This really is a top quality centre for birds of prey, set in the picturesque woodland within the bounds of Duncombe Park. The enclosures are very well built and maintained, the staff are extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly, and the collection of species is excellent; including one of the world's most iconic but threatened birds - the Steller's Sea Eagle!! :-)
Whilst being a tourist attraction, it's main aim is to contribute to the conservation of raptors (many of which are in dire threat of extinction) through awareness raising and also captive breeding (there was a recently hatched Griffon Vulture chick when we were there, and several other species were nesting). The centre additionally takes in injured and rehabilitated birds.
Whilst it was a thrill to see the variety of owls, falcons, vultures etc. in their enclosures, the greatest thrill is seeing the trained birds fly, which occurs three times a day throughout the main season. This really gives a chance to see a selection of birds up close in action, from the dashing skill of the falcons, to the majesty of the eagle owl, and most impressively of all the sheer enormity of the Steller's!
Some of the birds can't fly in rain, so there's the facility for an indoor flying show if the weather's inclement, albeit with an understandable loss of impact.
There are also special events such as falconry or photographic courses held at various times throughout the year which are well worth looking out for.
Definitely worth a visit and supporting via donations or buying gifts and treats from the shop.
There are some good videos including footage showing the construction of the centre on youtube.
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