Whilst on an alternative work assignment I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the good people at Wingspan in Rotorua NZ. Their primary role as a charity is to recover & rehabilitate New Zealand raptor species and educate the public on the incredible little New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) and other endangered indigenous raptor species. The NZ Falcon is a forest raptor, with shorter wings than a peregrine, and a slightly longer tail to enable extremely tight manoeuvring through dense forest and bushland. David and Andrew were kind enough to give me a full tour of the facility, along with an opportunity to feed their male & female falcons by hand in an amazing public flight display. This educational flying display is second to none and gives visitors the opportunity to experience these highly intelligent birds up close and very personally. I was also given a one-off special tour of the backrooms where research is undertaken, recovered eggs incubated and specimens studied. It’s amazing to see the positive contributions that Wingspan has made in the efforts to educate the public about conservation of raptors as a vitally necessary link in the food chain, and how we can all help to preserve the world’s raptor species; these lessons can be applied to every country. As an aside search the Internet on the now extinct “Haast Eagle”, sadly lost for all time.
If you get your hands on a New Zealand $20 note you’ll see the NZ Falcon on the back!
And if you get the chance to visit Rotorua in New Zealand I strongly recommend you come see the good people at Wingspan; tell them I sent you!! Thanks heaps, Andrew and David, for your valuable time today. Much learnt and remembered.