The Birds of LettsSafari
LettsSafari parks attract a large number of birds
The diversity of birds at LettsSafari parks is quite extraordinary. All of them live in the wild. Some are visitors, some settlers and some just passers by. A growing number are making these amazing parks a long term home of their own. We have noticed that year after year, the more our rewilding parks mature, the greater the number of birds.
Here is a look at a few of them.
Kingfishers have been increasingly spotted - next to the various lakes, streams and ponds throughout the LettsSafari Network of Parks. They hunt by diving into the water for small fish like minnows as well as invertebrates such as dragonfly nymphs. They close their eyes as they dive into the water, so they are fishing blind!
The design of a kingfisher’s beak is aerodynamically efficient, allowing it to dive from its perch, towards its prey, with maximum speed and minimum splash. In fact, the beak design is so clever that the front of many Japanese bullet trains are modelled to mimic it.
A peregrine falcon has just started to appear at one of our parks in southwest England. Did you know that when in full stoop, diving for its prey, a peregrine can reach speeds of 242 mph making it the fastest recorded animal. Special adaptations in this bird's nostrils enable it to reduce the change in air pressure experienced at this speed so that it can breathe.
They will compete with the rare goshawk, sparrowhawk, hobby and kestrel that are already active across the parks. At night nightjars take over and can be seen hawking for food at dusk and dawn. Such a diversity of birds of prey is a tribute to the sheer volume of wildlife in the parks.
The robin never fails to delight. Friendly, colourful and always scavenging. Even through such a dry summer! Robins have up to three broods each year. Many of the babies don't survive though. Their eggs are light blue and they build their round nests in trees where they happily roost together in numbers.
LettsSafari’s birds come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Some are extremely rare and colourful. Most of them feast off the huge variety of insects, bugs, berries and seeds. Day and night…
Buzzards regularly soar. Despite its impressive size, the buzzard is not a major predator, preferring a diet of carrion and earthworms. Each pair will have as many as 21 potential nest sites, usually changing to a fresh site every year. Buzzards build their own nest, typically in a tall tree, and they have a curious habit of decorating it with fresh green foliage.
Night life is quite busy in our parks. Dusk in the woods and across the prairie-like wild grasses is a treat to experience. Bats, owls and more… Did you know that the eyes of an owl are not true “eyeballs.” Their tube-shaped eyes are completely immobile, providing binocular vision which fully focuses on their prey and boosts depth perception. And they can rotate their necks 270 degrees - ouch!
A few of our LettsSafari parks are close to the sea. Sea gulls drop by every so often. They are one of the rare animals that are able to drink salt water. They have special glands (located above the eyes) which eliminate excess salt from the body. They’re also highly skilled at grabbing the sandwich out of your hand!
As we develop and expand our network of LettsSafari parks - the variety of bird life will continue to grow. Who knows where it might end?
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