Falcons. It may not be the up most priority things to see when traveling especially when there are quite a number of zoos and bird parks in the world which does have Falcons as part of their care. But here in Abu Dhabi, it a little different and that the Falcons here get VIB (Very Important Birds) treatment by who else if not their owners and bird doctors.
Falcons are in fact very symbolic to the nation so much so that it even appears on the bills. They are extremely well take care of by their owners knowing that each bird can cost up to several hundred thousand dollars. They are allowed to fly freely (well of course, they are birds). What I meant is that they are allowed to fly on a passenger flight. Several airlines such as emirates airline allows these birds to fly along with their owners. And yes, whoever travels needs a passport which is to say, these birds have their own passports which links them to their owners. Their identity number and owners number is ringed on the feet of the Falcons since young. These birds are so special, they are literally treated like humans. They are fed according to their diet in flight, they have ‘hotel’ rooms over at the falcon hospital. These ‘rooms’ are large enough for them to fly around and cool enough to keep them nice en cool during the high temperate season.
Speaking of which, the Falcon Hospital is not like any other vets. These birds will wait patiently on their seats for the queue numbers to be called just like how we do at most public clinics. They are so obedient and well trained, they rarely cause a fuss around the hospital. The doctors will treat these birds of any sickness or fracture to the bones and prepare them for hunting season my cutting, shaping and moisturizing their nails. and to ensure the speed of these Falcons is not compromised, not only the wings are inspected, but in fact all the feathers are checked as it may cause these birds to slow down or not fly in precision. An implant procedure will be done if there is any need to replace any single feather.
So I have got the chance to get up close and personal with these amazing birds despite my fear of handling animals. I went through it (without dying, thank God) but it was honestly an amazing experience when handling those birds. They are not as light as they may seem. In fact they are rather heavy and even more beautiful when seen and touched (now it sounds like I caressed the birds).
Oh, and not forgetting, Falcon hospital also treats other birds that is kept as pets such as the owls! So there you have it! A not so usual trip to the amazing Falcon Hospital in Abu Dhabi!