Barbary Falcon Studbook


Barbary Falcon studbook    



During the 1980ís early 1990ís I worked at the Al Faisal Falcon Breeding Centre in Saudi Arabia and was fortunate enough to be able to send back to the UK four pairs Barbary falcons, all unrelated birds. These founder birds have been managed as a single captive population. We have sometimes split breeding pairs to recombine their mates with others of our stock in order to produce as little inbreeding as possible. So far all our offspring are from unrelated birds.

The total international captive population of this species is relatively small and the actual original founder population is very small indeed. In order to prevent inbreeding in the species I am establishing a studbook for the species so that breeders may check the pedigree of their stock and that of new stock they intend to obtain in order to minimise inbreeding.

Objectives of project

For each bird, both live and dead ones are to be included, we wish to trace its ancestry back to the wild and if possible to check the purity of its bloodline. The data for each bird will be held on a central database at our office and we will use in house software we are developing for this project to produce family trees for each bird and tables for inbreeding coefficients. Our software currently uses the same program to calculate inbreeding coefficients as that used by ISIS, for zoos and international studbooks. We are hoping to modify this C language program to be more specific for this particular project.

For security reasons we will not publish details of the holders or breeders, unless they wish us to, and then they can be in various formats. Each person will be identified by a serial number. All name and address details will be held on our computer in an encrypted form with no passwords held in the software.

Initially we wish to collect just the data required to enable us to set up the studbook. Later we want to expand this by sending out questionnaire to record biometrics, measurements, of each bird so that we may look at genetic influences on such things as the size of each bird. This would be helpful to breeders who may wish to produce birds of certain characteristics, light colour or small size for instance.

We are also look into the possibility of compiling a central genetic databank for the species by obtaining blood or feather samples from each bird and running DNA profiles on these. This would be depended on legislation for importation of samples into the UK and on the cost of such a project.

Output of the project

It is intended to produce three types of output.

A published stud book in paper form which will include a page for each bird and charts of inbreeding coefficients for the population and sex / age class pyramids.

Similar data published on our internet site. See below for preliminary data.

A program on CD ROM that will provide all the above and allow one to calculate hypothetical matings so that one may look at the inbreeding coefficients for birds that one may wish to pair.

Other benefits

Co ordination between breeders. By holding a central database of Barbary Falcon breeders we will be able to put you in touch with each other. If you wish we can published your contact details on the stud book so that people may contact you directly or people can write to us and we can pass on letters to participants without the originator knowing to whom they went.


The initial costs of setting up the studbook will be born by myself.

Each participant will be sent free of charge a copy of the family tree and inbreeding coefficients for each of the birds for which they submit data to us.

The full-published studbook and CD ROM program will be available to participants for the cost of reproduction and postage. The cost for the program will be the CD ROM itself and postage and packing, it will not include any charges for the development of the software.

These will be available to non-participants at a slightly higher cost in order to cover running costs of the project.

The full data will be available on the Internet for free, we may be able to have programs run on the site to calculate inbreeding coefficients for hypothetical matings.

The project will only work if we can obtain ACCURATE data from as many birds as possible.

We hope that you will be able to assist in this project and pass on copies of this document to anyone else that you know who has Barbary falcons, or who has had them in the past.

Once again let me assure you that all data you submit will be treated in confidence and on no account will your personal details be passed on to anyone unless we have your written permission.

Preliminary data

We currently hold data on 172 individuals.
We are still processing a lot of the data to try to track as may birds full family history back to the wild as possible before we publish the studbook in full.

However in order to assist breeders we are publishing on our web site preliminary data on each bird.

View Preliminary Data

Origin of data

The majority of the data we have at the present time relates to birds held, or bred, in the United Kingdom.

Some of the data is derived from my own breeding project, birds I have with other breeders and personal correspondence with holders / breeders in the UK and overseas.

The majority of the data, especially for older birds, is derived from the Department of Transport and Regions, DETR.

In the United Kingdom the Barbary Falcon is a registerable species.
All birds have to be registered with the DETR and are rung with DETR rings.

In order to contact all keepers of Barbaries in the UK the DETR were very kind in assisting us by sending out a mail shot for us to all keepers, past and present, for this species.

In order to maintain the confidentiality of keepers details the DETR were not able to provided us with details of keepers.  We sent the letters requesting data to the DETR who attached address labels and sent them out on our behalf.

The DETR also provided us with printouts from their computer records for all Barbaries, and also hybrids derived from Barbaries.  We wanted details of the hybrids so that we could see if any of the birds registered as pure Barabries might be hybrids.  This data supplied by the DETR consisted of:

DETR ring number
Other ring number, or Microchip number
Origin - Captive bred, Imported, Wild taken
Fathers DETR ring number
Mothers DETR ring number
Hatch date
Fate - Alive, Lost, Dead, Unknown

There was no data in the printouts which could in any way be used to identify the breeder or holder of the bird.

I would like to thank the staff at the DETR for their help in the mail shot and supplying data, in particular Mark Britton who co-ordinate this work for me and searched their records to find answers to my many queries regarding individual birds parentage.

How to submit data on your birds

Please use the link below to go to our data submission form.

Data submission form


Barbary Studbook bird data submission form ]