Singh teaches a hawk how to say Wahe Guru and the Hawk responds back in similar frequency.
The few places the bird of prey is mentioned historically it is described as a ‘baaj’ and most strikingly – it is white. The word Baaj is sanskrit in origin and mostly it is agreed that it refers to a falcon as opposed to a hawk or an osprey. The peregrine falcon first springs to mind but one would not describe it as predominantly white. If the historical anecdotes are to be believed then it is most likely that the ‘white bird of prey’ which the 10th Guru handled was either a Gyrfalcon or Saker Falcon.
The Gryfalcon is the only ‘regularly white falcon’ that exists, it’s also the largest of the falcons and would have been a very prized possession during the seventeenth century especially in Asia. This is because it would have been a valuable commodity for dignitaries and rich individuals to bring and sell to royalty in India and South East Asia.
The Gyrfalcon is the largest and most magnificent of the falco genus. In the most northerly part of its range it is almost uniformly white, becoming darker as it moves further south. With a wingspan of up to 63″ (160 cm) and a body weight of up to 4.6 lb (2.1kg) it is indeed an impressive and powerful bird.
Its preferred terrain is invariably open country, mountains or tundra.The gyrfalcon’s diet is mainly birds. Chief among these is the Arctic Ptarmigan, although sea and water birds, including large ducks and geese do feature. The prey is normally taken on the wing, although ground catches are not uncommon.