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Leeds Castle News13 December 2018

Harris Hawks Keye and Texas: Retiring from Duty!

This month marks the end of an era for two much-loved birds at our Falconry Centre. Texas and Keye, two of our popular Harris Hawks, have now officially “retired” from their normal day-to-day duties of demonstrations and experiences days at the Castle. 

Over the years, both Texas and Keye have played a special part in both the set-up and overall running of the Falconry Centre, and have regularly taken part in our visitor falconry displays and private falconry experience days.

Keye, who is now 17 years old, has been cared for by one of our Falconry Team members since he was only 3 months old. Texas, who is currently 7 years old, was adopted by the Falconry Team four years ago when she was found as a lost bird. Our Falconry Team nourished her back to good health and looked after her before re-training her so she could become part of our regular falconry displays.

Now retired, both Keye and Texas can enjoy their new home in one of the Falconry Centre’s five new aviaries that opened this September. They will be the first birds to start our Bird of Prey Breeding program, which will hopefully grow over the coming years with other species being introduced.

Our Falconry Team are also delighted to have also welcomed the arrival of some new birds this year… Why not pop along and see them for yourselves? 


Our new female Red Legged Seriema is a natural snake killer in the wild. The team will be demonstrating how she catches and kills snakes in the wild in our shows with the use of a toy snake!


Stella is a female Siberian Eagle Owl and is now the largest Owl we have living at the Centre. She can be seen in some demonstrations but mainly she is being flown on our experience days.


Chester is a male Common Buzzard, which are a native species to the UK. We are very lucky to have these breeding wild on the Estate and can been seen regularly soaring above the Great Water. Our Falconry Team would eventually like to fly him in our demonstrations and on experiences so visitors can see what they look like up close!


Our newest addition to the Falconry Centre is Jensen, a Barbary Falcon. Jensen is currently still in training but you’ll hopefully be seeing him flying around very soon.