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Get to know Darwin

If you’ve visited the Hawk Conservancy Trust, there’s no doubt you will have seen Sirius the Striated Caracara star in our World of Birds of Prey flying demonstration. But did you know his parents, Lafonia and Darwin, also reside at the Trust?

Father to Sirius, Darwin has been at the Trust longer than many of the Bird Team have been even been alive! He arrived with us in 1981 and has really established himself as a firm favourite within the team. In his lifetime, Darwin and his partner Lafonia have been superstar parents raising 14 offspring in total, including Sirius. These birds are now living in collections all across the country.

Darwin has now reached a healthy age of 40 years old, and is now enjoying a quiet retirement. He is still looking as fit as fiddle and not showing much sign of his age at all. He is now one of the oldest birds on site, only rivalled by Lafonia who is of a similar age.

Darwin enjoys the quiet life, watching all of our staff, volunteers, members and visitors go about their daily business. He likes to sit right at the front of his aviary and bask in the sunshine, always drawing in a crowd as he is one of the first birds visitors see when they arrive.

One of the people you will most often see by Darwin’s aviary is Cedric Robert: National Bird of Prey Hospital™ Manager and Bird Team member. Cedric is the main team member who looks after this pair of birds, and he absolutely adores them. He is very attentive to their every need. Striated Caracaras are extremely intelligent birds, so Cedric if always finding new ways to keep their inquisitive minds busy with engaging enrichment and by creating new areas for the birds to explore.

Cedric is often accompanied by some of the Trust’s valued volunteers who help him in his work, and they love to go and spend time with Darwin. He is such a cheeky gentleman, and will follow them around the aviary, observing every move with a keen eye.

Striated Caracaras are the most southerly-nesting of all bird of prey species. They nest in places such as the Falkland Islands, Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego. They can often be found in urbanised areas, and have become accustomed to the humans who live around them. They are very adept at seeking out easy food options, buy overturning plant pots and bins in search of their next meal.

Darwin really is a valuable personality to have in our team, and we all love him dearly.

©2022 Hawk Conservancy Trust