Radical Raptors!

Benedict Wilson
5 February 2020

RAPTORS HEADER

An eager group of NVT staff, volunteers and interns headed to Radical Raptors last week to enjoy an excellent afternoon at their rehabilitation and education centre. The flight show did not disappoint and was an awesome opportunity to come eye to eye with Spotted Eagle-owls and talon to glove with some of the region’s most majestic raptors. The centre provides entertainment for all ages, it gives visitors the chance to be mesmerised by the beauty of these regal creatures up close and personal, whilst also being educated into life in the avian world; Radical Raptors has it all.

The show was jovial, informative and truly engaging. We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit and were amazed by the aerial acrobatics these raptors are capable of, especially as we were treated to multiple exhilarating encounters as the birds swooped literally overhead. Visitors can expect to marvel at Spotted Eagle-owls, Harrier Hawks and Jackal Buzzards in the display, dependent on the days flying conditions of course. In addition, there is the chance to behold the sheer size of the Verreaux’s and African Fish Eagles, in contrast to the tiny Rock Kestrels that grace the coastline of Robberg peninsula. During our visit we also learnt about the hunting behaviours of these expert predators, with particular focus on their feathers and flight. The trip was highly informative thanks to our guide Mark (along with his expertly trained dog Gustav- who cannot be left out!) who was professional and entertaining with a great sense of humour. Furthermore, it was also lovely to see the welfare of the birds was always put first.

HANDLING

The centre is home to an impressive collection of birds of prey undergoing crucial rehabilitation, with the ultimate end goal being release back into the wild, when possible.  On this particular visit we were treated with a glimpse into the inner workings of the rehabilitation side of the centre. NVT were able to assist the centre with the ringing of a Spotted Eagle-owl that was due to be released. In addition, two Booted Eagles which had recently come into the care of the centre needed to be treated, allowing NVT to lend a hand with the rehab of these poor wounded animals, a great experience although tinged with sadness. However, on a happier note NVT has recently announced its ongoing sponsorship of the centres pair of southern white-faced owls: Owlbert and Hootdini and it was great to see they were in great hands with Radical Raptors!

REHAB SECTION

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark and the staff at Radical Raptors for an epic afternoon and we look forward to our next visit!

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