A spectacular aerial display turned heads and delighted onlookers at a Winchester dementia care home.
Residents at Colten Care’s St Catherines View met owls Charlie, TJ, Flo and Punk from the Falconhigh bird of prey display team based at Brambridge Park Garden Centre.
Under the guidance of experienced handlers, the beautiful creatures spread their wings and glided, swooped and turned in silent flight all around the garden.
As well as the viewing the aerobatics, residents donned leather falconry gloves to hold the birds so they could see them closer up.
Codey Hickman, St Catherines View Activities Organiser, said: “Animal visits always get a good reaction here and this was an especially lovely interactive experience for our residents. They really enjoyed being in the garden to hold the owls and watch them fly. Everyone was smiling and you could see the happiness on people’s faces. They were talking about the birds all afternoon and how amazing it was to spend time with them.”
Charlie and TJ are barn owls, aged one and six respectively, while Flo is a two-year-old female Bengalese eagle owl and Punk is a 35-year-old male great horned owl.
During the visit, the Falconhigh team gave a talk about owls’ habitats and diet and spoke about their other birds of prey, including falcons and hawks.
The display came shortly after another specially laid-on day of animal encounters at St Catherines View in the shape of the Alton-based Mill Cottage Farm Experience.
On that visit, residents welcomed lambs, alpacas, goats, rabbits, turkeys, ducks and other animals to their garden.