07 January 2022
Our birds of prey have a new home here at Hobbledown - a stunning purpose-built aviary!
Featuring a selection of owls, hawks, eagles and falcons, the new centre will also host a breeding pair of Lugger Falcons, endangered in the wild due to demand from poaching.
As part of a recent £1.2m investment at Hobbledown, the centre will be home to 18 birds at full capacity, including the Gymnogene (African Harrier-Hawk), a bird which blushes red in the face during its mating display, and the Ural Owl, which pairs for life and sings duets with its mate.
With the new building, guests will now be able to see the birds every day, untethered within their own specific aviary.
The new centre will be ideal for school trips and will soon house an education room to support core elements of the Key Stages 1 and 2 curriculum, with a live webcam from the Lugger aviary.
The Raptor Centre was founded by Eddie Hare in 1977. The sanctuary was rehomed into temporary lodgings at Hobbledown in 2018 whilst awaiting planning permission for the new building.
Sadly, Eddie died shortly before the centre was complete, but his wife Ronnie, who has been flying birds for nearly 20 years, is delighted with the birds’ new home.
She said: “It’s a wonderful addition to the Park and a striking demonstration of our commitment to the welfare of these incredible creatures.”
Guests can view the birds in their new aviaries every day, and flying demonstrations are held by Ronnie during the summer months on every day except Wednesdays.
For more information on the Raptor Centre and Flying and Handling demonstrations, click here.