The Saker Falcon is one of the rarest raptors and endangered due it’s incredible hunting skills. They are considered to be the premier bird for falconry in the middle east.
Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United Arab Emirates have been the main destination for thousands of falcons caught and sold illegally for hefty sums at the black market (the last price I heard was upwards of $65,000 USD). Kazakhstan is estimated to lose up to 1,000 Saker falcons per year.
Adults are prized captures since they have already learned their skills in the wild rather than from a trainer. This eliminates breeding pairs in the wild, further shrinking the population. Great planning !!!
This bird was provided courtesy of The Avian Conservation Center, Charleston, South Carolina.