Karearea – The New Zealand Falcon

Kia Ora Fellow Gallopers,

The Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre was established in Rotorua, NZ in 2002 and at Wingspan’s core is a commitment to the conservation of the threatened ‘Karearea’ New Zealand Falcon.  Being part of New Zealand’s unique natural heritage, falcons are a taonga (treasured) species to tangata whenua (Māori, people of the land).


A few days ago I visited the Centre to see these magnificent birds. In addition to getting up close with the falcon, the pièce de résistance of my visit was the one hour flying display – that’s held every single day – when one gets to see, first hand, the speed and agility with which these birds fly. The accompanying talk is highly informative and complements the flying display very well.


If you live in Rotorua or happen to be passing through Rotorua and you’d like to see the New Zealand Falcon, then a visit to New Zealand’s first and only Bird of Prey centre is a must. In the meantime, feel free to click here to see all the images from my recent visit to Wingspan.

Till next time, take care and gallop free.

BSP Logo

PS: If you’d like to see my latest images including the birds I’ve been studying and photographing of late, why not follow Black Stallion Photography’s Facebook Page…

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One response to “Karearea – The New Zealand Falcon

  • Leticia W. Bartlett

    When wing or tail feathers snap off Wingspan manager Debbie Stewart repairs them by inserting feathers from dead raptors that have been donated to the centre. The feathers are fixed into place with ‘super glue’. Ozzie, a hand-reared falcon named after Ozzie Osbourne because of his recklessness, has had a total tail refit. A demonstration with a chunk of meat whipped around on a baited line shows that his fake feathers are no impediment to his hunting prowess.

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