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Tiny kestrel is new star at International Centre for Birds of Prey at Duncombe Park, Helmsley
9:47am Friday 9th August 2013 in News
The diminutive American bird, the Scaravay, who is the latest addition to the International Centre for Birds of Prey at Duncombe Park
A KESTREL smaller than a blackbird is the latest star of a falconry display.
The diminutive American bird, Scaravay, is the latest addition to the International Centre for Birds of Prey situated in the grounds of the Duncombe Park estate in Helmsley.
Weighing just 94g, the 12-week-old bird has was bred at the organisation’s sister centre in Gloucester.
Using such a small bird in displays for the public at the centre presents its own problems. The tiny bird has to be weighed constantly to make sure it weighs enough to fly.
Falconer Charlie Heap, who runs the centre, said: “Birds have to have a flying weight like a boxer has a fight weight, in order to take part in displays.
“They have to be hungry enough to want to do something, but we can’t have them so hungry they haven’t got the energy to do anything.
“As he weighs just 94g there’s a very small margin of error. If you get a very cold night he will use extra energy keeping warm and will weigh too little in the morning, so we weigh him all the time.”
The American kestrel’s arrival has coincided with that of the biggest bird at the centre, a female Stellars Sea-eagle, which arrived this morning (Wednesday, August 7).
Sea-eagles are amongst the largest birds of prey in the world and the new arrival will be used in a breeding programme at the centre.
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