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Swoop into the Yarak Birds of Prey Centre in Cullompton

The Yarak Birds of Prey Centre is ranked the #1 attraction in Devon by Trip Advisor. With 52 beautiful birds to admire, it's no wonder it is popular.
Have you ever wondered what the #1 Devon attraction on Trip Advisor is? Surprisingly it is the fabulous Yarak Birds of Prey and Falconry Centre located in a rural setting just off the M5 at Cullompton. With stiff competition from hundreds of museums, fairgrounds, animal farms, zoos, aquariums and other larger attractions, this humble bird centre is ranked top by visitors and if you visit, you will understand why.

The Yarak Birds of Prey Centre is thrilling for families of all ages but you will have to leave your dog at home. You can see the thrill in the eyes of youngsters as they watch the falconry displays, learn about the 50+ birds that are in residence here, and then get the chance to hold one on their hand or arm – with protective leather gear of course!

Older people appreciate just how lucky we are to get the chance to see these beautiful birds close up. Learning about their skills as hunters and seeing how well nature has equipped them for the task is an unforgettable educational experience you will not quickly forget.

Visit Yarak for a day or longer

The word “yarak” is Turkish is origin and means “eager to hunt” and that describes these birds perfectly. Although most visitors spend a few hours at the Falconry Centre, other visitors spend several days here learning the ancient practice of falconry. You can even pre-book your own hands-on experience which is a wonderful experience for any keen ornithologist or bird lover.

The professional falconers at Yarak Birds of Prey Centre combine over 40 years of experience and the falconry courses help participants understand and respect the birds as well as learning about the ancient art of falconry.

What to do at the Yarak Birds of Prey and Falconry Centre

A visit to this Devon attraction includes a wide range of themed activities all centred around the 52 birds of prey that live here. The centre is surrounded by Devon farmland and is really peaceful and rarely feels crowded like some other animal attractions in the area.

My visit included seeing the birds up close and flying free as part of a mesmerizing show. What surprised me most was the huge size of some of these native birds and how beautifully coloured they are.

The birds of prey at Yarak include owls, hawks, falcons, eagles and even a hooded vulture which was very impressive. They each have names which make them more memorable for children to identify with. Some of the most popular birds are a huge Bengal Eagle Owl called Buffy, and a stunning Golden Eagle called Khan. The resident Barn Owl, Breeze, has a luminous white moon-like round face and ably demonstrated its silent flight through the air. The centre also breeds some owls so there may be some youngsters in the spring.

When to visit Yarak Falconry Centre

Yarak Birds of Prey Centre is open all year. From October to March it is only open at weekends with a flying display at noon. In peak season, from April to September the centre is open from Wednesday through Sunday and has two flight demonstrations at noon and 3pm. Generally the attraction is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except for Bank Holidays.

Prices are fairly reasonable with adult admission under £10 and family passes in 2013 at £23. Not bad for an attraction that is an accredited Visit England Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.

Friendly, informative and fun, offers a day out with a difference that, like me, I’m sure you will find absolutely fascinating.

Have you ever attended a Falconry display at Yarak Birds of Prey Centre or elsewhere? What was the most thrilling part about the demonstration for you? Would you agree it is an event suitable for all ages?

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Patrick says:

    I belong to the the South African Falconry Association – here its an amazing sport, to be able to connect with these animals is a gift on its own. I must say I wouldn’t mind having an owl on my team.

  2. Gillian says:

    Thanks for contributing, Patrick. I’ve seen falconry displays all over the world from the USA to Tunisia. It never ceases to amaze me that it is such a thrilling display of wildlife interacting with man.

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