Meet The Birds

IMG_0105[1]Ghost, our white Gyr x Saker falcon.  He is nearly 2 years and loves to be out flying. He is a very playful bird and loves his toys and ball.

IMG_1727[1]imagesGizmo, the White Faced Owl.

Hatched 17th May 2014. Only a baby now (top pic) and how he will look soon!

The Southern White-faced Owl (Ptilopsis granti) is a fairly small owl in the family Strigidae. It is native to the southern half of Africa. It was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Northern White-faced Owl (P. leucopsis) but the two are now commonly treated as separate species.

It is 22-28 centimetres long and weighs 185-220 grams. The upperparts are grey with dark streaks and there are white spots on the scapular feathers. The underparts are whitish with dark streaks. The face is white with a black border and black around the large orange eyes. The head has two short “ear” tufts with black tips. Juvenile birds have a greyish face. The Northern White-faced Owl is usually paler and browner with reduced streaking below.

The call is a series of fast, bubbling hoots. It is uttered at night and frequently repeated. The Northern White-faced Owl has a very different two-note call.

Its range extends from Gabon eastwards to southern Kenya and southwards to Namibia and northern South Africa. It inhabits savanna and dry woodland. It is usually seen alone or in pairs. It hunts for large invertebrates and some small mammalsbirds and reptiles are also taken.

The eggs are usually laid in the old nest of another bird. The clutch contains two or three eggs which are incubated for about 30 days. The young birds leave the nest about a month after hatching

Bubbles the Barn Owl. Hatched September 2012.

Bubbles Flies free to the glove. Likes walks and plenty of attention, ohh and FOOD!

Excellent with young children.

The Barn Owl is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. Generally a medium-sized owl, there is considerable size variation across the subspecies. The Barn Owl measures about 25–50 cm (9.8–20 in) in overall length, with a wingspan of some 75–110 cm (30–43 in). Adult body mass is also variable, ranging from 187 to 800 g (6.6 to 28 oz), with the owls closer to the tropics being generally smaller. Tail shape is a way of distinguishing the Barn Owl from true owls when seen in flight, as are the wavering motions and the open dangling feathered legs. The light face with its heart shape and the black eyes give the flying bird an odd and startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose.

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Storm the Harris Hawk . Hatched July 2012.

Storm is from South America and is as you may have guessed male.he Flies free to the glove and also follows on from tree to tree.

He Likes flying, food and going to the pub!

We have had Storm since he was an egg as his parents were breaking the eggs as soon as they were laid. His egg was kept warm artificially and we have cared for him since he hatched.

 

Steady on the glove, he is suitable to be flown/walked by over 10s.

The Harris’s Hawk or Harris Hawk, Parabuteo unicinctus, formerly known as the Bay-winged Hawk or Dusky Hawk, is a medium-large bird of prey which breeds from the southwestern United States south to Chile and central Argentina. Birds are sometimes reported at large in Western Europe, especially Britain, but it is a popular species in falconry and these records almost certainly all refer to escapes from captivity.

For the last 30 years or so, the Harris Hawk, originally from North America, has been an extremely popular and successful bird with both experienced and inexperienced falconers throughout the UK.

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Boo-Boo, the Bengal Eagle owl. Hatched First April 2012.

Boo-Boo iis from India. She flies free very well to anyone. She loves to play games and EAT.

She is a big heavy friendly bird. Lots of fun.

The Bengal Eagle-Owl also called the Rock Eagle-Owl or Indian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bengalensis) is a species of large horned owl found in South Asia. They were earlier treated as a subspecies of the Eurasian Eagle-Owl. They are found in hilly and rocky scrub forests, and are usually seen in pairs. They have a deep resonant booming call that may be heard at dawn and dusk. They are typically large owls, and have “tufts” on their heads. They are splashed with brown, and grey and have a white throat patch with black small stripes.

This large owl with the distinctive face, large forward-facing eyes, horns and deep resonant call is associated with a number of superstitions. Like many other large owls, these are considered birds of ill omen. Their deep haunting calls if delivered from atop a house are considered to forebode the death of an occupant. A number of rituals involving the capture and killing of these birds have been recorded. Salim Ali notes a wide range of superstitions related to them but notes two as being particularly widespread. One is that if the bird is starved for a few days and beaten, it would speak like a human, predicting the future of the tormentor or bringing them wealth while the other involves the killing of the bird to find a lucky bone that moved against the current like a snake when dropped into a stream. Belief in these superstitions has led to the persecution of the species in many areas by tribal hunters. The capture of these birds is illegal under Indian law but an underground market continues to drive poaching.

Dorathy, the Saker Falcon. Hatched 2001

Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk

    Dorathy loves to fly free. She is 12 years old but still in great shape.
Please watch the video above.

The Saker Falcon is a raptor of open grasslands preferably with some trees or cliffs. It often hunts by horizontal pursuit, rather than the Peregrine’s stoop from a height, and feeds mainly on rodents and birds. In Europe, Ground Squirrels and feral pigeons are the most common prey items. This species usually builds no nest of its own, but lays its 3-6 eggs in an old stick nest in a tree which was previously used by other birds such as storks, ravens or buzzards. It also often nests on cliffs.

Poppy, the Tawny Owl.

Hatched June 2012

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The Tawny Owl or Brown Owl (Strix aluco) is a stocky, medium-sized owl commonly found in woodlands across much of Eurasia. Its underparts are pale with dark streaks, and the upperparts are either brown or grey. Several of the eleven recognised subspecies have both variants. The nest is typically in a tree hole where it can protect its eggs and young against potential predators. This owl is non-migratory and highly territorial. Many young birds starve if they cannot find a vacant territory once parental care ceases.

This nocturnal bird of prey hunts mainly rodents, usually by dropping from a perch to seize its prey, which it swallows whole; in more urban areas its diet includes a higher proportion of birds. Vision and hearing adaptations and silent flight aid its night hunting. The Tawny is capable of catching smaller owls, but is itself vulnerable to the Eagle Owl or Northern Goshawk.

Although many people believe this owl has exceptional night vision, its retina is no more sensitive than a human’s. Rather, it is its asymmetrically placed ears that are key to its hunting because they give the Tawny Owl excellent directional hearing. Its nocturnal habits and eerie, easily imitated call, have led to a mythical association of the Tawny with bad luck and death.

Willow, The European Eagle Owl

Willow is a huge bird with massive feet. but she is a gentle giant.

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The Eurasian Eagle-Owl (Bubo bubo) is a species of eagle owl resident in much of Eurasia. It is sometimes called the European Eagle-Owl and is, in Europe where it is the only member of its genus besides the Snowy Owl (B. scandiacus), occasionally abbreviated to just Eagle-Owl.

The Eagle Owl is a very large and powerful bird, smaller than the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) but larger than the Snowy Owl. The Eagle Owl has a wingspan of 160–188 cm (63–74 in), with the largest specimens attaining 200 cm (79 in). The total length of the species can range from 56 to 75 cm (22 to 30 in). Females weigh 1.75–4.2 kg (3.9–9.3 lb) and males weigh 1.5–3 kg (3.3–6.6 lb). In comparison, the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), the world’s most widely-distributed owl species, weighs about 500 grams (1.1 lbs) and the Great Horned Owl (B. virginianus), which fills the Eagle Owl’s ecological niche in North America, weighs around 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs). Among standard measurements, the tail measures 23–31 cm (9.1–12 in) long, the tarsus measures 7.4–8.8 cm (2.9–3.5 in) and the bill is 4.2–5.8 cm (1.7–2.3 in).

The Eagle Owl can live for up to 20 years in the wild. However, like many other bird species in captivity they can live much longer without having to endure difficult natural conditions, and have possibly survived up to 60 years in zoo collections. Healthy adults normally have no natural predators and are thus considered apex predators. The leading causes of death for this species are man-made: electrocution, traffic accidents and shooting sometimes claim the eagle owl

Orville, The Little Owl,  Hatched June 2012

Orville is very cute, very fast and very funny!

Always a favourite on shows.

 

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The Little Owl is a small owl, 23-27.5 cm in length. The adult Little Owl of the most widespread form, the nominate A. n. noctua, is white-speckled brown above, and brown-streaked white below. It has a large head, long legs, and yellow eyes, and its white “eyebrows” give it a stern expression. This species has a bounding flight like a woodpecker. Juveniles are duller, and lack the adult’s white crown spots. The call is a querulous kee-ik.

The Little Owl was sacred to the goddess Athena, from whom it gets the generic name. This is one of the most distributed owls and, due to its adaptability to human settlements and small size, probably ranks among the world’s most numerous owl species.

This is a sedentary species which is found in open country such as mixed farmland and parkland. It takes prey such as insects, earthworms, amphibians, but also small birds and mammals. It can attack birds of considerable size like game birds. It is partly diurnal and often perches boldly and prominently during the day.

It becomes more vocal in nights as the breeding season approaches. Nest location varies based on the habitat, nests being found in holes in trees, rocks, cliffs, river banks, walls, buildings etc. It lays 3-5 eggs which are incubated by the female for 28–29 days, with a further 26 days to fledging. Little Owls will also nest in buildings, both abandoned and those fitted with custom owl nest boxes. If living in an area with a large amount of human activity, Little Owls may grow used to man and will remain on their perch, often in full view, while humans are around.

Ruby, the Red Tailed Buzzard, Hatched 2012

Ruby is a very large and powerful bird. She is popular on shows with adults. Ruby is currently in training to fly free at shows-WITHOUT hunting, as they are ferocious hunters.

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The Red-tailed Hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes, including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, tropical rainforests, agricultural fields and urban areas. It lives throughout the North American continent, except in areas of unbroken forest or the high arctic. It is legally protected in Canada, Mexico and the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.IMG_0229[1]Peanut,  our tiny American Kestrel.  He is a 2014 bird and can be very noisy at feeding time. He is less than half the size of our European kestrels.

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