Knockhatch Adventure Park

Falconry Centre

Watch our amazing birds of prey in action

Our dedicated Falconry Centre located in East Sussex is home to a variety of amazing Birds of Prey. Visit our centre to learn about these impressive birds and see them up close.  Marvel as they soar and swoop in the sky, during a display given by our expert bird handlers. Watching the Peregrine Falcon, one of the fastest birds of prey, speed through the sky on the hunt for food is an amazing sight!  The outdoor displays will be dependent on the weather. See our Park Schedule on the day of your visit for show times provided by the Falconry Centre staff. You may also get the opportunity to see other impressive birds, such as our vultures, and our owls.  For safety reasons, during the displays, the falconry centre building is closed, to allow staff access to the birds. In the event of poor weather, owl displays will be held in the Display Barn (on the farm animal side of Knockhatch), where the doors will be shut to avoid any birds escaping and having uncontrolled contact, with other park visitors.  Visitors are therefore requested to be punctual for the indoor displays, as the doors cannot be opened, once the demonstration begins.

Why are our birds tethered?

The tethering of a bird of prey in the Falconry Centre is applied out of absolute necessity because in the wild raptors will, and do, prey on birds, including other raptors.  If these birds were loose within the Falconry Centre, they may quite naturally "hunt" the bird standing next to them with one intention, and that is to eat it.  This in itself is a totally natural phenomena and although all the birds here at Knockhatch were bred in captivity, they are only trained, NOT tame and it for this reason they need to be tethered. All the birds tethered at Knockhatch Falconry Centre are flown free, every day, at various locations and they return to their falconer, because they want to and for no other reason. We would also like our visitors to know that as holders of a zoo licence, Knockhatch Farm and Falconry Centre is subject to an in depth inspection, both by either council officials or DEFRA every year. DEFRA is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

Weathering Area

Beside our Falconry Centre you will see our weathering area. Due  to the predatory nature of the birds (they will often catch, kill and eat one another), a number of our flying team are tethered in this area during the day. The weathering area forms up an important part of the bird's daily lives and just like people, many of our birds simply enjoy 'sitting in the garden' watching the world go by. Weather permitting; all our birds free fly every day and in-between each birds flying session, the weathering area gives the birds the chance to sit and relax before they fly again. The tethering aspect is to ensure the health and safety of all the birds in our collection.  One significant health benefit for the birds sitting out in this area is the absorption of vitamin D, gained from sitting in direct sunlight. This critical element allows for the proper break down of calcium within the birds body, thus giving them a strong healthy skeletal system, which of course is paramount for these winged predators.  The birds are carefully monitored throughout the day and should any of them show signs of discomfort by the cold or heat they are placed back in their indoor housing. 
African Spotted Eagle Owl
African Spotted Eagle OwlBubo Africanus Distribution: Sub-Saharan Africa, from Kenya and Uganda, south to the cape and North to the Southern borders of the Central African rainforest of Zaire and south Gabon and locally in South Arabia.  Habitat: Open or semi-open woodlands with large sh...
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American Kestrel
American KestrelFalcon sparverius  Distribution: North, Central and South America.  Habitat: Virtually all open and semi-open areas. Deserts, plains, wooded savannah, marshes, fields, scrub, open woodlands and edges, clear-cut areas, farmland pf all type and suburban environments, absen...
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Barn Owl
Barn OwlTyto AlbaDistribution: This species can be found worldwide, from temperate to warm climates but generally absent from colder climes.  Habitat: Open countryside is the preferred environment, such as pasture, farm and grasslands, hilly landscaped with scattered trees for roosting, parks...
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Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous HawkButeo RegalisLength: 50-66cmWingspan: 134-152cmDistribution: Nearctic. Western North America, breeds southwest Canada (Southern areas of British Columbia. Alberta, Saskatchewan and extreme southwest Manitoba) and western USA (East to western parts of Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas, nor...
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Great Horned Owl
Bubo VirginianusOrigin : North and Central South AmericaWeight:0.9kg - 2.5kgHeight / Wingspan:46cm - 63cm  /  101cm / 145cmLifespan:28 years (wild) / 28+ years (captivity)Diet :Small to medium mammals and birdsReproduction : 1-4 eggs per breeding seasonHabitat:Woodlands, swamps, ...
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Harris Hawk
Harris HawkParabuteo Unicincyus Unicinctus Distribution: Southernmost USA, Mexico and parts of Central and South America.  Habitat: Mainly dry, arid regions, such as savannah, open grass and scrubland, open countryside in both high and lowlands. Woodlands, semi-desert with the saguaro cactus, ...
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KookaburraDacelo The Kookaburra are between 28–42 cm or 11–17 in in length, they are terrestrial kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea. They are known for their hysterical laughter. They can be found in habitats ranging from humid forest to th...
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Lanner Falcon
Lanner FalconFalco Biarmicus  Distribution: South and southeast Europe, the Middle East, South-westernmost Asia and Africa. Habitat: Desert, savannah, wooded grassland, forest cliffs, mountains and will often hunt over fields and coastal areas.  Food: Primarily small to medium bir...
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Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon ~  Falco Peregrinus Key Facts Distribution : Cosmopolitan, one of the most widely spread birds of prey in the world. Indigenous to all inhabited continents and can also be found on many different islands Weight : 550g (male)  750g (female) average  &nbs...
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Red Kite
Red KiteMilvus milvusDistribution: Endemic to west Palearctic, Great Britain, west and central Europe.Habitat: Historically in towns and cities, grass, heath and moorland, cultivated areas, low scrub, wetland edges and in Wales, Sheep-walks. Typically nests in open woodlands, chiefly broadleaf trees...
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Saxer x Peregrine Falcon
Saker & Peregrine Falcon Falco cherrug x Falco Peregrinus Key Facts Weight :  650g male  /  1200g female                          Lifespan : 15-20 years (captivity)  Diet : Mammals and B...
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Striated Caracara
Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus AustalisDistribution: Endemic to the Falklands and islands off both the Chilean and Argentine coasts of Tierra del Fuego, including Isla de los Estado, south of Beagle channel and the Peninsula Mitre at Southeast corner of Isla Grande itself.  Habitat: Rock...
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Striped Owl
Striped OwlAsio clamator Distribution: Southern Mexico, Central America, locally to Colombia, Venezuela, Guyanas, Eastern Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Northern Argentina and Uruguay and also the Caribbean islands.  Habitat: Open and semi-open grasslands with scattered trees, small groves and...
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Tawny Owl
Tawny OwlStrix AlucoDistribution: United Kingdom and continental Europe, Asia Minor, Middle East, E. China and Taiwan and North Africa.  Habitat: Semi-open deciduous and mixed forests with clearings and farmland that have avenues of tree’s, open woodland, parks, gardens, coniferous f...
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Turkey Vulture
Turkey VultureCathartes aura Distribution: North, Central and South America.  Habitat: Wide variety from lightly timbered, open countryside, woodlands, grassland, savannah to coastal deserts, also in forests when canopy cover is slightly open.  Food: Mainly carrion; especially corpses...
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