The master of silent flight a prolific hunter and super-sensitive hearing – that’s the owl! Experience the true majesty and deftness of these feathered creatures at close quarters as you get to handle and fly some lovely owls on these experience days in Hertfordshire.
The company is headed up by Charlotte and her father John so it’s a proper family affair. The location is superb in a field in the heart of the Rib Valley situated between Welwyn and Harlow. And at neighbouring Westmill Farm park there are lots of things for all ages to see and do (payable locally) from crazy golf to well-stocked fishing lakes and a superb restaurant. There’s even a campsite so you could make a weekend of it!
The team has a wonderful collection of resident owls some of whom you’ll meet here in Herts. From Ouzo the Siberian Eagle Owl who’s a bit of a hunting supremo and James the Barn Owl with his gorgeous heart-shaped face to Earl the brilliantly named Great Grey Owl and Saki the Brown Asian Wood Owl who has been hand-reared from the age of two weeks.
Owls are truly fascinating. During your two-hours on site you’ll discover that they come in all different shapes and sizes but all of them have those mesmerising eyes and all of them can deftly turn their heads 270 degrees giving them near enough all round vision. All the better for keeping an eye on their prey. They are carnivorous and some are even cannibals. Most are nocturnal and many have incredible hearing allowing them to detect a mouse scurry away from a serious distance.
As well as meeting and hearing all about the history of owls how they are trained (which by their very nature isn’t easy!) and how they hunt you’ll also have plenty of handling time too. There’s something quietly exhilarating about the first time you pull on one of the falconer’s gloves for an owl to perch delicately on your hand. You get a serious close up of those ferocious claws get to look into those big big eyes and see the stunning tones and patterns in their feathers.
Of course taking a camera to capture all these unmissable moments on your owl experience is essential. The owls that take part in these handling days are whilst remaining the wild birds that they are calm and relaxed in the company of humans and some love nothing more than having a bit of a squawk whilst posing for a selfie with you!