Birds of Prey

Flying Daz a young Peregrine x Saker Falcon

Gyr Saker x Peregrine Falcon, gsp free tonight for the first time this year

Below is a selection of our unique and diverse collection of Birds of Prey. We have Peregrine Falcons, a variety of Owls, Harris Hawks, Kestrels and even a Vulture!

'Mav' is our Peregrine Falcon

'Mav', our Peregrine Falcon was born in 1998

'Mav' is a stunning fast high flying member of the team. The Peregrine Falcon is a large and powerful falcon. Recognisable by it's long, broad, pointed wings with a considerably short tail. The Peregrine's markings are simply stunning, blue/grey from above, the top of its head is blackish and its obvious black "moustache" which sits in beautiful contrast to it's white face.

Historically the Peregrine falcon was known as the Duck Hawk in North America. Renowned for its speed the Peregrine can reach speeds of over 200mph when performing its trademark hunting stoop (high speed dive). Reported by the National Geographic to have recorded 242mph as its highest measured speed making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom.

The breeding range of this bird of prey range from the tropics to Arctic Tundra meaning it can be found almost everywhere on earth. The strong hunting ability, train-ability and versatility has made it well respected and popular in professional falconry.

'Del Boy' is our Harris Hawk

'Del Boy' is our male Harris Hawk, born in 1997.

'Del Boy' is a great member of the flying team. The Harris Hawk is a medium to large Bird of prey. Once known as The Bay-Winged Hawk or The Dusky Hawk It breeds from the South Western United States which is south to Chile and central to Argentina.

Known for hunting in packs consisting of tolerant groups the Harris Hawk is unlike other raptors who often hunt alone. It is this breed's intelligence which leads to it's social nature, making it easier to train and handle. This has led the Harris' hawk to become a popular bird for use in falconry across the globe.

'Razor' is our White Backed Vulture

'Razor' is our White Backed Vulture

This Vulture is closely related to the European Griffin Vulture, sometimes it is called The African White Backed Vulture to separate it from the Oriental White backed Vulture which is now usually called The white rumped Vulture, to which it was once believed to be closely related. This bird is of medium size for its breed range with a wing span ranging ranging from 6 to 7 feet. It can weigh up to 15.9lbs and like other vultures is a scavenger, feeding mostly on the carcasses of animals when soaring over the Savannah.

Often moving in flocks they breed in the trees on the Savannah of West and East Africa, laying just one egg the population is mostly resident making this such an exciting part of our display.

'Lucy' is our Tawny Eagle

'Lucy' is our Tawny Eagle, she was born in 2008

The Tawny Eagle, like all Eagles is a member of the Accipitridae family. Although this is a large Eagle it is one of the smaller species with a wingspan of between 63 and 75 inches when fully matured. Its Tawny underparts, Blackish flight feathers and tail truly make it a sight to behold with its striking plumage.

Tawny Eagles can be found in three distinct populations, the first being Asia. Encompassing South East Iran, Pakistan, North West India, Southern Nepal and Western Myanmar. The second includes much of Western Africa in addition to Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and the South Western Arabian Peninsula. The third of the populations cover Sub-Saharan Africa from Namibia and Botswana to Northern South Africa , Lesotho and Swaziland.

Having a wide range of prey their diet can consist of many varied mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Most of the prey is taken is taken on the ground, they hunt with short dives and swoops but can sometimes kill birds up to the size of flamingos in flight.

'Max' is our Ashy Faced Barn Owl

'Max' is our Ashy Faced Barn Owl

The Ashy Faced owl (Tayto Glaucops) commonly share similarities with common barn owls. When you consider the behaviours such as hunting techniques and physical appearance. Like their size and proportions, Ashy Faced are found in the Caribbean on the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga. Although other barn owls prefer habitats with open land, these generally inhabit more wooded and scrub areas. Through the invasion of the American Barn owl on the islands, the Ashy Faced is now having to compete for resources and nesting sites against its larger cousins.

'Casper' is our Kestrel

'Casper' is our Kestrel

A Kestrel is a type of Falcon, it is one of the most distinguishable birds due to their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 metres (35–65 ft) over open country and swoop down on prey. The Kestrel feeds on small mammals and large insects.

These birds are easy to spot along the roadside, they are a familiar sight, hovering beside a motorway, or main road. Population declined in the 1970's due to changes in farming, however, they have adapted well to urban and even city areas.

'Amy' is our Southern White-faced Scops Alfie Owl

'Amy' is our Southern White-faced Scops Alfie Owl

A native of southern Africa, Amy is a subspecies of the Northern White-Faced Owl. Amy is a member of the Strigidae or 'True Owl' aka' Typical Owl'. These species are 22–28 cm (8.7–11.0 in) long and weigh 185–220 gms (6.5–7.8 oz).

Southern White-faced Owls feed on large insects, spiders, scorpions, small birds, reptiles and small mammals. This owl hunts from a perch, dropping down and gliding low over the ground before swooping up to a new perch. Prey are normally taken from the ground or from branches, held with the powerful talons and torn apart with the bill.

'Mo' is our Eurasian Eagle-owl

'Mo' is our Eurasian Eagle-owl

Also referred to as the 'European Owl', it is one of the largest species of owls, females can grow to as tall as 30 inches with a wing span of just over 6 feet, males tend to be slightly smaller. It is mainly a nocturnal predator that hunts small mammals, birds of varying sizes, reptiles, amphibians, fish, large insects.

The Eagel Owl is considered an 'Apex Predator' meaning it has no natural predators. It's life span in the wild is abot 20 years but much higher in captivity. Electrocution is the main cause of fatality in the wild as well as shooting, hence the higher life expectancy when kept in captivity out of harm's way.

'Pepsi' is our Barn Owl

'Pepsi' is our Barn Owl

Pepsi is our Barn Owl and resident Wedding Ring Bearer. The Barn Owl has a classic heart shaped face, with white underparts. It is found across the UK and many other countries in the countryside and is well distributed throughout.

Numbers of Barn Owl's have declined during the last century, probably as a result of organochlorine pesticides such as DDT. There are an estimated 110,000 to 220,000 in Europe whilst there are 12,000 to 25,000 pairs in the UK during October to March. Their diet consists of mice, voles and shrews which they hunt along riverbanks, field edges and roadsides.