ON THE WINGS OF SUCCESS
Have you ever been up close and personal to a bird of prey?
At Rotorua’s Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, you can do just that – it’s an encounter not to be missed.
Established as a charitable trust in 1992, Wingspan breeds and rehabilitates New Zealand raptors, educating visitors about these spectacular birds. Wingspan works with falcons, ruru (morepork), hawks and the native New Zealand falcon, the karearea, the country’s only remaining endemic bird of prey and now a threatened species.
At Wingspan you’ll see the incubation and service areas and take a walk through the main aviary where you’ll be treated to an interactive flying display showcasing the birds at their best. There’s also a museum to check out.
The goal of the Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust is to secure the future of New Zealand birds of prey through practical research-based conservation action and education. By visiting the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre, you’re helping to fund this work while at the same time experiencing the thrill of a close encounter with birds of prey.
Flying displays are held daily at 2pm and Wingspan is located on Paradise Valley Road, a short drive from Rotorua’s central city, off State Highway 5 (towards Hamilton).
Don’t miss the change to see this nationally significant, unique centre and before you head out there, check out the Wingspan website which has loads of fantastic information about the trust, its work and the birds it protects.
What is a raptor?
This is the name for a bird of prey. It comes fromthe Latin word‘ rapere’ which means to seize or take by force.
Birds of prey, as their name suggests, hunt for their food but the term refers to predatory birds which catch their pretty with their feet and have a hooked bill suitable for subduing their quarry and tearing flesh into edible chunks.
There are four native species of raptors in New Zealand, the swamp harrier, morepork (native owl), barn owl and the New Zealand falcon.