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Birds of Prey

SSA students and parents visit Christmas Hills for a live birds of prey display.

Sunday 8th of Feb saw a presentation by David Barker-Gabb (Founding President Australasian Raptor Association) and demonstration by the Full Flight Conservation Centre of Eagles, Falcons and Owls that saw us up close and personal to watch them fly.
SSA Student Sebastian couldn't be much happier (w) Stanly the Barking Owl
SSA students Pearl, Tilly, Milla and Sebastian along with some of their family members were fortunate enough to make it to the newly refurbished Christmas Hills Mechanics Institute Hall for the awe inspiring display of Native Birds of Prey as the SSA celebrated its first group outing.
SSA Student Pearl (w) Stanley, Barking Owl
SSA student family members getting up close & personal. Leonard (w) Stanley the Barking Owl
The demonstration started off with 2 owls, Tin Tin the Masked owl and Stanley the Barking owl. Supremely and surprisingly quiet in flight, these gorgeous looking birds were dead silent, the perfect night predator. The flight show had these beautiful birds flying just centimeters from our heads as we sat in the gallery.
Tin Tin, Masked Owl
Hayley - Screeching Kite. In her direct flight path in a close (just cm's) fly over.
Next came Hayley, a Screeching Kite and was in stark contrast to the lithe Owls. Next came the a Hobby Falcon and Peregrine, birds of amazing speed and agility. Unfortunately the 'local residents' of Eagles were out and the handlers were uncomfortable flying these two majestic birds but the walk byes the handlers did got all of us close enough to see the vibrant plumage and contours of its wings.
Zoe - Australian Hobby Falcon
Next came the show stopper! Zorro an 8 year old male Wedge Tail Eagle weighing close to 4kg, and what a sight to behold, with a wing span of 2m the audience was left in awe!
Zorro, Male Wedge Tail Eagle in flight landing.
SSA Student Milla picked to be in the Flight Show (w) Stanley the Barking Owl.
SSA students and family were fortunate enough to get up close and personal, even being included in the flight show! Being fitted with a sturdy leather glove we were able to hold Stanley the Barking Owl and pet and scratch Zorro, would you have ever dreamed of touching a Wedge Tail Eagle? WOW!
SSA Students Sebastian and Tilly up close & personal (w) Zorro.
SSA Students Tilly & Pearl (w) Zorro
A truly remarkable day in the gorgeous surrounds of Christmas Hills and full credit to the Christmas Hills Landcare Group for organising such an event, to David Baker-Gabb for his excellent lecture and to the Full Flight Conservation Centre for their very informative and entertaining lecture and Birds of Prey flight show.
SSA Student Mill (w) Zorro.
I know I was left on a high all night as I'm sure everyone else was too!
Southern Schools of Aikido Chief Instructor Scott Sensei (w) Zorro. Who doesnt like a good scratch? Zorro in total bliss.
Full Flight Conservation Centre
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