Eric was one of the very first members of our team.
Still with his mottled juvenile plumage, he flies perfectly either alone or as part of a team of hawks (known as a cast when flown together).
He has an incredible bond with his trainer, Mike, and is always a big hit with the public.
He always tries to show the other hawks who’s boss and even though he’s quite large for a male hawk, we have one bigger than him, Cooper.
Cooper normally puts Eric in his place and he will often seek refuge on Mike’s shoulder.
This comic sight only adds to his fantastic personality and popularity with the public.
Cooper is one of our most recent additions and, like Eric, has been with us since he was very young.
His trainer, David, has put in hours and even days at a time getting his used to new people, hawks, sights and sounds, this is a process called “manning”.
In the bird of prey world a female is usually a third bigger than a male, however, Cooper is a very big boy!
So much so that we had to get his DNA tested when he first arrived to us. Don’t worry, we can confirm he is a boy and we do not have a gender confused hawk!
Even though he is the baby of the team, being the biggest boy, he is very much in charge and will quite happily put the others in their place if he thinks they are miss behaving!
Gwen is the oldest member of our team. But being five years old she is nowhere near “past it”.
Harris Hawks, in captivity, can often live to the grand old age of 30 and even beyond, so she’s got many years of flying with us to go.
Gwen started off as a pest control bird but unfortunately developed a lung infection, meaning she could no longer work as she was seen as “too much work” to be worth keeping.
Obviously not an attitude we take, with our main concern always being the welfare and happiness of these magnificent birds.
She was rescued by the bird of prey centre and given a new home there, flying in demonstrations and interacting with the public on experiences.
With our main focus being working with Harris Hawks, we have since taken her on so we can keep her fitness up by flying her regularly.
Because of her ongoing lung issues we are very careful not to over work Gwen, so although she does sometimes fly as part of our pest control team, her main job is meeting the public for educational purposes.
With her nice calm temperament, she is the perfect bird for the job!