stretch their wings

Go Travel New Zealand - - Marlborough -

Vis­i­tors to Marl­bor­ough can get up-close and per­sonal with a New Zealand fal­con (karearea) and wit­ness first-hand the in­cred­i­ble aer­o­bat­ics of New Zealand’s only en­demic bird of prey.

Build­ing on a five-year re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Marl­bor­ough Fal­con Trust and Bran­cott Es­tate, the Marl­bor­ough Fal­con Trust Fal­con Val­ley at Bran­cott Es­tate Her­itage Cen­tre is a must­see vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence.

For a do­na­tion, vis­i­tors can view two of the Trust’s ad­vo­cacy birds, with all dona­tions con­tribut­ing to on­go­ing aware­ness and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of fal­cons at the Trust’s aviary. “En­sur­ing the fu­ture sur­vival of the New Zealand fal­con through aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion is a key aim of the Marl­bor­ough Fal­con Trust. Our ad­vo­cacy fal­cons give peo­ple the chance to see for them­selves how ma­jes­tic and in­tel­li­gent th­ese birds are” says Amanda Sim­cic, Trustee, Marl­bor­ough Fal­con Trust.

In ad­di­tion to the Fal­con Walk, vis­i­tors to the Bran­cott Es­tate Her­itage Cen­tre can also see a fal­con in full-flight as part of the Bran­cott Es­tate Fal­con En­counter. “New Zealand fal­cons are in­cred­i­bly ac­ro­batic fly­ers, able to reach speeds of up to 200kph when hunt­ing” says Amanda. “The Bran­cott Es­tate Fal­con En­counter is a unique op­por­tu­nity to see the fal­cons dis­play­ing their fly­ing skills, and is the only ex­pe­ri­ence of its kind in the South Is­land.” Also in­cluded in the Bran­cott Es­tate Fal­con En­counter is a tast­ing of wines from the Bran­cott Es­tate Living Land range of or­ganic wines. “The New Zealand fal­cons are an im­por­tant part of our vine­yard ecosys­tem, help­ing to keep grape-eat­ing birds away from the vine­yard” says Pa­trick Mater­man, Chief Wine­maker for Bran­cott Es­tate. “Bran­cott Es­tate Her­itage Cen­tre is one of the lead­ing tourist des­ti­na­tions in Marl­bor­ough and we are very proud to be able to use our lo­ca­tion to help raise aware­ness of fal­cons.”

Es­ti­mated to have less than 3000 pairs in the wild, the New Zealand fal­con faces a num­ber of threats which con­trib­ute to their ever de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion. Since 2008, the Marl­bor­ough Fal­con Trust has been rais­ing aware­ness about the birds, and the dan­gers that threaten their ex­is­tence, within the Marl­bor­ough re­gion.

“We could not have achieved our suc­cess­ful breed­ing and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion aviary or this ed­u­ca­tional walk­way with­out the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port of Bran­cott Es­tate. We are very grate­ful to have con­ser­va­tion part­ners who are just as pas­sion­ate about the sur­vival of this species as we are” says Amanda.

To date, Bran­cott Es­tate has do­nated $500,000 to the Marl­bor­ough Fal­con Trust, much of which has been raised through the sale of the Bran­cott Es­tate Living Land Se­ries, where one dollar from ev­ery bot­tle is do­nated to the Living Land Fund.

To learn more about the bril­liant ex­pe­ri­ences you can have in Marl­bor­ough, visit Marl­bor­oughNZ.com

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