Adventures in the UK Day 7 – Birds of Prey

The Hawk Conservancy Trust

Today we drove down to Andover to a wonderful place filled will all sorts of birds of prey. Check them out on Twitter for more photos of what you can see here. I only have room on this page for a few.

This is a place where you’ll want to show up at opening time and stay all day. They have several flying shows during the day (where the birds swoop very close to your heads!) and many individual species presentations.

Our first stop was the vulture enclosure where we all learned to love vultures (if you didn’t already), hear about their plights in the wild, and view a feeding.

Below is a gorgeous white vulture, not sure of his specific species. I was so fascinated watching them I forgot to note it. I think he’s from Africa, though, because there was a lot of discussion about how elephant and rhino poacher scum are now poisoning animal carcasses (so the vultures don’t alert the authorities!) and causing vulture numbers to plummet to the point they’re endangered. 😦 Vultures are vital to the eco-sytem so this is a major problem.

Below is a King Vulture in his aviary. I know I sound like Steve Irwin, but isn’t he a beauty? Look at those colors!

We get huge flocks of turkey vultures in our trees at home from time to time, so all this vulture info was very interesting.

Along with vultures, there plenty of hawks, kites, eagles and owls to view. Below is one of the birds, but forgive me, I didn’t take notes, so I don’t know what kind and when I tried Google, you what it came back with for my image?


That was real helpful. Could you be a little more specific? 🙂

After a little more detective work, I think it’s a Buzzard Eagle, but I’m not positive. I keep thinking he’s a hawk of some kind but his head looks very eagle-like. Regardless, he’s stunning to look at.

Right before one of the flying shows, several of the birds to be featured were out in these open runs so you could see them and take photos without any cages in the way. He was tethered, but it was a long lead, so he had had plenty of room to move around.

Of course I couldn’t leave without a picture (below) of this guy (or gal–there was a male and a female in the flying show; I forget which one this was).

I don’t need any help from Google to know what bird this is: American Bald Eagle. (Go BC!)

And here’s the other half of the pair:

Below is another cutie. I believe it’s an African Harrier Hawk.

I didn’t take pictures of all the birds in the park (there were so many!), but this one caught my attention. It reminded me of the Pokemon Rufflet (I know, my geek is showing) the way the feathers on his head were standing up and the blue-gray color. My son tells me I’m nuts because Rufflet is a baby eagle, but whatever. That was what popped into mind when I saw this pretty fellow. 🙂

I can’t recommend this place highly enough. It was awesome! The birds, the information, the shows, all of it fantastic. If you’re ever in the area, check it out! (In addition to birds they have a couple of cute little meerkats, and at the end of the day don’t miss the ferret race!)

Tomorrow we’re back to exploring history, another big landmark that gets tons of visitors every day. Any guesses?