In Eagleworld's unique falconry displays you will not only be able to experience and learn about the earliest ages of mankind's relationship with birds of prey; we will take you on a journey from the Viking ages and up through the history of falconry, with everything from classic mounted falconry and all the way till present day and the developments with modern technology.
Our displays are always held outdoors before the bleachers around Eagleworld's lake, from where the view opens up to the beautiful terrain in the background. With this the stage is set for the audience to take in the birds of prey as they unleash their incredible airborne capabilities in raw, natural surroundings and the fresh air here by Skagen.
During our program that lasts approximately 1 hour, you will not only receive a thorough walk-through of both the world history of falconry and its usage in present times, but also get a view into the fascinating biology of birds of prey in the wild. Our highly professional and knowledgeable falconers, will convey an informative lecture along side the presentation of the various birds in each their special way. In other words, you will not only feel the breathtaking rush of wings here at Eagleworld, but also gain loads of interesting new knowledge about our feathered raptors and the hunting art of falconry.
Here at Eagleworld we are proud to not only present our birds of prey from the ground – we always strive to give our audiences a completely unique experience that haven't met its match anywhere in the world. You will be able to encounter the birds at closest proximity when our falconers let them walk among the seated audience on the bleachers – You will see the falcons trained from the ground and in the demanding and classical disciplin from horseback – You will experience the aerial acrobatics of our eagles in the airspace above the lake and flying in cooperation with horse and rider, and as something completely unparalled you will witness a true eagle-car chase.
In our display you will meet a long line of different species of birds of prey. You will besides the stunning horses and the racing car, see three super fast species of falcons, four species of great eagles, the mythical Bearded Vulture and during the season even some news will join in, both four-legged and feathered.
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Below you can read more about the many different animals that you meet during our program:
BIRDS OF PREY AT EAGLEWORLD
Weight: Males 600-750g & Females 900-1300g
The lightning speed Peregrine is the smallest bird in our program, and will chase to the falconers lure in unbelievable aerial plunges. The species is with its measured top speed of 390km/h the world's fastest animal and actually occurs in the wild here in Denmark, where it has seen an increase in recent years. This medium sized falcon feeds primarily on pigeons, sea birds, smaller ducks, thrushes etc. and is with its superior speed an apex predator in both cities, coastal regions and in mountainous habitats. The name derives from 'pilgrim' or 'wanderer' as it is one of the most widely distributed species of birds, occuring on all continents, even migrating from the northern to the southern arctic circle. The bird is due to its aerial superiority and ability to stand still, waiting in the air above its handler, an often used and highly treasured bird with falconers.
Weight: Males 800g & Females 1150g
This falcon, is one of the largest species and has its name from the arabian word 'Ssakar'. And it is indeed in the Middle East, Central Europe and across the Asian continent all the way to China, that this bird is found in the wild. Through history it has been cherished as a falconry bird for royalty even counting the lord of the steppes, Djenghis Khan himself. At Eagleworld you will therefore experience this species used in the original falconry disciplin, in which the falconer is mounted on horseback. The Saker is especially fast in horisontal flight where it with its 110km/h quickly can fly off to far away destinations. It is not a picky eater, and this versatile bird of prey will hunt anything from pigeons, smaller herons, marmots, lizards, larches, hares and more.
Weight: Males 800-1350g & Females 1180-2100g
The Gyrfalcon is the world's largest species of falcon, and has been used for hunting by man for more than 1500 years. This big, powerful falcon is found in plumages ranging from coal black, slate and pure white with all kinds of beautiful patterns in between, and is also a fabulous hunter. The species can take down quite large birds such as herons and even geese and is because of its strength and stunning presentation one of the most highly treasured falconry birds bred throughout history till now, for both kings, emperors and the sheikhs of the Levant. The Gyr lives in harsh arctic climates across the Northern hemisphere, also counting Greenland and Iceland. At Eagleworld we have a long and proud history of breeding and studying the Gyrfalcon as both a falconry bird and in the wild. You will meet this robust and charming falcon in our displays and see its enchanting skills unfold in midair with its falconer.
North-Atlantic Sea Eagle
(Haliaeetus a. albicilla)
Weight: Males 3,1-5,4kg & Females 4-6,9kg
The North-Atlantic Sea Eagles you see here at Eagleworld, belongs to the largest species of eagles in Europe. Also known as the White-Tailed Sea Eagle, these especially big northern specimens can be found along the Danish coastlines, living mainly of fish and sea birds. Every so often it happens that they during our program will dive towards the lake before the audience, and therefore be seen exercising their most natural hunting behaviour. The eagles that let themselves be thrown through and maneuvering even the harshest stormwinds, are not classic falconry birds, but have been studied and bred as a means of wildlife conservation, here at Eagleworld through decades. This is one of the reasons why we as something quite special, have achieved training a large Sea Eagle to fly to a falconers glove, mounted on horseback. In the program you will witness these hardy eagles – up to three at once – showing off their astonishing flying skills, occasionally in blazing dives over the lake and also gliding right above the seated audiences, onto the glove of its falconer on the Friesian horse, with whom a remarkable friendship has risen.
Weight: Males 2,8-4,6kg & Females 3,8-7kg
The Golden Eagle is the largest of all classically used falconry birds. They are still to this day used for hunting wolves by the famous riding nomads of the Mongolian steppes, and are hereby capable of taking down quite sizable mammals, when hunting with man. With a vision that is about 8 times better than ours, they can search enormous areas for prey – this consisting mainly of lemmings, rabbits, hares, foxes and even smaller species of deer.
In Denmark this beautiful, top-of-the-foodchain bird of prey has seen progress with a couple of breeding pairs nesting in recent years, sadly however, there has also been comparably many that have perished, as a result of shooting or poisoning by the hand of humans. It is one of Eagleworld's most important tasks to convey knowledge in order to support the conservation of and respect for the wild birds of prey, and during the program you will be able to see the Golden Eagle as it flies about in a terrain quite natural for the species.
Weight: Males 3-4,2kg & Females 3,1-5,8kg
The glorious, jet black eagle that is found living in the mountainous regions of Africa, is easily recognised by its unique, shining plumage and the white 'V' across its back. It has received its name as a fitting homage to the French naturalist Jules Verreaux. This species, that is of the same family as the Golden Eagle, is a skilled hunter that mates for life. However opposite to the Golden Eagle, this species is quite the picky eater, and its prey consists almost entirely of two species of cliff hiraxes that live near their nesting spots, that remarkably can be found in heights of up to 4 kilometres. At Eagleworld you will therefore have the exceptionally rare opportunity of seeing the gorgeous Verreaux's Eagle at closest proximity, as it wanders about in the midst of the seated audience with its falconer, before again taking off right before the bleachers.
Wingspan: 2,3-3 metres
The Bearded Vulture, at times known as the Lammergeier, is in a class of its own. The enormous bird that sports a slate, scaly-looking plumage and white chest, black beard tufts by its beak and red eye-circles, resembles nothing less than a great, flying dragon. The species is found widely distributed across the central Eurasian continent, from the Pyrenees to China and even with rare occurences in Eastern Africa. They live in raw, mountain regions where it decorates itself to attract mates, with powders of red iron oxide/ochre and live off what ever carcasses it finds. Something rather special for this vulture, that quite unlike other carrion birds does not have a naked head or neck, is that the acids in their digestive system, are far stronger than even battery acids. This is necessary in order for it to dissolve bones and marrow, seeing as this mythical looking bird will swallow quite large femur bones in one piece. The uncomparable Bearded Vulture can be seen and notably also heard in our program, as its colossal winspan rushes it right nearby the audience, presenting its remarkable self as our so far largest raptor, here at Eagleworld.
Steller's Sea Eagle
Wingspan: 2-2,6 metres
Weight: Males 4,9-6,8kg & Females 6,2-9,5kg
The Steller's Eagles are by many considered the largest eagles in the world – only disputed with competition from the Harpy and Philippine Eagle. These bears of the sky, that are closely related to the North-Atlantic Sea Eagles, are also a species of sea eagles living along coastal regions, that seek their food by both fishing, catching sea birds and even feeding off whale and seal carcasses. This bird of prey lives by the Northern coasts of Asia and all the way onto Sakhalin in Japan and on the Kamchatka peninsula of Eastern Russia. At Eagleworld we will, as the only place in the world, present something as action packed to you, as a genuine eagle-car chase, where the giant eagle with its 150km/h flies through the rough terrain chasing a four wheel drive, landing on the stretched out glove of the driver – thereby showing off the cooperation between man, technology and eagle in a top modern and if we should say so ourselves, pretty cool way!
At Eagleworld you will not only meet a selection of fascinating birds of prey, seeing as we also love horses and through many years have mastered and developed the challenging and importantly also historically original disciplin of mounted falconry. Below you can read a brief description of the horses you will encounter during the program.
The Danish Warmblood is a quite recent breed of horses, established here in Denmark in the middle of the 20th century, bred from older European horse breeds. Denmark has an old and proud tradition in selective breeding of horses, that began already in the 14th century with the Cistercian monks of German Holstein, that once lay under Danish rule. They crossed the best Spanish horses with large, northern German mares, from which the Frederiksborg Horse arose. From this we bred in Holsteiners, Trakehners and Fullbloods, with which the Danish Warmblood was founded. Today, the breed is a versatile sporting horse used in all disciplins spanning both dressage, jumping, military and in hunts. It is known for its cooperative nature, sturdiness and alertness, which here at Eagleworld have made it a surefire horse for classic mounted falconry using Saker- and Gyrfalcons.
From the world of movies most of us now know the always black Friesian horse, with the wavy mane and feathered hoofs. This cold blood is one of the baroque breeds, and stems from The Netherlands where it through the ages have been used perhaps more diversely than any other breed of horses. Both as a show horse, carriage horse, for dressage and even in historical wars as for instance employed by the Roman legions as sturdy warhorses. The breed has an ancient origin with the primitive, European forest horses and thereby has roots stretching back before the birth of Christ. This horse is besides its good looks characterized by a sociable mind and a robust presentation, all adding to why we here at Eagleworld have been lucky to produce a highly unlikely friendship with one of our great North-Atlantic Sea Eagles. Right infront of the audience you will see how the grand eagle lands on a riders glove, with its wingspan spread out above the proud black horse.
The Andalusian horse of Spain, is the number one horse breed to influence the breeding of domesticated horses across the globe. From the renaissance and all the way to the French revolution, it was the horse all desired to master in dressage. The royals and nobles of Europe's finest courts have therefore had their own Andalusians, and seeing as falconry in earlier times were reserved for nobility only, you can imagine how the Andalusian must have carried many falconers throughout the centuries. This athletic and agile horse is a genuine muscle car of horse breeds; its compact and upright posture makes it highly manoeuvrable and their intelligent nature and sharp senses that have been developed and refined through the ages, allows it to work with super fast falcons diving towards the mounted falconer from constantly changing angles. Here at Eagleworld we are happy to present an Andalusian horse that is being trained in this highly demanding equestrian disciplin, that you can sit back and take in during our program.
NB: We always strive to give the very best experience to our audience during the program of our falconry displays that last approximately 1 solid hour – it should however be noted, that although we do not stand down from some rough winds or rain, we are always working on the conditions of our live animals. This means, that in rare occasions it might happen that one of our birds or horses are taking a break, and therefore won't be part of the particular day's program.