A hybrid is a cross between different species. In captivity many species of falcon are hybridised to gain the characteristics of both species. A hybrid also exhibits 'hybrid vigour' which hopefully makes for a better hunting bird. Hybrids do occur in the wild but as they are not as perfect as pure species they usually do not survive and replicate themselves in the wild.
Some of the hybrids housed at the centre:
This hybird is widely used in Arabia as it produces a larger version of the Arabs native species - the Saker Falcon. The Gyr Falcon is the largest species of Falcon in the world and originates from around the Arctic circle.
We fly a Gyr x Saker called 'Dodgy' who was added to the team in 2009; he is a different colour to all of our other falcons. He is almost black in colouration and shows the variation of colours that falcons can have. There is also "Scratchy", a large Gyr x Saker of pale white and tan colouring.
Added to the flying team in 2008 was a male Gyr x Peregrine hybrid named 'Slate'. He is a very powerful falcon and is extremely spectacular and very fast. Our other Gyr x Peregrine is named Freddie, hatched in 2009 he 'waits on' (circles above the arena) and then stoops in to the lure. He used at our larger country shows to show how we could hunt with falcons.
We have a Peregrine x Hobby hybrid which hatched in 2011. 'Buttons' is small and agile, a superb display falcon who can fly in much smaller arenas than some of our larger falcons could manage.
'Lola' was introduced to the centre in October 2012. She was hatched in 2009 and has previously been flown for display work, but due to the previous owner changing careers he wanted her to go to a good home. She is the fastest and most agile falcon that is currently flown at the cenre and she will start attending Outside Events in 2013.
Hatched in 2015, "Pebble" is an excellent flying and display bird who performs at daily displays and at shows all over the country. She is a powerful bird with lots of stamina who sometimes flies together with one of our other falcons, "Itchy", a Saker falcon. Two falcons chasing one lure is quite a test of skill for the falconer involved!
"Pablo" hatched in 2016 and joined the flying team in early 2017; how his training progresses will determine whether he flies glove-to-glove for experiences, or to the lure for display work!
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