A young Lappet-faced vulture tastes freedom of the skies for a few minutes before being returned to his captive state.
This raptor is among the most fear and respected of the many species of carrion feeders that provide an invaluable service to us and nature by being one of the few living things to be able to digest all but the most foul and pestilent bacteria on earth. With their beaks hard as diamond-tips, the huge lappet-faced vulture provides the vanguard role in disposing of a corpse, being one of the only raptors to have the strength and design to tear at tendon, sinew, and even cartilage.
With the intense eyes, the long stately face, and the taciturn demeanour, this subject is a natural. Underneath the mantle of the modern man in a newly-modern desert kingdom there is still a vestige of the old Bedouin culture.
You can take the man out of the desert, but you cannot take the desert out of the man.
His partner-in-crime, the peregrine falcon (the one you see here in the picture is a smaller sub-species of its European cousin, adapted better for a hot, arid climate) is often captured in the desert, then trained by the Bedouin falconer to catch and return.
The bird is revered in Arabia for its speed, its agile grace in flight and of course its beauty.