The International Centre for Birds of Prey is the oldest dedicated birds of prey centre in the world, but unless you are interested in birds of prey – why visit?
Well I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it. We humans are surrounded by birds in our daily lives, but so often don’t notice them, a visit here gives you the opportunity to see one group of birds up close, with in many cases no wire, and watch them fly amazingly close to you.
All of this set in lovely gardens, worthy of a visit in their own right we are told! The flying field has ponds and woods to amble through with a pets grave yard in the lower part of the woodland walk, set in wild daffodils and cowslips in the spring.
Described as a Hidden Gem of a place, the Centre houses over 200 birds of prey, eagles, owls, vultures, kites, buzzards and falcons. There are three superb flying demonstrations per day and each one is different.
There are sheltered aviaries to view the many birds. A pleasant and reasonably priced cafe and shop, and great photo opportunities of both static birds and if you are ambitious – flight shots as well! For kids there are two adventure play areas, and an owl maze, and if you ask at the shop there are things we can give them to do (and you can help them out!) Most children love the flying demonstrations and many visitors stay for at least two of them.
You can bring a picnic or have lunch in the cafe or outside if the weather is nice. Spring time – you will often see birds either sitting on their eggs or with chicks, and there are usually chicks in the Brooder room as well. Wild daffodils in clumps in the field and woods, and look out for the cowslips, wood anemones, and bluebells as well. Summer time – the highest numbers of birds are flown daily as we start to introduce some of the new owls and falcons to the flying teams.
Look out for dragon flies on the ponds in the summer months. Autumn is the time we start to train the new eagles to join the team and the autumn colours here are glorious with some lovely trees to give good colour, so great photos of eagles with stunning backgrounds. Winter time – wrap up warmly and come on one of the Winter Owl Evenings, which are tremendous fun and an exciting winter experience. You could even visit in the day and then come again in the evening, seeing the best of the birds on both day and night!
Neil Forbs from Great Western Exotic Vets
International Centre For Birds of Prey
Present the perfect course for raptor keepers, falconers, zoos keepers, demonstrators, educationalists in raptor understanding and owl keepers.
‘Management of birds of prey for health and longevity’
One Day Course
Presented by Neil A Forbes DipECZM(avian) FRCVS RCVS and European Specialist in Bird Medicine
Two dates available
Sunday February 5th 2017
Saturday April 1st 2017
0900h – 1630h
At: International Centre for Birds of Prey
Newent, Gloucestershire, GL18 1JJ
Cost £85 for one day
Includes lunch, refreshments + comprehensive A4 course notes
Please phone to book at: 01531 820286