Accidental Birds of Prey

On my way home from Hay I chanced upon some signs directing me to the International Centre for Birds of Prey. Well, you have to stop, don’t you. And I’m delighted that I did. There was no wedgie, of course, so the eagles looked a little small to me, but there were lots of splendid birds on display, including Moccas the condor who has her own Twitter feed.

There are, of course, live flying displays. The one I sat in on lasted about 45 minutes, though they can run longer if the birds decide they want more time on the wing. I got to see a variety of birds including an eagle, a burrowing owl, a peregrine and some harris hawks.

The staff know their stuff. I learned quite a lot about the birds. One of the more interesting bits of information is that a peregrine and a harris hawk are about the same weight. The hawk looks much bigger, but the peregrine is solid muscle with tiny wings built for diving at speed. The hawk has much bigger wings designed to allow it to turn on a sixpence so that it can hunt the insects that it preys on. While a peregrine is an awesome sight, I must admit a certain fondness for a bird that might eat mosquitoes by the score.

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