Visitors to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary are always mesmerised by our trio of magnificent eagles; Mir the Steppe Eagle, Lincoln the Bald Eagle and Pungu the Bateleur Eagle.
Sitting out on perches on the Eagle Lawn, people can observe the birds at close quarters and fully appreciate their elegance and power - one only has to consider the size of an eagle’s talons to fully comprehend what ultra efficient hunting machines they really are!
Mir the Steppe Eagle is the great matriarch of the sanctuary, having resided here since the inception of the centre over 20 years ago. Although one would assume that she is now considered to be quite an elderly bird, this is not the case - in the protected environment of the sanctuary, enjoying a plentiful food supply and with no fear of predators, she is likely to live into her late 40s or early 50s, so is actually in her prime!
Lincoln the Bald Eagle, on the other hand, is just reaching maturity, having only arrived at the sanctuary in 2012. Young Bald Eagles are comparatively unattractive birds, having drab brown plumage and no distinguishing features. Over the last five years, however, Lincoln has metamorphosed into a supremely elegant bird displaying striking mature plumage and the iconic white head and yellow beak, eyes, and feet of his species.
The name Bald Eagle comes from the greek Haliaeetus Ieucocephalus meaning sea (hali) eagle (aietos) white (lLeuco) head (cephalos) in recognition of this most recognisable feature.
The charismatic Pungu takes part in a Half Day with Eagles with falconer Matt
Pungu, the Bateleur Eagle has been entertaining visitors as part of the flying team for over ten years. Like Lincoln, she arrived at the sanctuary as a somewhat insignificant brown youngster, but over four or five years blossomed into the eye-catching black and scarlet individual who turns so many heads today.
Bateleurs are unique within the eagle world due to their ability to walk and jump backward, enabled by their unusually short tail. This feature is an absolute necessity for an African bird which enjoys a diet inclusive of snakes; the bird must be able to retreat nimbly from the strike of these reptiles when hunting.
The enduring popularity of our eagles has recently prompted us to offer a new falconry course for 2018 - The Eagle Experience. This unique, sanctuary based course will present the opportunity for visitors to spend exclusive time with our magnificent eagles and a designated falconer, gaining a real insight into the nature and behaviour of these powerful raptors and experiencing them in awe-inspiring flight at close quarters. Click here for further details.
For details of this or any of our wide range of falconry activities, please ‘phone our admin. team on 0345 680 7897.