Rocky the barn owl, Star the American kestrel, Shadow the buzzard and Spike the goshawk were special visitors to year 4 pupils at Liskeard Hillfort Primary School last week.

The birds of prey came into the classroom on 18 and 21 April with falconer Sharon Bindon of Ancient Art Falconry, based in Liskeard, thanks to national initiative Falconry for Schools.

The eight- and nine-year-olds are learning about predators this term so a visit from Sharon’s birds fitted well into their lessons.

Sharon said: “The children absolutely loved meeting the birds. I think when you bring something so beautiful into the classroom and they can touch it, they will remember it for life.

“I always hope that I can pique interest in the environment and perhaps in becoming a falconer themselves and a several of the pupils seemed really interested.”

The children learned about the anatomy of the birds, their life cycle and habitat and the equipment used by the falconer. Then ended up dissecting pellets to find out what they eat.

The school is now putting up a barn owl box with a web camera so they can learn more about our native raptors.

Falconry for School is a project run by The Countryside Alliance Foundation that takes birds of prey into primary and secondary schools, to help educate young people about the countryside and our wildlife.