If you are lucky enough to visit York UK, you must visit the beautiful museum gardens on the Museum Street. Not only is it a beautiful place to have a picnic, and relax, but you can also visit birds of prey! What many people don’t is that Owl adventures do a free of charge owl flying show at 1 PM and 3 PM every day.
It is a short (around 20 minutes) show to demonstrate the owl training and flying, and to raise awareness about conservation of the birds of prey.
The first flight was the Barn Owl (see featured image). Andrew, the coordinator of the event told us that you can get Barn Owls all over the world, other than the Arctic. They also come in other colours including black and brown.
Harris Hawk Image Credit: Amy Trumpeter (Globetrotter Guru)
We also saw a Canadian Great Horned Owl (below) and a Harris Hawk (above), but the Harris Hawk couldn’t fly – he would need much more space and probably get lost in Museum Gardens! The Canadian Horned Owl that we saw was called Eva, who had a very funny walk. The owls were very food motivated, and Eva seemed to follow her trainer almost everywhere!
Whenever, I see animals on display in this way, I always enquire and check on their welfare. The birds of prey in museum gardens were well looked after, fed and watered. They had perches and water available and very positive relationships with their handlers. The owls were used to being around people.
Don’t worry about the owls needing to sleep – most of the owls and birds of prey are daytime species. The only nocturnal species of owl there was the Barn Owl, and he flew first to get his food and then went back to sleep! I was also pleased to hear that some of the money raised by Owl Adventures at the Owl demonstrations and flying shows goes towards increasing owl numbers in the UK. An excellent cause to support.
Canadian Horned Owl
Tips for your free Owl Adventure!
- Arrive promptly at around 12.50pm or 2.50pm, and you will see the owls when you enter from Museum Street and keep walking straight down the path!
- You can actually sit in between the perches, and the owls will fly over you – the barn owl flew right over my head!
- They ask for volunteers so your kids should get their hands up (or you if you want a go!) The first set of volunteers get to fly the owls. The second set involves around 10 volunteers lying on the floor for the grand finale, which is the Canadian Horned Owl flying over them!
- There will be other birds of prey on their perch, and you can hold them and take a photo for a donation of just £3.00. This goes towards conservation of birds of prey in the UK.
What I learnt about Birds of Prey from Owl Adventures!
I learnt a lot about Owls during the show. Apparently, the female owl is much bigger than the male. Owls love to conserve energy – they only fly when they are hungry and need to hunt. The power in their talons will crush and kill its prey instantly.
The nocturnal owls have completely black eyes. If the owl’s eyes has some yellow or orange then they are daytime owls.
Barn owls are endangered in this country (UK), not only due to lack of habitat, but also deaths by else lying in front of trains. Owl Adventures do a lot of conservation work to help increase the numbers end get phone else back to my healthy population in the wild.
The biggest species of owl is a European eagle owl. I actually held one of these during a Harry Potter Exhibition an my arm nearly fell off!!!
Want to learn how to handle Birds of Prey?
Owl adventures also do falconry courses from £40. Visit the website here.
Have you ever been to a falconry show or handled birds of prey? I’d love to hear your comments below.
You may also like to read about the York Card to save money on York attractions.
Places to Stay in York on TripAdvisor
Hotels in York on booking.com
Hotels in York on Agoda
Hotels in York on Laterooms.com
Hostels in York on HostelWorld.com