Falcons are medium-sized birds with long wings, which make them move more swiftly than other bird species. Once they have set their eyes on their targets, they ruthlessly attack the prey from the air without getting noticed. Because of their fierceness and physical characteristics, a lot of animal lovers, specifically bird lovers, have invested their time and financial resources in taking care of falcons. If you are curious about how much does a falcon cost, please read on.
The average cost of a Falcon
The average falcon price can range from $200 to $1,000 but can be as high as $10,000, depending on the bird’s species, age, size, the breeder’s price, and the location of the seller. You also have the option of purchasing online.
Some of the prices from a website called Raptorsforsale.com are as follows:
- Dark Jerkin, second year, drone trained (Montana) – $5,000
- Breeding falcon, 2013 imprint female red naped Shaheen (Oklahoma) – $2,000
- Tiercel Barbary and Saker hybrid falcon, 2020-born (New York) – $1,200
- Tiercel Peregrine and Gyr hybrid falcon, 2020-born (New York) – $2,000
But if you buy a falcon in Qatar, the price can go as high as 1 million Qatari Rials (QAR), or around $274,600, especially when falconry festivals are held in the Gulf states.
For a short reference, falconry festivals are events when licensed falconers gather in one place to hunt falcons. The products of such competitions also have luxurious prices.
Generally, the prized birds can cost around QAR100,000 to QAR400,000, or $27,460 to $109,800. Gyrfalcons, which happen to be the largest falcon species, can cost up to QAR1 million.
Maintenance Cost of Owning A Falcon
A piece of advice: don’t try to buy a falcon if you don’t have enough budget, as this bird is high–maintenance. But if you have decided to take care of a falcon, there are recurring costs that you need to cover, apart from the price of the bird itself.
Remember, falcons are hunters. They search for their own food in the wild. Known as highly vicious birds of prey, falcons are fierce raptors that hunt smaller birds and animals like mice, frogs, and fish for their daily consumption.
Since they are in your care, you need to provide them with enough nourishment to match what they would normally get in the wild. As mentioned, the natural diet of falcons is fresh, raw meat; hence, you need to feed them the same way. The typical food would consist of quails and beef heart.
The cost of frozen quails ranges from $10 to $37.50 per bag, which contains 5 pieces (extra-large) to 50 pieces (extra small quails).
With that said, you are looking at a budget of at least $1,500 to $3,000 for the first year.
You must provide a suitable cage for the falcon to prevent it from escaping. Although it would be almost impossible to mirror their habitat in the wild, either you make a conscious effort to achieve a closer resemblance or you will be required to do so. You don’t have much of a choice, do you?
That being said, the cost of building a mew would be around $400 for the basic one and could cost more depending on the size and materials used. However, some states allow you to keep the falcon in your house with certain conditions.
3. Supplies and equipment
The basic husbandry supplies and equipment are as follows:
- Perch – $160 to $180
- Anklets – $9
- Swivel – $3 to $8
- Jesses and leash – $4 for paracord rope
- Hood – $17
- Glove – $20 to $40
- Telemetry – $100 to $150 (transmitter) and $200 to $1,000 (receiver)
- Trapping equipment – $100
You should be able to properly manage your falcon’s health. Take note that birds have different health requirements and nutritional needs.
With this, you should ensure that you are near a veterinary clinic that specializes in avian medicine. Some of the things you need to have for Falcon’s health care include the following:
Can you really own a falcon as a pet? At least in the US, there are actually just three ways you can own a falcon bird as a pet. These are the following:
- You own a zoo or an educational organization
- You have acquired a special license as a rehabber.
- You are a falconer.
If you are just an average Joe or a plain Jane, perhaps your only chance of being allowed to own a falcon is to become a falconer. First of all, falcons are exotic animals, which means you need to acquire special permits from the wildlife authorities before getting the bird. As for the fees, expect to spend up to $750 for all the important documents.
However, you will have to go through rigid procedures to qualify. Some of the steps include passing several tests, acquiring licenses from the state Department of Wildlife office, and becoming an apprentice to a general falconer for a minimum of two years.
But before undergoing an apprenticeship, you should remember that you should love hunting as well. No general or master falconer would take in an apprentice who’s just after owning the bird but is not fond of hunting. This is because, in an apprenticeship, the only free birds are either wild-trapped American kestrels or red-tailed hawks.
For the examination, you would need books about falconry that cost around $100 to $130 for a set of two books.
All in all, apart from the purchase cost of falcon birds, expect to spend around $1,500 to $2,000 within the span of the training and licensing period. This is if you try to make some of the supplies on your own rather than buy them ready-made. Otherwise, the cost can reach up to $5,000 or more.
Types of Falcon Species
As of the present time, there are more than 40 falcon species all over the world except in Antarctica. They are also categorized into LC or Least Concern, Near Threatened or NT, Vulnerable or VU, and Extinct or EX, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
LC or Least Concern
- African Hobby Falco cuvierii
- American Kestrel Falco sparverius
- Amur Falcon Falco amurensis
- Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis
- Australian Hobby Falco longipennis
- Banded Kestrel Falco zoniventris
- Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides
- Barred Forest-falcon Micrastur ruficollis
- Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis
- Black Caracara Daptrius ater
- Black Falcon Falco subniger
- Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius
- Brown Falcon Falco berigora
- Buckley’s Forest-falcon Micrastur buckleyi
- Carunculated Caracara Phalcoboenus carunculatus
- Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango
- Collared Falconet Microhierax caerulescens
- Collared Forest-falcon Micrastur semitorquatus
- Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
- Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
- Cryptic Forest-falcon Micrastur mintoni
- Dickinson’s Kestrel Falco dickinsoni
- Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae
- Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
- Fox Kestrel Falco alopex
- Greater Kestrel Falco rupicoloides
- Grey Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus
- Gyr Falcon Falco rusticolus
- Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus
- Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
- Lined Forest-falcon Micrastur gilvicollis
- Madagascar Kestrel Falco newtoni
- Merlin Falco columbarius
- Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus
- Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides
- Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus
- Oriental Hobby Falco severus
- Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
- Philippine Falconet Microhierax erythrogenys
- Pied Falconet Microhierax melanoleucos
- Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus
- Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus
- Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera
- Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus
- Slaty-backed Forest-falcon Micrastur mirandollei
- Southern Caracara Caracara plancus
- Spotted Kestrel Falco moluccensis
- Spot-winged Falconet Spiziapteryx circumcincta
- White-throated Caracara Phalcoboenus albogularis
- Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima
- Grey Falcon Falco hypoleucos
- Laggar Falcon Falco jugger
- New Zealand Falcon Falco novaeseelandiae
- Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
- Sooty Falcon Falco concolor
- Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis
- Taita Falcon Falco fasciinucha
- White-fronted Falconet Microhierax latifrons
- White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis
- Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
- Mauritius Kestrel Falco punctatus
- Plumbeous Forest-falcon Micrastur plumbeus
- Saker Falcon Falco cherrug
- Seychelles Kestrel Falco araea
- Guadalupe Caracara Caracara lutosa
- Reunion Kestrel Falco buboisi
North America has six species. These are the American Kestrel, the Aplomado Falcon, the Gyrfalcon, the Merlin, the Prairie Falcon, and the Peregrine Falcon, which is the fastest bird and the fastest moving animal in the world.
Other Things To Consider
The laws vary from state to state, so be sure to inquire about the requirements and cost of owning a falcon in your local government.
There appears to be not much falconry in the country, but you may start looking at your locality for falconry clubs if there are any. There’s a possibility that you may get rejected as they are very strict in taking in apprentices and they have valid reasons for doing so.
Aspiring falconers tend to just fancy being one because it looks fun. Since they haven’t tried taking care of birds or even tried hunting them, when faced with such strenuous activities, they tend to backpedal, leaving the poor master falconer with wasted time and effort.