This falcon is one of the earliest known depictions of the god Horus, the symbol of and protector of divine kingship in early Egypt. That a divine falcon is meant is confirmed by the fact that the figure is shown with an attribute not found in nature; in this case, there are four talons extended forward rather than the three found on mortal birds. For similar iconography see the Narmer Palette where the falcon grasps a rope with its five talons.
The early kings of Egypt were all known by their "Horus" names; for example, the Horus Ka, the Horus Scorpion, the Horus Narmer, the Horus Aha. It is the presence of the falcon on the earliest inscriptions and objects which informs that we are dealing with kingly matters.
Stone sculpture in the round makes its first appearance in Egypt between Dynasty 0 and Dynasty I, a period when craftsmen had already become proficient in creating elegant vessels and maceheads from hard stone. The most common subjects are animals: falcons, baboons, lions, hippopotami, frogs, scorpions and jackals. Closest in style to the May falcon is a speckled stone example with recessed eyes in Berlin, no. 3 in Brashear, et al., Ägyptisches Museum, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, and a black and white granite example in the Guennol Collection, no. 294 in Needler, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt in the Brooklyn Museum. Other early examples have a large hole on the underside, suggesting the figures were mounted as standards. See for example catalogue no. z.39528 in the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University. Quite similar in style to the May falcon is the small falcon that sits atop a serekh or palace facade, its framed side incised with the name of 1st Dynasty King Djer (see MM 11391 in Peterson, "Archaic Egyptian Falcons" in Medelhavsmuseet, Bulletin 15, Stockholm). The Stockholm falcon's feet grip the upper edge of the serekh and, like the Narmer Palette and the May falcon, there are four talons going forward, one backward. These similarities confirm not only the early date of the May falcon, but also its divine and royal associations.