Nature vs Captivity For Falcons, Owls And Hawks As The Cold Winter Bites

Industry: Activities

Birds of prey in the wild are struggling this winter in the UK, whilst raptors kept by falconers flourish.

Biggin Hill, UK (PRUnderground) February 7th, 2011

Wildlife organizations are saying that because of the cold weather in the UK these past few months, raptors in the wild are struggling to find food, whilst birds bred in captivity for falconry and pest control continue to thrive.

With temperatures plummeting to well below zero between November and January, concerns amongst avian experts have been growing, as the number of ringed birds of prey fending for themselves in the countryside found dead has reached record numbers.

Particularly hit are Barn Owls. According to the RSPB the snow cover seen in the UK this winter has made it difficult for owls to find the voles and mice they feed on. Despite the slight thaw in temperatures during January, conditions are still difficult.

Little wonder then that falconers have been keeping a careful watch on their falconry birds that live in mews – the official name for where such birds are housed. Although bred in captivity, these birds used for the sport or falconry still very much have their hunter instincts, but clearly don’t have to rely on them for food.

Before this dangerous winter spell, the numbers of birds such as Barn Owls in the natural world were on the increase, as is the number of falconry centres breeding and training raptors like Hawks, Falcons, Kestrels and Owls. Not only is the sport of falconry continuing to be popular, falconry experience days are seeing a significant increase in numbers.

Activity gift voucher company Into the Blue has been offering gift vouchers for falconry days for over 10 years. Into the Blue managing director Jim Maitland commented: “When we started offering falconry days the idea of spending time learning about birds of prey and flying them was quite new. Now, we offer falconry experiences at over 30 different centres in the UK and demand has never been higher.”

Given the fact the falconry is a sport that involves keeping and rearing birds of prey that would naturally be out in the wild, Into the Blue ensures that it works with fully insured falconry experience suppliers who are members of the British Falconer’s Club or the British Hawking Association.

Into the Blue’s range of falconry experiences now covers the length and breadth of the UK, with hawk walks, owl evenings, one hour, two hour, half day and full day falconry experiences available. In all cases participants get to meet the birds and have a go flying a bird of prey from the glove. Prices for falconry experiences start at £29 per person.

For more information contact Caroline Face at

About Into the Blue:
Into the Blue is a specialist experience activity gift voucher company that started life in 1996 as an off-shoot of Air Displays International Ltd (operator of the world-renowned Biggin Hill Air Fair), offering flying activities and lessons.

Since then, the company has added a whole range of different activities to the portfolio of activity gift voucher experiences, which now totals in excess of 400. All experiences are available to buy directly from or by calling 01959 578100.

The company continues to evolve the range and believes that there is a perfect experience suitable for every individual and for every occasion.


Become a Fan

Press Contact

Caroline Face
01959 578100

Image Gallery