Watch soaring birds of prey over Halifax and then learn how to get to one to land on your gloved hand! This fun and friendly falconry experience in West Yorkshire is the perfect introduction to this most noble sport – and the local scenery will take your breath away.
So leave the smoke and smog behind and head for the green green hills. That’s exactly what husband and wife team Kevin and Jo Ryan did and now they are the keepers of a fine collection of raptors that they will proudly introduce you to.
They are careful to explain that these admirable hunters are not pets so it’s not about petting and stroking them it’s more a case of winning a mutual respect and nurturing the working partnership between bird and handler. Hunting together in the wilds of West Yorkshire a handler and their charge can make a formidable coalition as you’ll soon see.
Despite not being domesticated pets the birds are very tame and used to humans being around them and each one most definitely has their own character traits that will soon become apparent as you learn to handle them. For example Ruby the Ruppells Griffon Vulture has an impressive 8ft wing span and loves nothing more than to watch everything that’s going on around her from her favourite post.
Then there are the Harris Hawks. We think we can safely say that these two have our favourite birds of prey names ever – Jack and Vera. If you love the cute factor look no further than Boo the adorable Barn Owl who does indeed have the slightly surprised look at all times. Our favourite has to be Meg the Bengal Eagle Owl who adores slowly close her eyes as she basks in the evening Yorkshire sunshine. What a blissful life!
Having met both the feathered and non-feathered team here in Halifax and learnt the basics about getting birds of prey to land on your fist it’s time to choose your partner for your mission. And this is what we love most about this session as you get to work with your favourite bird. And as group sizes are kept small (usually up to just four guests) there’s plenty of choice.
The finale of this experience with the birds of prey in Halifax is to take your favourite winged hunter out on a walk. Whether you’ll be encouraging Phoenix the Ferruginous Hawk to swoop over the rolling hills or watching in admiration as Popeye the cheeky Peregrine x Saker Falcon dives in a great speed it’s a truly inspirational and impressive sight to witness and be part of. Enjoy!