Warm weather to come!

I have almost forgotten how to spell the word ‘warm’ but we are told to expect warm weather over the next couple of days – well from tomorrow actually. In terms of our activities we are ‘up and running’ for the season ahead with all our birds of prey flying in readiness for our display season ahead. ‘Sprite’ our Peregrine is out of his aviary and I took him down to the field today and reintroduced him to lure – he knew what it was all about. They have incredible memories and after a lay off it takes just a little effort to get then in the air again – returning to the falconer I mean!

He is a lovely falcon and I am hoping we can do more events with him this year – apart from Thornbury Castle. Peregrine’s are difficult falcons to maintain for educational displays because they are so highly geared to go chasing – and are easily lost particularly pursuing pigeons! but with careful flying – making the sessions varied and fun – this can be to an extent be overcome or the behaviour delayed. If it starts happening – which after all is natural behaviour it is better to pass the falcon on to a falconer who wants to fly it as a falconry bird.

Guests like to see a Peregrine fly particularly students because they are such iconic creatures – a speedster with a world renown dive. It has a global presence which is important too and it has benefited from a successful reintroduction program in North America after the devastating effect of now banned pesticides like DDT.  So its value to the understanding of  conservation is immeasurable. We do our best but it is not always possible to have a Peregrine. Hence we rely on a similar falcon the Lanner Falcon with its more pragmatic view on life – but also a wonderful flyer – for our birds of prey display work – in the falcon department anyway. I will leave you with a picture of Sprite. 

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