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Falconry, Owl & Eagle Handling Experience Days

Experience the thrill of handling Birds of Prey such as hawks, falcons, eagles and owls at locations all over the UK.

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Buyers Guide to Falconry Experiences

If you are faced with our extensive range of falconry experiences and you aren’t sure which one to pick, this buyers guide should help. For anyone interested in birds of prey we have an extensive range of fantastic experiences to give you a chance to handle, fly and get up close and personal to our feathered friends of all shapes and sizes.

Whether choosing a bird handling experience for yourself or as a gift for a friend or family member, there’s a few things to consider when choosing the best experience.

  • Budget – how much do you want to spend? We have something for all budgets whether it be a small gift or big birthday present
  • Location – with a good selection of venues across the UK it’s often most convenient to pick one that isn’t too far away
  • Experience Duration – some experiences last an hour and some as much as 7 hours so it’s a case of preference and how fanatical the participant is about birds of prey.
  • Restrictions - some venues will have specific restrictions but normally it’s only to do with minimum age so not much to worry about here.
  • Type of Birds – are you fascinated with all birds of prey or, for example, just owls?

With quite a few falconry days to choose from, let’s look at budget, location, experience duration and restrictions in more detail to help you select the perfect experience! Here goes…

Birds of Prey Fact: Barn owls can hear a mouse’s heartbeat from 8-10 metres!

Budget

This is normally the most important factor considered by our customers, and it probably will be for you too. The price of a falconry day depends mostly on how many amazing birds you will handle or fly and how long you get with your professional falconer.

£25-£50

Falconry experiences in this price range normally last around 1-2 hours. More ‘taster’ sessions than anything else, they give a great introduction to the world of birds of prey. The number of birds you might encounter for this budget will normally be no more than 3, depending on your choice.

£50-£100

Perhaps the most popular price range, there’s a lot of choice here. Experiences in this bracket will normally last around 3 hours and you will get up close and personal with a good number of birds of prey. Perfect for someone who has is interested in birds of prey, but not too long to last all day!

£100+

Falconry experiences over £100 tend to be for the more serious bird of prey fan. Participants get to fly and handle numerous different birds, and these experiences will last anywhere between 5 and 7 hours. Often with a lunch break included, they are an all day thing.

Location

Most of our birds of prey and falconry experiences take place at either wildlife centres or specialist birds of prey centres. Either way your expert professional falconer will ensure your experience is memorable. Obviously to ensure you can see the magic of the birds’ flight these experiences will mostly take place outdoors.

Most venues will have refreshments available so either you, or your friends or family can grab a well earned cup of tea and flapjack. Many of the venues will have other wildlife on site so this will also give you a good chance to make the most of your visit.

You probably won’t have to travel too far if you want to choose a location near to you. Our falconry venues include Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lanarkshire, Yorkshire, Essex, Hampshire, West Midlands, Cornwall, Kent, West Sussex, Bedfordshire, Fife and Perthshire.

Birds of Prey Fact: Owls can’t actually turn their heads 360 degrees – it’s a myth!

Experience Duration

From short tasters, to half day and even full day falconry experiences you will need to consider the ideal length. If you are buying for yourself, then it’s probably quite a simple decision.

If you are buying it as a gift then perhaps it’s worth thinking about their level of interest. If they are fascinated by birds of prey, then why not go for a half day of full day experience? This would give them a chance to handle and fly a lot of birds, and give them plenty of time to learn from their professional falconer.

If you feel that a shorter experience is more necessary, then a taster experience is the way to go. This may be more suitable for someone who is starting to learning about birds of prey or it’s their first ever introduction. It will give them a great start without lasting too long. After all, some people might not want to stand outside all day holding birds!

Restrictions

Luckily there aren’t a great deal of restrictions to falconry days. The main one is a minimum age limit which is can be as low as 7 years of age. Just check with us if you're not sure.

That’s really it as far as restrictions go. As the experiences are outdoor, it is recommended to take a pair of wellington boots to avoid slipping and sliding in the mud, if the weather has been wet, that is! In fact whether buying for yourself or a friend, whoever participates should wear clothing and footwear suitable for the conditions.

Birds of Prey Fact: Falcons have a clear eye lid they use to fly at high speeds with – like fighter pilots use goggles!

Type of Birds

Birds of prey experiences are normally a mixture of exactly that. Falcons, eagles, owls and so on. They give you a chance to handle many different types of bird of prey. Perfect for someone who is interested in all of them!

If you are buying the experience for an owl lover, for example, then there are owl specific experiences too. A great option to take if their interest lies only in owls.

Can people come with me to watch?

Rules on spectators vary from location to location. Bird of prey centres are generally geared up for displays so they’ll have a spectator viewing area and the birds will be accustomed to performing in public. However, some operate the bird of prey experiences in open fields which makes it more difficult to control spectators and ensure their safety, in which case only participants are allowed. Some venues will charge extra (around £25 normally) for a spectator to get up close to the action too. Other venues will allow one spectator for free.

It all depends on the venue. If in doubt, just check with us first and we can let you know!

What sort of birds can I expect to meet?

The selection of birds available at each centre varies but generally you can expect to interact with amazing creatures such as Barn Owls, Kestrels, Harris Hawks and Caracaras. Some experiences even offer the opportunity to hold a huge Bald Eagle at the end for a perfect photograph opportunity!

What does a typical falconry experience involve?

As mentioned earlier, the length on the experience and the number of birds you will encounter depends on the experience itself. In a nutshell however a typical falconry experience will consist of:

  • A brief tour of the centre
  • A close up look at all of the birds of prey
  • The opportunity to handle one or more birds of prey using the necessary equipment
  • An amazing flying session with selected birds, to and from platforms and gloves
  • The chance to feed selected birds
  • Unlimited photograph opportunities throughout
  • Ongoing discussions and factual information from your trainer enabling you to learn as much as you like

And finally…

Whether it’s something you have always wanted to do, or as a birthday or Christmas gift for a loved one, there’s bound to be a suitable falconry experience to suit all levels of interest and budgets. Being UK wide, location shouldn’t be a problem either.

To hold an African Eagle Owl or to hold a Bald Eagle is a truly (and often surprisingly) memorable experience. Being led by a professional falconer will give you the chance to ask questions and learn some fascinating facts.

Getting up close to these magnificent birds of prey has never been so much fun!