ME Falconry moves to new home at Kelham Hall and Country Park
A teenage fascination with birds of prey has developed into a fledgling business set in stately surroundings.
ME Falconry is run by falconer Owen Pibworth, who is keen to share his passion for the birds with as many people as he can.
Owen, 30, of Darlton, has recently moved ME Falconry from a rented field to a permanent base at Kelham Hall and Country Park, which he says is the perfect location to show his birds.
He raises all the birds from chicks, spending up to 100 hours a week handling and training them.
His interest was sparked when he was a teenager.
“My grandad was a farmer and I used to go out shooting,” he said.
“I was out shooting one day and I saw a buzzard and I just thought, oh wow.”
He started reading up on birds of prey and learning all he could about falconry before getting his first bird about five years later.
He currently has six — a barn owl called Barnaby, peregrine falcon called Tyson, golden eagle called Dolly, saker falcon called Elvis, harris hawk called Bea and a northern goshawk called June.
His children Maisie, 7, and Ernie, 4, have grown up being quite used to having the birds around at home.
“They are pets, but also working birds,” Owen said.
Owen and the birds go out and about to shows and events, and on educational talks and visits. He also runs individual and group handling and flying experiences
The birds are used for photoshoots and films, and Barnaby is currently in training to be a ring-bearer for weddings.
Owen will visit nursing homes free of charge.
The bird’s diets range from chicks and mice for Barnaby to four or five quails a day for Dolly, who will have a wingspan of six to eight feet when fully-grown.