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Birds of prey impress at falconry event
5:00am Monday 28th April 2014 in News
Owls and falcons swooped, ducked, and dived at a special birds of prey event on Saturday.
Visitors at Paradise Park in Newhaven were left wide-eyed in amazement by the team from Herstmonceux-based Sussex Falconry.
Steven Charlton (pictured right), from the group, said: “Saturday was great. We had lots of people down and they all got a chance to handle the birds.
“The birds really do excite people. I think it is that fierce, natural beauty. That predatory force gets people, even those who aren’t normally that bothered about birds.”
The star of the show was a Saker Falcon, which is traditionally favoured in the Arab countries for its hunting skills.
Also on show were three owls – a barn owl, burrowing owl and a southern white faced owl.
Youngsters queued up to have a go at holding the awesome beasts, at the same time as finding out more about them from the team.
Mr Charlton added that the main focus for him was education.
He said: “That’s the big thing for us. Pure and simple, the children are the future and they are the ones who will have to protect and look after these beautiful creatures.
“We want to make a lasting impression on them. If one person goes away from our shows and ends up working for the World Wildlife Trust or something like that, then that’s our job done.”
He added: “We don’t mess around with the birds or make them do tricks. They are the master in this relationship and I’m the servant.”
The group tours the county with appearances at children’s events, gardening centres and steam rallies.
They can also be hired out for private functions and experiences.
Among their upcoming appearances include the English Medieval Festival in Herstmonceux between August 23 and 25, the Heathfield Show on May 24 and the Ringmer Steam Rally on July 26 and 27.
For more details and to book the group visit www.sussexfalconry.co.uk.
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