Bird of Prey Show
Come join us for a close encounter with some of Australia’s most unique and charismatic birds of prey in our free flight show. This entertaining and informative display focuses on raptors – those birds that seize prey with powerful feet equipped with razor-sharp talons. Be delighted as the barn owls float over your head and the barking owls whiz on by. Be thrilled with the agility of the kites and be amazed at the size and strength of the eagles. There may even be an opportunity to be part of the show.
For those who are keen for a really close encounter with birds of prey, we offer a photo opportunity holding some of these amazing birds on a gloved hand – just like the keepers.
Daily in the Nature Kingdom at 12:30pm
For the enjoyment of all, we ask visitors to please adhere to the following:
Get to know the stars of the show:
Illuka the White-bellied sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Orphaned, rescued and hand-raised in the early 1990’s, Illuka was given her beautiful Aboriginal name meaning ‘near the sea’. Unable to be released, she is one of only a few sea-eagles in Australia gifting visitors with the rare opportunity to learn from and interact with such a magnificent fish hunting raptor.
Omega the Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)
Captive bred in 2004, this incredible eagle has won over the hearts of the keepers and thousands of people who have watched him soar high above the Nature Kingdom. Omega is young, spirited and so powerful he is capable of hunting down prey such as rabbits and juvenile kangaroos.
Schnapps, Bo and Baileys - Barking Owls (Ninox connivens)
Due to the decline in old growth forest habitat in many places along the east coast of Australia, barking owls have become threatened in much of their range. For this reason, we were delighted to have bred triplet baby barking owlets three years in sucession from 2008. These three came from our first clutch; Bo hatching on halloween, with her brother Schnapps and sister Baileys following soon after. They have been amazing crowds with their arboreal hunting skills and charming characters ever since.
Woof Woof the Barking Owl (Ninox connivens)
Woof Woof (or Woofy as she is more affectionately known) is one of the most beloved members of the bird team, often demanding, and receiving, cuddles from the keepers all day long! If you come to the show, you might catch a glimpse of Woofy as she speedily and expertly manoevres her way through the crowd.
Elmo the Barking Owl (Ninox connivens)
The little bird with the big personality, Elmo easily captured the hearts of our keepers. She holds her own against the bigger birds and is a star in our show!
Milo and Smudgee - Barn Owls (Tyto javanica)
With the grace of an egyptian princess, Milo (right) was hand-raised in 2007 along with her little brother Smudgee, who is the definition of cute. They delight everyone with their silent flight and gentle personalities. Milo also has some very funny habits, such as collecting rocks from the floor of her aviary and storing them in her nesting box! All owl species in Australia are threatened by loss of habitat but barn owls do have the ability to somewhat adapt to rural areas where there are lots of grassland and mice prey.
Shannon and Lani - Barn Owls (Tyto javanica)
The more experienced barn owls in our team, this brother and sister pair were part of the original line-up back in 2005. They came to us from Movie World where they delighted visitors as part of the Harry Potter display. Despite coming from the same clutch, these two couldn't be more different in personality! Lani (right) likes to be the boss over the more gentle Shannon. It is generally easy to tell the difference between males and females of this species; the females having a rather spotty chest, where the males usually have very few or no spots.
Zorro the Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Black kites are opportunistic hunters and spend alot of time soaring and gliding for food. Their angled wings and distinctive forked tail makes them easy to identify. Flight is buoyant and the bird glides with ease, changing direction effortlessly. This ability is apparent as you watch Zorro gliding and snatching his food directly from the air. Windy days give Zorro an opportunity to show off even more!
Zephyr the Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
Take a trip on a ferry up the Brisbane River and you will often be lucky enough to spot brahminy kites perusing the water and banks for prey. They are opportunistic hunters that will catch fish, crustaceans, insects, reptiles and scavenge for dead morsels. As a fledgling, Zephyr came into care with a foot injury. This recent addition to our show is certain to bring much joy to people with his graceful acrobatics and beautiful chestnut and white colouring.
Meet the team:
It takes alot of hard work and dedication to be a raptor keeper! Meet the team that brings you up close and personal with these beautiful birds.
Katrina - Head Raptor Keeper
Joining Lone Pine in 2003, Katrina became one of the founders of the raptor section back in 2005, and has worked with the birds ever since. She hand-raised Schnapps, one of our gorgeous barking owls, and still has a special place for him. Katrina holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Graduate Certificate in Ornithology.
Chantelle started off as one of our photographers in 2004, but soon decided she'd prefer to work with the animals. She joined the raptor team in 2007, and has since completed a Graduate Certificate in Ornithology. She also has a Bachelor of Visual Arts and is an accomplished artist. When asked if she has a particular favourite out of our birds, she relplies "Oh, I don't know, it changes daily!"
Kellie joined Lone Pine in 2007 and has been a part of the raptor team since 2008. Prior to joining us, she was a field guide working with big cats in South Africa. She holds a Certificate III and IV in Captive Animal Management and is working towards a Masters of Science in Conservation Biology. Kellie helps to keep everyone updated by writing our online raptor blog. She loves working with the birds, especially our beautiful Wedge-tailed eagle, Omega. When not with the birds, you can find her hanging out in the reptile section with head keeper Nick.
As head reptile keeper, Nick's other duties often mean he doesn't get to hang out with the birds as much as he'd like to. He still comes up regularly to visit though, and you can often catch him in our free flight show during the week.
Nick definitely has a soft spot for little barking owl 'Elmo', and particularly enjoys working with our white-bellied sea-eagle, Illuka.
Rebecca has been with Lone Pine since 2004, and was a regular in the raptor section before being appointed head mammal keeper in early 2010. Since then, we see alot less of her than we'd like to, but she still enjoys helping out with our shows on the weekends. Beck holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Studies) and Certificate III and IV in Captive Animal Management. She also hand-raised barking owl 'Bo'. She particularly enjoys working with the barking owls, and cites them as a favourite due to their very individual personalities and affectionate nature.
Tanja joined the raptor team in 2005. She hand raised barn owl 'Milo' and barking owl 'Baileys' and still has a soft spot for them, especially Milo who has some very funny personality traits! Tanja has an Appiled Science Degree majoring in Wildlife Biology.
Theresa was one of the founding members of our raptor section back in 2005. Barn owl 'Shannon' holds a special place in her heart because he was one of the original birds as well. Theresa has an Associate Diploma in Nature Conservation and juggles between home duties with two gorgeous girls and flying her taloned friends here at Lone Pine.