Pupils completing a BTEC Level 2 Animal Care course at Park High School, Colne, Lancashire have been learning about raptors with Falconry for Schools.

Our north of England instructor Sandra Johnson and her team have run a course of four mornings with the youngsters – teaching them about the history of falconry,  its uses today and about where and how our British birds live. Their final session will be on 7 November.

Sandra brought a number of her birds into the school – including peregrine falcon Geoff, Dustry the African spotted eagle owl, her kestrel Pippin and tropical screech owl Bubbles. In the final session she hopes to fly the birds for the pupils – weather permitting.

Teacher Sara Cartmel said the pupils had thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and it had fitted well into their course, which involves learning how to assess the health of different animals, handle and restraint techniques and studying animal behaviour and how to recognise atypical behaviour in different species.

Comments from the pupils:

“I have enjoyed learning about falconry because you got to hold the birds and learn how they hunt.

“I have enjoyed learning to hold them correctly and finding out about the food they eat.”

“I like that we get to do lots of fun activities like making the jesses and learning how to do the falconry knot. I am now very impressed and interested in birds of prey, Thanks.”

“I have liked learning all about the different types of birds, how they are different and how long they live and I have enjoyed all the activities.”

“I have enjoyed learning something different from normal school stuff and the staff are really nice.”

“I am really looking forward to future sessions and learning more about birds of prey.”

“I got to do things some people will never get to do.  I enjoyed handling the different birds. It is inspiring that some people devote their lives to these beautiful birds and I am looking forward to future sessions.”