Imaging by Thomas Hayden — Click and drag to look around
Archives tours are offered daily at scheduled times as part of the World Center for Birds of Prey experience. These tours begin in The Velma Morrison Interpretive Center. The thirty-minute tours highlight the history and sport of falconry. The Archives showcases rare books, original art, and the Arab Falconry Heritage Exhibit with interactive kiosks.
The Arab Falconry Heritage Exhibit honors the ancient tradition of falconry in the Middle East where the sport has continued uninterrupted for more than 4,500 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 exhibit 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. Historical materials date from 1495 and include collections from many nations where falconry is practiced. International scholars and researchers make use of the Archives which is the only one of its kind in the world.
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 North America. 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.
Private tours may be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. For pricing, please call 208-362-8687
The Archives of Falconry
Entryway into the new Sheikh Zayed Arab Falconry Heritage Wing.
A goat-hair hunting tent is the centerpiece of the Arab Falconry Heritage Wing.