When you mentioned the words: Bird of Prey – I am sure many think immediately of an eagle. Of course for those familiar with Birds of Prey will know that this group is a great deal larger than just eagles. However, eagles are probably one of the most majestically creatures in this world. They fly with so much grace and control through the sky, that it does leave you wonder what it would be like to see one up close and personal.
Now I have been fortunate to see eagles in the wild. Maybe not up close on personal, but definitely in flight in the sky. And, I have visited many bird sanctuaries, where you can view them – but more in an aviary setting than in their true habitat. Imagine my surprise when I learnt about a Bird of Prey center right here in Perth. And imagine how more surprised when I learnt that I could actually hold an eagle and a falcon and get to see these birds fly in their habitat.
Yvonne Stiko is the owner of WA Birds of Prey Center, and every so often she offers a flight display for the public. Sometimes, she may have an eagle and falcon encounter. However the latter is restricted to certain days and times, and bookings is imperative – as you can well imagine. You can visit her website for more information:
I was not to sure what to expect at the flight display. But I was pleasantly surprised to find a group of people sitting outside while Yvonne was preparing all her birds for flight. It is a very rare experience where you can view birds in flight in their natural habitat, and today’s experience was be held at the Caversham Wildlife Park. There was a buzz of excitement, as most of us were keen to hold an eagle. However, what I found more entertaining that the thought of holding an eagle, was how Yvonne began showing different types of birds of prey and what they could do.
Apart form hawks, falcons and eagles, Yvonne also show cased her owls. And to be honest, there is one owl that really stole the hearts of everyone at the venue. His name is Oscar – and he has the most amazing personality. He likes to talk with sounds much that of a dog barking – hence his common name – the barking owl.
Of course, the part arrived where we all had the chance to hold a falcon and an eagle. And all I can say that it was an amazing experience to hold a bird of this size – so close! I believe I got total value out of this experience. It was well worth it.
The flight display with and eagle encounter lasts about 2 hours, and while there are drinks for sale during the break, I do recommend you take some water with you. There are also a few collectibles (such as kids packs, ornaments, t-shirts etc) So if you go, make sure you take a few extra dollars for a memento.
I stayed behind to speak to Yvonne about her passion for Birds of Prey. And what I found out is that Yvonne is the sole owner of WA Birds of Prey. She plays a huge part in rescuing birds of prey that have been injured. On one particular day, Yvonne drove a good 2 hours to pick up an injured bird, and then took care of it until its release. She receive no grants from the government, and relies completely on the generosity of the public to continue educating, caring and rescuing these birds. She also plays an integral part in the school’s education system by visiting a number of schools through the year to educate children on Birds of Prey.
I give this experience 5 stars out of 5 stars….and of course recommend it to anyone who is in, or visiting, the Perth region.