Rotorua Visitor Guide - - News - Want to know more? Go to www.wing­span.co.nz

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.

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