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So because i passed college my fiance decided to get me a surprise. All i knew was that we had to be out of the flat by 8 yesterday to travel somewhere. It turned out that she'd bought me a gift voucher for raptor handling session with raptorworld who are based at the scottish deer centre in cupar.

i used to be into birds of prey when i was a kid and in particular peregrine falcons. i was able to handle a peregrine as well as a merlin, kestrels, lanner, tawny owl, eagle owls, harris hawks and sekers. i was then taken to the arena where i got to fly an eagle owl and a harris hawk which was amazing! these images are just ripped from google but i'll try and replace them later with the birds i actually handled.


the eagle owls were MASSIVE but fairly docile. having been raised with humans he was happy enough being close to humans. all the birds were fairly friendly though i daren't put my ungloved fingers near some of them. the peregrine was particularly hardcore looking but very beautiful. the cutest were the merlin and the tawny owl.




Tawny Owl

So i had an amazing time and may have reignited a childhood obsession. Anyone else ever done this or have an interest?

I can definitely recommend the raptorworld guys. The handler we had was called Gary and as it was a quiet day he was very laid back about our time(it was meant to be two hours but we got a bit longer) and he let heather handle some too even though the voucher was just for me. we also carried some birds down after the main display. the huntly centre apparently were going to charge heather full price just for coming in and watching me handle the birds hence why we travelled down to fife for it rather than going there.

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owls are damned cool,there are a few live in the woods behind my house, and quite often in the early hours of the morning i can see them about 8 foot from my bedroom window sitting on the fence... there are 2 wee ones and 1 HUGE MOFO of an owl... there are also about 10 red squirrels that like to chase my cat...:up:

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is that a sparrowhawk? more likely after starlings and sparrows. but a big one could probably take a squirrel quite happily too. good job too, little grey bastards. :)

You're right about that being a Sparrowhawk and so probably being more interested in small birds than squirrels. Peregrines breed around Aberdeen, so you can quite regularly see them zooming over the city, terrorising the pigeons.

Nice to see a few pictures of my relations.

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