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Falconry Demonstration at Great Torrington School

Falcon flies for Great Torrington School

News 1964 1 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


A falconer visits Great Torrington Community School shows a kestrel, a buzzard and a peregrine falcon in a hunting and flying display on the school field. Pupils hold the birds for themselves. Kestrels are a type of falcon often seen hovering in the air over open fields and they use ultraviolet light to visually locate their prey. Small rodents lay scent trails which reflect UV light giving the kestrel hovering above the chance to trace and swoop.

Peregrine falcons are known for their high speed stoop where they descend vertically very quickly to catch prey in the air. Peregrines were used to keep birds off Royal Air Force airfields by preventing birdstrikes. After World War II their number decreased rapidly due to the use of pesticides. Hawks are used in city centres to keep pigeons from destroying historical buildings and some Peregrines have been reintroduced successfully into towns and cities.