Serbs breed, train falcons for buyers in UAE

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Serbs breed, train falcons for buyers in UAE
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, a sparrow hawk looks up after catching a pigeon on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, falconer Tibor Buza holds a sparrow hawk with transmitter on the bird's back on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Buza has combined passion with profitable: breeding and training falcons for export to the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, a sparrow hawk catches a pigeon on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, baby falcons on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, a falcon looks trough the bars on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, a falcon stands in the garden on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, falconer Tibor Buza holds his falcon on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Buza has combined passion with profitable: breeding and training falcons for export to the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, a falcon looks trough the bars on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, is a couple of falcons inside the room on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, are baby falcons on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, is an eagle flying inside the room on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, is falconer Tibor Buza looking his falcons on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Buza has combined passion with profitable: breeding and training falcons for export to the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, is a falcon seen trough a spy hole on the wall on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
In this photo taken Thursday, April 23, 2015, baby falcons look up on a falcon farm, near the northern Serbian town of Coka. Most of the birds end up in the Emirates which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouse. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
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COKA, Serbia (AP) - Tibor Buza has combined passion with profit: breeding and training falcons for export to the United Arab Emirates.

The ethnic Hungarian from the leafy northern Serbian village of Coka keeps about 200 peregrine falcons on his farm, which echoes with the squawking sound of the majestic birds.

"We breed them, we teach them to fly well in certain conditions in order to get strong muscles and to look like wild falcons, because nowadays you can't find wild falcons in that many countries," Buza said, holding a large brown-feathered bird on his outstretched hand.

Most of the birds end up in the UAE, which has a long tradition of falconry. The sport involves trained birds that typically circle above the falconers and take high-speed dives at flushed prey such as grouses.

At Buza's farm, the training targets are wild pigeons. It takes only a few seconds for a well-trained falcon to take off from a falconer's hand and snatch the flying prey.

When not outside training on a grass field, the birds are kept in large indoor enclosures, including small newly born fluffy chicks with white feathers, large brown eyes and yellow beaks.

Buza, who has been in the breeding business for 30 years, said a "regular" falcon can be sold for a couple of thousand euros (dollars) in the UAE.

"The special ones go up to tens of thousands," he said. "I was lucky many times to give them (buyers from the UAE) a falcon that achieved great results, that was the best in competitions or the best in hunting."

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Associated Press writer Dusan Stojanovic contributed to this report.

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