Wait...what? This article is currently (or was at the time of this blog being written) on Twitter. This is literally a sex hat for falcons to procreate with. Falcons are a borderline endangered species. They're currently listed as "Least Concern" and "Population increasing" according to my Google searches, and this hat right here might be the reason. How do I put this in a way that won't offend anyone...essentially you let the male falcon *ahem* put his bodily fluid inside those honeycomb-esque holes at the top of the hat which can later be pulled from a syringe for artificial insemination...
The original headgear, invented by falconer Les Boyd in the early 1970s, serves as a sperm-collection device that allows captive birds to mate with their keepers. It sounds outlandish, but the simple accessory has been instrumental in the recovery of numerous species, including one of North America's flying darlings, the peregrine falcon. (Yes. We brought a species back from the brink of extinction by letting its members hump our love helmets.)
The collection process is quite simple: add one frisky bird, one rubber receptacle and one keeper who is well versed in the art of falcon sex song.
OH and you have to make falcon noises to attract the bird. That's important too.
Birds gain a "sense of species" by visually imprinting on their parents during early development. When a young falcon comes out of its egg, it becomes attached to the first moving object it encounters. In most cases, this would be its mother. But studies have shown the birds will form this critical social bond with just about everything, from rubber boots to electric trains. It is through this process that a captive falcon comes to regard a hairless, bipedal primate as its mother – and, eventually, as an attractive mate.
"The imprinted males were extremely easy to work with," explains Boyd. While they wouldn't engage in copulation with another falcon, they would mate with their human flock members. "Once the semen was on the hat, it could be easily pulled into a syringe, and imprinted females would stand for semen deposit. It was incredibly simple."
Are you kidding?! According to this EARTH TOUCH NEWS NETWORK article, the man who invented this hat is almost completely responsible for the falcon population to be where it's at right now (over 4,000 mating pairs in 2016 up from just 328 in the 1970s!). How this man got this idea to let a male bird hump his head is beyond me but I'm glad he did it? I guess? In a way, he's the reason we get to see the falcon fly over our heads at Medieval Times, and for that, I am grateful. You learn something new everyday...but I never would have guessed today's nugget would be falcon sex hats. @Traceahamilton