Your Visit

Your Visit

Arriving at the Gardens

When you arrive at The National Botanic Garden of Wales your entrance to The British Bird of Prey Centre is included in the Garden Plus Ticket. This means you can enjoy a full day of activities for all of the family.   

Nestled up on the hill side amongst the trees, the newly built British Bird of Prey Centre aviaries are designed specifically to house our native species. You will be able to walk around and see the birds in their own homes as well as watch them show off their talents in our flying displays.  

Between displays there are lots of bird related things to do. You can catch a conservation talk by one of our falconers, who'll tell you all about the things you can do to help our native birds. Maybe you'd like to get up close with one of our owls? There is a chance to get a photo and learn a bit more about our nocturnal friends in our Owl Flying and Talk session. 

Your ticket means you can come and go all day, so you can find a nice picnic spot to have some lunch, maybe visit the Butterfly House or some of the other exciting things happening in the Garden and come back to the centre as many times as you like during the day. 

The British Bird of Prey Centre is located at number 12 behind the Springwoods.

VIEW MAP

Daily Timetable

  

10:00am

Open

11.30am

Flying Display (45 minutes)

 

Buzzard, Sparrowhawk , Merlin Falcon, Kestrel, European Eagle Owl & White-tailed Eagle

1.00pm

Owl flying & talk (30 minutes)

 

 Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl & Little Owl

2.30pm 

Flying Display (45 minutes)

 

Goshawk, Red Kites, Hobby Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Snowy Owl & Golden Eagle

3.30pm 

Conservation Talk (30 minutes)

 

*Please be aware that displays are subject to change due to the weather and the character of the bird. We cannot make them do what they do not want to!

4:00pm

Close

 

Visit the birds

Whilst you are at the centre you will be able to visit all of the birds in their houses (aviaries). You are welcome to do this as many time as you like during your visit.

All of our aviaries have been designed specifically for each individual species, so will all be slightly different. All of our birds are captive bred and are therefore used to people. They would not survive if they had to go into the wild. We fly them all daily to give them a chance to be free, but they all like to come home and be warm and fed at the end of the day. 

As you walk around you will be able to see different things that will show you if the birds are happy with their new homes. See if you can spot any of the birds doing the following;

  • Standing on 1 leg
    • This is how birds sleep. So only very relaxed birds will sit like this during the day. They tuck their foot up into their chest feathers and it keeps it nice and warm. Once one leg gets tired, then they swap over. Could you imagine sleeping standing up on one leg?
  • Making noise
    • All of the birds here are used to people and they understand that people feed them. So if they start to make a noise whilst you are watching them, they are probably asking if you have a mouse in your pocket! Noise is a good sign, as a scared bird would hide and make no noise at all. 
  • Having a bath
    • We all know that taking a bath in public would be a bit scary and its no different for the birds. They like their privacy when they bathe, so if they have decided to have a bath whilst you are there then they must be feeling very comfortable.
  • Preening
    • This is how a bird 'brushes its hair'. They put special oils on each feather with their beak, pulling it from the top to the bottom. This keeps the feathers in good condition and gives them a water resistance, which is very important here in Wales.   
  • Sleeping
    • It is very unlikely you will see a bird completely asleep during the day at the centre, but if you do see a bird without a head then there is no need to worry. Birds sleep with their heads tucked back under their wing. It gives the impression they have no head at all! 

Flying Displays at 11.30am & 2.30pm

We hold two different displays daily at the centre. These contain a mixture of hawks, owls, eagles, falcons, buzzards and kites.

Combining education and fun you'll be amazed by our team's flying skills but also learn more about their personalities. 

Our aim is to try and get our birds to fly as they would in the wild. So we encourage them to use their natural skills to show you their very best techniques. So hopefully you'll see our kites eating on the wing, our kestrels hovering and our White-tailed eagle soaring above you. 

Working with animals means that every day is different, so you can come back time and time again and the show will always be different. 

 

Owl Flying at 1.00pm

Owls are some of natures most well adapted creatures. As well as being stunning to look at, they have developed lots of special skills to help them be at their best. During our owl flying session you'll get close to four of our native beauties. Learn about their camouflage, amazing listening skills and how their feathers are the envy of engineers and designers around the world. Using owl pellets we can even work out what they had for dinner!

Fly an owl or red kite £10

During your time visiting the centre, if you would like to get even closer to the birds, then we offer flying taster sessions.

Bookable in our shop for £10, you can fly either an owl or a red kite for 30 minutes.

(Maximum 10 people per session)

Owl Flying 1.30pm

Red Kite Flying 3.30pm

These sessions take place on our flying ground and you will be given a glove and take it in turns to have  the owl or kite fly to your gloved hand. Bring your camera, this is definitely a photo opportunity!

If you already know that you would love to fly birds of prey, you can book a private 3 hour experience here where you can fly 4 different species. This experience includes entrance into The National Botanic Garden and The British Bird of Prey Centre, photos and refreshments. 

MORE INFORMATION

Conservation Talk at 3.30pm

Some of our British birds of prey have had a hard time recently. During these talks, there is a chance to get close up with a Red Kite or a White-tailed Sea Eagle whilst our falconers explain how you can help make sure their future is more secure.

Learn about how the longest running conservation programme in the UK has brought Wales' National Bird of Prey, the Red Kite, back from the brink of extinction. Marvel at the size of Britain's largest Eagle, the White-tailed Sea Eagle, and understand how we can live in harmony with these beautiful creatures, to make sure we never again lose them as part of our native population like we did in the past.

There are lots of opportunities to ask questions in these informal talks delivered twice a day in the Education & Activity Centre. 

Other great reasons to visit us at
The National Botanic Garden of Wales

"Incredible experience - We watched the team fly the birds of prey today and it was by far the best one I have ever seen"

 

07-H-L-07 - TripAdvisor

"Best New Attraction 2018 - WOW. That's the only word to describe how amazing this place is"

 

Ben B - TripAdvisor