Wing­span opens for short tours

Rotorua Weekender - - News - Shauni James

The Ro­torua pub­lic have the chance to learn more and get up close to some of New Zealand’s beau­ti­ful birds of prey as Wing­span opens its doors again.

The new Wing­span NZ Bird of Prey Cen­tre site re­mains un­der de­vel­op­ment, but is now of­fer­ing hosted one hour Progress Vis­its on Mon­days, Thurs­days, and Satur­days.

The vis­its start at 11.30am and in­clude be­ing taken to the Fal­con­ers Shed for an in­tro­duc­tion to the Wing­span con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme, fol­lowed by a fal­con in-flight train­ing at mid­day.

Wing­span di­rec­tor Deb­bie Ste­wart says these vis­its are a way in which they can share the con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme.

She says Wing­span is com­ing up to a busy time with chicks and do­ing field work — “we try and share these sto­ries with peo­ple”.

Deb­bie says at the Fal­con­ers Shed peo­ple will get an over­view of the pro­gramme and there will be talk about fal­conry around the world.

The progress vis­its started about a week be­fore Christ­mas and the re­sponse has been “ab­so­lutely over­whelm­ing”, she says.

“It’s all about shar­ing with the peo­ple that are sup­port­ing us.”

She says it has even been an op­por­tu­nity for the con­trac­tors work­ing on the site to see the work Wing­span does, and has of­ten been a first-time ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We are grate­ful for the com­mu­nity sup­port we’ve had to get us to this point.”

These vis­its are by ap­point­ment and book­ings are strictly lim­ited, so it is rec­om­mended peo­ple get in con­tact early.

Wing­span’s new ad­dress is 1334 Par­adise Val­ley Rd, best ac­cessed from the Ngongo­taha¯ end of Par­adise Val­ley Rd, and less than a kilo­me­tre from State High­way 5.

The shift came about as Wing­span’s for­mer lease came to an end.

In a pre­vi­ous Ro­torua Daily Post story Deb­bie says one of the main rea­sons for the move was so the or­gan­i­sa­tion could ex­pand and grow.

Vis­its by mem­bers and spon­sors of the Wing­span pro­gramme are free, oth­er­wise it costs $25 for an adult and $10 for chil­dren at school.

Peo­ple can pre-pur­chase on­line or pay on ar­rival.

Photo / Kurien Yo­han­nan

A fal­con spreads its wings and takes flight.

Photo / Kurien Yo­han­nan

Peo­ple en­joy a close up view of a fal­con.

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