Public Tours Begin at Archives of Falconry

12 June 2007
The Archives of Falconry at the World Center for Birds of Prey now offers guided public tours every Thursday and the first Saturday of each month.

A new wing honors the ancient tradition of falconry in the Middle East, where the sport has continued uninterrupted for more than 3,000 years. The centerpiece is an authentic goat-hair hunting tent from Syria that measures 20 by 12 feet and 8 feet tall. Inside, three mannequins are seated enjoying coffee together in the tradition of hospitality on the Arabian Peninsula. Visitors may sit on colorful pillows inside the tent and view rugs, blankets, bags, and artifacts.

The new wing also features interactive displays with audio and video clips of the sport of falconry and efforts to recover endangered birds in the Middle East. One wall is covered with a photo mural of a desert scene. Other walls represent an ancient fort in the United Arab Emirates.

The Archives' valuable paintings, books, and artifacts related to falconry around the world also are on display in the original wing. Historical materials date from 1495 and include collections from every nation where falconry is practiced. International scholars and researchers regularly visit the archives, which is the only one of its kind in the world.

When: 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. every Thursday; 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month.
Cost: The cost of touring both The Archives and Velma Morrison Interpretive Center is $7.50 adults, $6 seniors, $4.50 youth. The Archives-only tour is $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 youth. Free to members and children under age 4.
Reservations and Information: 362-8687. Each tour is limited to 12 people.

Special two-hour tours also are available by appointment. This more extensive tour provides an intimate exposure to falconry by world-renowned expert Kent Carnie, Curator Emeritus. The minimum price is $200. Call 362-8687 or e-mail aaf@peregrinefund.org.

Falconry is one of the oldest methods of hunting. Eagles, hawks, and falcons are used by falconers to pursue and catch quarry for food. When the Peregrine Falcon became endangered due to the widespread use of DDT and other pesticides, falconers were instrumental in organizing the successful recovery effort.

The Archives of Falconry was founded at the World Center for Birds of Prey in 1986 to preserve the historical evidence of the sport in the United States. The Archives was expanded in 2006 with a donation from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, son of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding President of the United Arab Emirates and a falconer who made significant contributions to the conservation of birds of prey.

For more information, contact:

Erin Katzner

Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone: 208-362-3716
Direct Phone: 208-362-8277
The Peregrine Fund