About us






Sunday, 17 April 2005


The Raptor Centre is a collection of several hundred birds of prey of about 40 different species, about five miles north of St Ives in Cambridgeshire. Surprisingly we had never been there before, but since it was the loveliest day of Spring so far we decided to stop on the way from our house to take Georgina back home. It was worth the visit ....


Several of the birds were flown in a display. Two of the handlers in this picture are flying a Harris Hawk, seen perched on the glove.

The Harris Hawk in flight.

An Eagle Owl just taking off. Note how steady its head is, compared with the rapid motion of the wings.

Another Harris Hawk about to take off from a high perch.

Bateleur eagle looking the wrong way.

Eagle owl having a rest on the ground. Maybe have a little fly later ....


Male Snowy Owl. The white colour is good camouflage in the snows of Northern Canada.

Mr & Mrs Barn Owl. These are the pale owls sometimes seen flitting like ghosts in car headlights late at night. They are found worldwide.

Mr & Mrs Snowy Owl. They look as if they have just had a disagreement about something!

One of several species of Eagle Owl. They are not native to Britain but are found throughout most of Europe and Asia.

The European Eagle Owl can reach 28 inches in length, even bigger than the Snowy Owl.

Another species of Eagle Owl.

Four Tawny Owls posing for a family snap. This is the commonest owl in Europe, and is the one with the characteristic `to-whit to-whoo' call (we hear them regularly from our house).

The Little Owl is only 9 inches long, tiny by comparison to the Eagle Owl (but still bigger than the Pygmy Owl). They sometimes hunt in daylight.

Two Short-Eared Owls having a rest. The `ears' are actually feathers which help camouflage when perched in trees. These rare owls also often hunt by day, often along remote coastlines with sand-dunes (if they can find amy).



The Bateleur is an African eagle, characterised by the mop of feathers giving it the appearance of having a huge head. This one is immature and has yet to gain its full colours.

The red-tailed hawk is essentially the American equivalent of the Buzzard. They are widespread throughout North America.

Not identified  but we think it is a Steppe Eagle, a native of Africa and occasional visitor to Southern Europe.

The Saker is a large falcon, very commonly used in falconry, and native of the Middle East.

The Hobby is one of the smallest falcons. They migrate, following hirundines (swallows and swifts) which are their favourite food. We very occasionally see one in Britain.

One of the world's most iconic eagles, the Bald Eagle (actually nothing of the sort, its head is covered with white feathers) is the national bird of the United States of America.

A Kestrel, probably the world's commonest bird of prey.

A magnificent Crested Serpent Eagle. These are forest birds of South-East Asia. As their name implies, they mainly eat snakes.

A Buzzard. We sometimes see these in England, but saw dozens recently in France and Germany. They will eat most small animals; their favourite food is rabbits.

A general view of one of the outdoor areas. Photograph by Charles.


Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. These lovely parrots are quite common in Australia.

This cockatoo has obviously been scratching its chest!

Budgerigars are small parrots from Australia, very popular as cage birds.


Loving sister and brother.

An `owl' with a rather unusual face ...

Someone interested in using all his energy to wear out his parents.

This species of monkey is very good at climbing.

Underneath the arch leading to the Eagle Owls.

Charles insisted on taking a photograph of his sister. The subject obviously inspired him to do particularly well.

Posing in front of the Snowy Owl enclosure.

Being admired by the Harris Hawks.

At the Bird of Prey showground.

Georgina bravely saving Charles from drowning himself.

Charles stroking an Eagle Owl ...

 .... and about to stroke a Barn Owl.


Most of these pictures are of the many varieties of tulips, including some with quite extraordinarily elaborate patterns and shapes of petals.


Cherry blossom in a hedgerow near Godmanchester.

Another view of the cherry blossom.

Apple orchard in Melbourn

Another view of the orchard.

Sycamore on the road from Melbourn to Foxton.

A field of Oil-Seed Rape: Pretty, but the bane of hay-fever sufferers, and the stray seed is taking over a lot of the countryside.