechanism, which I can tell you is absolutely fascinating to see!!!
Due to its small size, in the wild they are good prey so they have developed mechanisms when faced with a threat.
When they are faced with a small threat they will try to present themselves as large as possible by throwing out both wings and raising all their feathers, like a fan and open their eyes as wide as possible, Lana did this when we got a kitten and they seen each other for the first time.
When they are faced with a much larger threat or don’t want to risk any confrontation they pull themselves in and elongate their bodies, narrows and squints their eyes and their tufts point straight up, they attempt to disguise themselves so the threat will see them as a tree branch and back off.
It is these amazing survival techniques that has earned this little owl its big name ‘The Transformer Owl’. It is fascinating to read about but even more so when you see it in action.
Our Lana has the most amazing nature and is great around people and she has the most beautiful big orange eyes.
Darren & Clare
The recent news story of the Saudi prince buying seats for 80 of his falcons has been a huge hit with photos being shared around Social media. To people here and possible other countries this is pretty extraordinary, however in the UAE, albeit most airlines and travel companies would have a restriction on numbers, this would be normal every day stuff.
Falconry is an ancient Arabic tradition and today is one of the most exclusive sports in the UAE, the top birds cost thousands and are issued with their own passports hence why you see them on planes.
The falcon is UAEs national bird and represents strength and courage. Wild ones are rarely used in the UAE and although there are breeding centres the majority of the birds are imported from the UK, Germany and Spain amongst others.
The falcon Heritage centre in Dubai is the place to go for all things falconry, you can visit the museum and find out more about the history and culture of falconry, a souk where you can buy everything you need falconry related such as gauntlets and hoods, they also have a vet on hand. There is also birds on show, and this is the only place in Dubai where you can legally buy and sell the birds.
Every year they hold Falconry races which is now open to public entries and they have a falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi, but these both deserve a blog post in their own right as there is much to talk about.
Darren would love to attend the races one year and visit the falconry souks but the one downside to our line of business is family holidays are out of the question, but he may well go solo one year if opportunity allows, or we can wait till we are big enough to have employees and we can all go.
Keep a look out for our next blog post
Darren & Clare
Darren and Clare
Husband and wife and owners of Speyside Falconry