Checking in with Pike

During the summer season, our daily timetable changes and our summer flying displays begin. This means the stars of our winter displays get a well-deserved rest during this time.

Pike the Black Vulture and his girlfriend Chips are fan favourites in our winter display – World of Birds of Prey. Pike in particular is known to get a little distracted during show time, and will often wander into the crowd exploring the audiences’ shoes!

Other than that, Pike and Chips are pretty inseparable. They have been together throughout their entire lives. As you may have guessed, Pike is the more mischievous of the two; one of his favourite things to do when a Bird Team member is cleaning his aviary is to give them a swift peck on the bag of the legs before scurrying away!

During the summer months, Pike likes to kick back and relax. He enjoys the life of luxury, attended to by the Bird Team with lots of tasty food. The peace and quiet from this time period means he can moult through a brand-new set of feathers, ready to wow the crowds when he begins to fly again in the autumn.

Black Vultures are New World Vultures, and can be found natively across the Americas, and are colloquially known as ‘Buzzards’! They can be found in quite large flocks, and offspring stay with their parents in a social group into adulthood.

To keep themselves cool and clean in the hot summers, Black Vultures urinate over their own legs! This peculiar behaviour is known as urohydrosis.

On your next visit, be sure to say hello to Pike and Chips in their aviary. During hazy summer days, they can be seen cosying up together and drifting off to sleep on their perch.

©2024 Hawk Conservancy Trust