RIYADH: Sales at the third Saudi Falcons Club auction have exceeded SR2 million ($532,000) after two birds were sold for SR124,000 ($32,998), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The auction is being held at the club’s headquarters in Malham, north of Riyadh and concludes on Nov. 15.
On its 13th day, two birds were sold for SR46,000 ($12,241) and SR78,000 ($20,751), said the SPA.
A draw for a falcon-tracking device was held at the end of the day.
The club offers several benefits to falconers including providing accommodation and transportation for their birds.
The auction is broadcast live on TV and the club’s social media channels.
Once a sale is finalized, the falcons have electronic anklets attached with certification documents issued.
Falconry has been an integral part of Saudi culture since antiquity.
Al-Aradi Falcon Conservation Center in Al-Uzaym village, 160 kilometers southeast of Hail province, is one of several involved in the breeding and protection of these birds.
The owner, Badr Al-Aradi, said the 27-year-old farm is one of the few that breeds all types of species including saker, lanner, barbary peregrine and gyrfalcons.
“Each falcon lays three to five eggs depending on the species through natural and artificial insemination,” he said.
“The fertilized eggs are identified using a digital egg monitor or an infrared searchlight. The eggs are placed inside (an) incubator for 32 days before the chick hatches. It needs 45 days to start flying gradually.”
The farm also has a moulting hall where the temperature is controlled and there is space for the birds to fly.
During the moulting phase of more than seven months, adult birds shed their old feathers and regrow stronger new ones.
Al-Aradi said it was important to develop the industry because it could potentially create many jobs for Saudi citizens.
The farm previously bred a rare saker falcon that was sold for SR270,000 ($72,000) at an international auction, considered the most expensive produced by a Saudi facility.