A Maltese Falcon Takes Flight Over the Dingli Cliffs in Malta

The Maltese Falcon is one of the world’s fastest birds. Tricia and I had a chance to meet one up close on the island of Malta.

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The Peregrine Falcon is one of the world’s fastest birds. It can reach speeds up to 322 km/h (200 mph). 

On a warm evening in Malta, Tricia and I stood atop the Dingli Cliffs and watched a pair of falconers release their birds for their daily exercise. One of these stunning masterpieces of nature was a Peregrine.

The Peregrine Falcon has a long history on the Mediterranean island of Malta. In 1530, the islands were given to the Knights of Saint John by the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles the Fifth. In return, he wanted to receive a tribute of a falcon on every All Saints Day (November 1st). 

The Maltese Falcon suddenly became a currency.

In 1941, the first major film noir was released. Titled “The Maltese Falcon,” this film starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor earned three Academy Awards. While it had very little to do falconry, it did popularize the term “Maltese Falcon.”

Perhaps it’s time for a remake?