The Raptor Centre

Birds of Prey

Hobbledown is home to 17 magnificent birds of prey. Throughout the year they provide flying demonstrations, meet and greets and experience days. Founded in 1977, The Raptor Centre aims to promote understanding and care for these beautiful birds in the wild.

Meet the birds

Come and meet one of the birds from Thursday to Monday at 11am and 2pm.

  • Indian Eagle Owl

    Indian eagle-owls, come from the Indian Subcontinent and are usually large owls with “tufts” on their head like those of their African cousins. They live 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.
  • Bald Eagle

    The majestic Bald Eagle is the proud national bird symbol of the United States and is found all over North America.  They live near water and favour coasts and lakes where fish are plentiful, though they will also snare and eat small mammals.
  • African Fish Eagle

    The African Fish Eagle is a fairly large eagle with a distinctive black, brown, and white plumage. As its name suggests it likes to feast on fish and is found mostly near lakes and rivers in Southern Africa, especially in the Rift Valley.
  • African Spotted Eagle Owl

    The African Spotted Eagle Owl is the most common species of eagle owl in Southern Africa. It is identifiable by its prominent ‘ear tufts’ on the top of its head, a feature is shares with all members of the eagle owl family.
  • Barn Owl

    With heart-shaped face, buff back and wings and pure white underparts, the crepuscular barn owl is a distinctive and much-loved countryside bird found widely across the UK and all over the world.
  • Burrowing Owl

    This little bird, found mostly in North and South America, is different to most other owls. Whilst other owls are active only at night, a burrowing owl hunts during the day too, taking shelter and nesting in underground burrows it “borrows” from other animals such as squirrels and rabbits.
  • Western Screech Owl

    A small, nocturnal owl that lives in old cottonwood trees in forests, shrub lands and rural fields in North and Central America.  It is identifiable by it’s unique ‘screech’ which is often mistaken for a horse’s ‘whinny’.
  • Red Backed Hawk

    South American birds of prey that are also known as Variable Hawks due to their highly variable plumage. More than 27 distinct adult plumages having been identified – possibly more than in any other bird of prey.
  • Hybrid Falcon

    This Hybrid Falcon is a cross between the two largest falcons in the world. The Gyr X Saker can range in colour from dark  brown to a beautiful blond.  The Gyr Falcon is especially prized by Arab falconers.
  • Harris’s Hawk

    Harris’s Hawks are found in North and Central America and are raptors with fairly long tails. They fly on broad, rounded wings. Females weigh nearly twice as much as males.
  • Bateleur (African Snake Eagle)

    The Bateleur is the most famous of the snake eagles, found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa in tree and bush Savannah. Bateleur means ‘tightrope-walker” in French and this name was probably chosen because of  this bird’s distinctive aerial acrobatics.
  • Jackal Buzzard

    This buzzard lives in the mountains and grasslands on the Southern tip of Africa – mainly in South Africa as well as Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Botswana. It is a medium-sized bird, mostly black with light brown or rust colouring on its chest and some white plumage on its undersides.
  • Lanner Falcon

    The Lanner Falcon is a medium-sized falcon that breeds in North Africa, south east Europe, the Middle East and as far east as India. A large falcon, it preys on birds and bats.
  • Lugger Falcon

    Lugger Falcons are found in the Indian Subcontinent but their numbers are in severe decline with only an estimated 15,000 individual birds left in the wild. The Raptor Centre is proud to be involved in Project Lugger,  helping to develop a  strong breeding programme to ensure the survival of these beautiful birds.

Project Lugger

Over the past 30 years the Lugger Falcon has undergone a serious population decline due to illegal trapping, expansion in human population and an absence of key food supplies that help these birds to breed. It is estimated that there are only 15,000 individual birds left in the wild.

The Raptor Centre is involved in Project Lugger, helping to build a viable gene pool and produce youngsters that can be involved in a strong breeding programme. Giving these beautiful birds a chance to survive.

Read what some happy customers have to say

Great for a 6 year old’s birthday party. Soft play + teddy bear making = win. Lovely place.

— Elliot Reuben

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