Helmsley Highlights – Birds of Prey Centre

There is always lots to do and see here in Helmsley but this weekend our town will be celebrating some of North Yorkshire's winged wildlife.

Over the weekend, of 30th and 31st January, Helmsley visitors and eagle-eyed bird watchers can visit the International Centre for Birds of Prey, to celebrate the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.

The centre, which is only a few minutes walk from us here at the Feversham Arms Hotel, will provide the opportunity to see an impressive collection of exotic and spectacular birds of prey. There are also two flying demonstrations every day and plenty of opportunities to see the birds being trained on the flying field.

Charlie Heap, Director at the International Centre for Birds of Prey, said we can expect to see non-migratory garden birds in the Helmsley area like blue tits, black birds, wrens and sparrows.

Charlie also told us there is a good population of wild birds of prey around here too. He said buzzards can be seen circling high in the sky and kestrels can be spotted hovering over the roadside verges.

He also mentioned that: “Helmsley will see some pretty cool winter migrants such as waxwings at this time of year, which come to the UK in the winter from Scandinavia and Fieldfares.”

More than half a million people across the UK will be taking part in the bird watch, counting in their gardens, countryside’s and bird centres. Here at the Feversham Arms, we will be seeing what we can spot from our terrace and we invite you to join us!

The event is not only a fun weekend for bird fans and families to get spotting, but the records collected by the public will provide a vital snapshot of UK nature.

Data collected from last year’s event showed an increase in most of the top 20 UK birds, with the House Sparrow coming in top.

Speaking about his collection at the International Centre for Birds, Charlie said:

“We house the largest collections of raptors in the north of England. We have over 100 birds ranging in size from a Burrowing Owl who weighs 130gms (the same as an iPhone!) up to Steller’s Sea Eagle with an 8ft wingspan. We have everything from owls, vultures, kites, falcons, hawks, eagles and more.”

If you’re tempted to get involved in the Big Garden Bird Watch and see how many birds you can spot please visit https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdwatch

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