• AUG 12, 2015
  • WRITTEN BY: Ruscha Woods

We’re very pleased to be able to announce a new addition to the ever-expending selection of Bird of Prey and Falconry experience days available on our website…Yarak Birds of Prey, in Devon. I decided to catch up with John – falconry extraordinaire – to find out some exclusive, inside scoop, just for you lovely readers! Check out my interview below…

Barn Owl2bHi John, could you start by explaining a little about the history of Yarak Birds of Prey? Where did an interest in the industry stem from?

The interest came from my Grandfather who kept and hunted birds of prey. I have taught falconry courses for many years and in 1997 decided to open a private centre for enthusiasts.

Yarak was moved from Oxfordshire to its present location in Devon. The centre mainly focuses on experience days for people wanting to handle and fly birds themselves.  We are now also open to the public to come and see our birds fly.

falcon4And where does the name “Yarak” originate from?

Yarak is a falconry term derived from Persian and means “super alert, hungry but not weak, and ready to hunt.”

Owl 1Well there’s something we didn’t know! So tell me…how did a passion for wildlife turn into a career?

I have been a falconer for many years and turning it into a business was a natural thing to do.

Owl 6bDo you have any exclusive information you can share with us?

Yarak is going from strength to strength and caters for all ages. We are well connected to schools and colleges and run educational days for them where children of all ages can learn about raptors in the wild.

We are running Owl evenings where people can come and experience how these birds use silent flight to hunt and also how they are able to fly during darkness.

These are being held on the following dates in the evening, from 6pm – 8pm: August 15th, October 31st and December 19th.

falcon3What makes your experiences unique and special for customers?

The difference between our experiences and other centres is that most other centres are attached to theme parks so customers and birds have to put up with all sorts of things happening around them. Yarak is a rural stand-alone centre that exclusively concentrates just on Raptors and our customers. Here our customers are treated as individuals on a first name basis – unlike theme park centres where they are really just a £ sign!

And is there a particular crowd-pleaser?

All of our birds are popular with our guests but more so the Owls, as people find them intriguing – the fact that they can fly silently and the ability they have in their head movements.

falcon6What’s your most frequently asked question from customers?

The most frequently asked questions are usually : How do you get them to come back to you?

Are they hard to manage if you wanted to own one?

Do they make good pets?

…if you want to find out the answers to these common questions, then we’d suggest you get yourself down to Yarak Bird of Prey centre, to find out! You can check out their awesome Full Day, Half Day, and Owl experiences online and purchase a voucher or two for your wildlife-loving friends on our site – you won’t be disappointed!



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