Fawkes’ flying skills on show

Harris hawk Fawkes is back in full flight in our daily bird of prey displays after growing his adult plumage.

ABOVE – Fawkes in action earlier this year when he was still in his juvenile plumage. His feathers are now much darker

The one and a half year old, who arrived at DZG this spring, has now moulted out his juvenile plumage and is back to his ideal flying weight so he can once again star in the shows.

And Fawkes, like all our other birds of prey, has been getting some grooming before returning to the flying team.

Head of Birds Kellie Piper, pictured right, has been filing down his beak in a completely painless process called coping.

She said: “Coping is when we trim and file down the beak to a desirable length and we do this with all our birds of prey every six months.

“In the wild they would do this naturally due to the food they eat and by feaking, which is when they rub their beaks on branches or stones to clean and trim them.

“Fawkes is back on display now and doing very well. We trained him on a line to get him used to flying again.

“During training he even landed on the new elephant head which has been put up on the former Elephant House where we now keep the birds.”

LEFT – Fawkes takes a breather on the decorative head of an African elephant, one of many items donated to us from a Dudley Zoo-themed section of the The Bostin’ Fittle pub when it closed for a refurb

See Fawkes in our bird of prey show in the Castle courtyard at 12 noon