Meet Sparky, a wonderful caracara who has more character than one image alone can express! We watched in awe as Sparky performed to the crowds at RHS Wisley Gardens, with Martin Ballam and Peter Warne from Xtreme Falconry, on Saturday afternoon. The caracara is an unusual bird of prey from the Falkland Islands. You can look up more about the caracara here, but I shall hint at why they are so unusual by telling you that there aren’t any trees for them to roost in or hunt from! I love Sparky so much that I’m sharing this as my Fotospeed challenge entry this week and adding a little video I made of the show on Saturday. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did 😀
The chicks are only four weeks old but are already really stretching their wings. Not actually flying but performing some wonderful practice hops as they investigated the horde of people gathered to photograph them, showing their admiration with a multitude of oooohs and ahhhhhs!
These two beauties will be moving on to new homes soon as part of international breeding and conservation programs. Their distinctive facial markings that make the adult birds so popular with photographers will be the last feathers to come in but you can already see much of their beautiful yet ghostly plumage beneath the downy fuzz.