A native falcon takes flight at Wingspan. © RotoruaNZ

Get up close with native falcons in Rotorua


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At Wingspan, New Zealand’s National Bird of Prey Centre, you can get up close to our native falcons, or kārearea. 

Wingspan, on the outskirts of Rotorua was established in 2002 as a conservation initiative to help protect these remarkable native birds. 

Kārearea are rarer than kiwi, with only around 4,000 remaining in the wild.

When they’re temporarily in captivity at Wingspan, kārearea quickly forget how to hunt properly so the falconers keep their skills fresh with daily lure training sessions for when they’re released back into the wild.

Having recently moved sites, the new Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre is still under construction, but three days a week visitors are welcome to experience the new development, learn about Wingspan’s extensive conservation programmes and witness the falcons’ in-flight training.

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