ConservationThere are around 22 species of birds of prey within the British Isles and these are split into 8 groups, they are falcons, hawks, eagles, kite, harriers, buzzards, osprey and owls. Some of these species are summer migrants to our shores and we also have some more unusual visitors from time to time.
Most people have always held birds of prey in high regard; they have played an important role in our culture and society through a variety of different means. Birds of prey are top predators and because of this are very easily affected by any change in their individual environments. For years this predatory sense was embraced by man and used to put food on the table but by the mid 1800's with the introduction of more accurate guns birds of prey were soon pushed to one side. From this birds of prey then suddenly became public enemy number one; they were now seen, as a pest, which predated what man felt was our food. Raptors became heavily persecuted and some species were actively hunted by man like the Red Kite, which was completely wiped out of England and Scotland.
Law now heavily protects birds of prey, but persecution on certain species still happens to this date. Large areas of moorland habitat in this country have no breeding Hen harriers due to direct persecution. Not all persecution is direct though one primary thing that affects birds on a national and international stage. Thousands of acres of rainforest are felled each year and this can have a critical impact on a huge variety of animals including raptors.
One bird on the global front has drastically been hit by persecution and that is the Gyps vulture species, no fewer than 40million birds have died in the last 10-20 years that is a 98% decline. This has been through the use of a drug in Africa treating livestock, which is deadly towards vultures, which are in fact solely scavengers and a vital part of any ecosystem.
Here at Peckforton Castle Falconry we aim to raise more awareness about birds of prey conservation both on a national and international stage through the work we do with our captive bred raptors. Please check back to our news page for updates on raptor conservation.
Our collection of birds of prey range from owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles which can be found by day weathering on the castle lawns. We also pride ourselves on having a variety of British species in the collection as two of our main aims are education and conservation.
We offer a range of activities with the birds of prey which can include hands-on encounters flying the birds at the castle, corporate entertainment with the birds and free flying displays to name but a few. Everything you need to know should be here on this site but if you would like to find out more please feel free to contact us!
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