We are all very proud of our Birds of prey at Belvoir Castle. The birds – Scooby and Rodney (Harris Hawks and both 7 years old) and Persil the Barn Owl are kept in mews situated in the central courtyard of the castle, in converted game larders.
They are all looked after by an enthusiastic and dedicated team of handlers – headed up by Rhi Clark. The birds are very carefully tended and every day they are weighed, checked, cleaned, fed and flown, but their daily job is to chase the pigeons off the castle lead roof.
In the summer months they are flown every day around the estate to discourage pigeons from landing on the roof and they also regularly attend charity events.
Persil is our tame barn owl. He is 6 years old and is much loved by his handlers and very popular with the visitors as he is so approachable. He on occasion even performs the duty of ring bearer to the best man at some of our weddings.
During the summer months all 3 birds are flown for school groups visiting Knipton Cricket Fields as part of the Duchess’s Cricket Trust
We are always prepared to take the birds out to schools for demonstrations and educational talks – if you are interested please contact Rhi Clark on 01476 870624
Being a bird handler or ‘Hawker’ demands a high level of commitment, but we do welcome interested people to join our team of volunteers. Again if you are interested please contact Rhi Clark on the number above.