My wife and I were vacationing in Ireland with another couple. One of our friends was very excited about the possibility of visiting the Birds of Prey Centre and participating in a “Hawk Walk.” The idea basically just didn’t appeal to my wife and I, so we figured we would drop them off at the BoP Centre, go explore something else in the area, and come back and pick them up.
The short story is: We changed our minds, and are very glad we did! If you want more details, read on.
We all wanted to see the Aillwee Cave, and there were package deals for both. Also, there is a discounted price to go on the Hawk Walk as an observer. So we decided to go along the walk and observe, and perhaps watch the flight display later.
To put it simply: Don’t miss this. Our guide for the Hawk Walk was Cathal. Folks, you could not ask for anyone better for this task. Within seconds he had us enjoying ourselves. His love for the birds and for his job was evident and contagious. He taught us so much about the Harris hawk we accompanied on the walk, without ever being condescending or boring. Most of all, he was a great host. We learned so much, became very comfortable with the hawk, and enjoyed every single second of the walk.
After the Hawk Walk, we decided to sit in for the flight display. We were glad we did! I’ve seen numerous “bird shows” at Disney, Busch Gardens, Sea World, etc. This was completely different – and better. First of all, it was conducted by Cathal and his co-worker Jamie. Rather than stiltedly following a script, the atmosphere was more like, “Let’s share our feathered friends with these guests!” They both seemed to be enjoying themselves – in fact, when one was demonstrating a bird, often the other would hang around with the audience and watch too. The show was very interactive. There was a small crowd on hand for the show we were watching, so each of us had the opportunity to interact with and handle a Harris hawk. Very cool! Don’t make the mistake I almost did, in assuming this is “just another bird show.” Make sure you see it.
I have high praise for the Burren Birds of Prey Centre in general, and Cathal and Jamie in particular. An excellent experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC