• David Jeffery

Willows Bird of Prey Experience

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

This post has been a long time in the making (as in we went in early October). However as it was such a magnificent experience I didn't want to rush the blog post.

I didn't really know what to expect, however the experience exceeded any expectations I did have. We first went into a paddock where all the various birds were being looked after. We had everything from a little Merlin (who was a noisy bugger) up to a Steppe Eagle. There were plenty of falcons on display, Kestrels, Sakers, Lanners and various hybrids.

After being introduced to a few of them it was time for one of the displays Willows run. We got to watch Gandalf the Great Grey Owl and Ratchet the Northern White Faced Owl go about their daily business, flying from post to post, swooping over our heads and being fed.

After this came the fun part. We got to fly a couple of the birds ourselves!!! I was excited to say the least, and getting to fly a barn owl was a dream come true. Luna was a beauty and my favourite bird to fly (they're surprisingly light...I mean I know they're all feathers but there is nothing to them).

The final part of our experience allowed us to watch a Lagger Falcon feed. Falcons all feed differently and Skyler the Lagger flew in at pace to take the food off of a piece of rope which was being swung around by our demonstrator. This allowed for a few photos as she took a couple of attempts at it before finally grabbing it.

This experience was beyond my wildest dreams and I'd highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in learning about these birds or wanting to get involved in Falconry. If you're in the area or local I'd highly recommend Willows. Alfie was very knowledgeable and clearly had a huge interest in the birds and falconry and was just a generally nice guy. https://www.willowsbirdofpreycentre.co.uk/

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