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  • Sharron Montgomery Pena

Meet the birds- Chula

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

Chances are if you have seen us live, you will remember Chula. She is undoubtedly, the queen of our flock. Chula, a 20 year old saker falcon, captive bred in California, was purchased by Ray in 2000 and delivered via air freight (no pun) in Wisconsin during the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Saker falcons are not known for high speed dives like peregrine falcons, but rather chase their prey in long distance pursuit known as tail chasing. A slower falcon chases the lure for demonstrations more easily in artificial environments such as our busy performance venues, but make no mistake, the spectacle of a large falcon in flight has an impressive effect. Perhaps one of the most amazing flights that Chula is known for is the Bristol Renaissance drum jam. It became a thrilling part of the end of day celebration to see a falcon fly over their heads as the faire visitors made their way to the gate each day. A clip of this special flight is in the video below.

Watch this short video about her below!

Her laid back style while not performing is one of her most endearing personality traits. Surprisingly, falcons will tend to lie down from time to time, and Chula happily finds her happy place in a soft patch of grass or sand. Many Middle Eastern falconers will swear by putting a falcon "to sand" will cure any developing foot problems. Falcons seem to be more susceptible to developing foot abrasions because their foot surface is poorly vascularized (less blood vessels) which may protect them from potential live threatening injury inflicted by their prey. They spend a lot of time in the wild on flat surfaces, and an improperly kept captive falcon can easily develop painful, crippling foot problems. In addition to the health benefits associated with "taking a load off," Chula's willingness to lie down in many environments, including a display at a festival shows how you how this queen takes her status as an educator and entertainer all in stride. She feels safe, she feels comfortable, but watch out if you have a bicycle, stroller, or skateboard, her one phobia is wheels. Everyone's got something they are afraid of, and that's her kryptonite!

Please show Chula some love by sponsoring her in for a week, month, or all the birds! You can even buy one as a gift in someone's honor. Go to our store to learn more.

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