National Falconry School

The National Falconry School

Who Are We?

The National Falconry School is an organisation that exists to promote the conservation, through education, of raptors (i.e. birds of prey and owls).  We have an enviable reputation among those in the know, and have supplied owls for the Harry Potter films, having been recommended to Warner Brothers.

The School runs courses and encounter days for those who share our fascination and passion for owls, falcons, hawks and other raptors.  In order to reach as wide an audience as possible, we take our Roadshow throughout the UK, giving displays at events from Hampshire to Perthshire, and many places in between.  These displays are renowned for their sheer professionalism, and the passion that the team has for their subject.  It is this passion, coupled with a breath-taking display, that makes the National Falconry School’s display team stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

In addition to this very public work, staff at the School spend much time on real conservation work, including the breeding of several endangered species, including the barn owl (Tyto alba).

Another very important role fulfilled by staff at the School is caring for injured raptors.  These birds, very often the innocent victims of a road traffic accident, are brought to us by organisations such as the RSPCA, the police, vets and even members of the public.  It’s amazing how our fame and reputation have spread, and we seem to get an almost constant stream of visitors, clutching cardboard boxes containing injured wildlife, at our door.

Our success rate on these endeavours is high, and the vast majority of injured birds are released back into the wild, to live out the rest of their days.  Money we raise from our displays goes towards meeting our aim of educating people in the ways of nature, and saving wildlife.  We are currently exploring the possibility of converting a building at the School, to form a dedicated raptor hospital.

The Man

James McKayThe man behind the National Falconry School is our director, James McKay, former C.E.O. of the UK’s National Federation of Zoos, a zoologist and a qualified, professional lecturer.  James is also a regular presenter on TV (most recently on the BBC TV programmes Live ‘n’ Deadly and Deadly Days Out, with Steve Backshall), and an author of over 20 animal-related books.  A scientific fellow of the Zoological Society of London, James is the author of a book on falconry, published in 2010, and has also written many other books on animal-related subjects, as well as being a published photographer.

James has been giving falconry demonstrations around the UK for over 20 years, and has kept and flown raptors since the tender age of eleven.  All of James’ staff are also competent and experienced falconers/animal handlers, and hold relevant qualifications.

Always open to the latest research findings on the training and husbandry of raptors, James is particularly interested in the traditions of the ancient sport of falconry, and sees it as a duty to ensure that all of these traditions are passed on to the next generation.  James is well known for his understanding and explanations of the origins of many everyday expressions that have their origins deeply rooted in the sport and traditions of falconry.

We would normally bring 6 to 8 birds on a display, but this figure can be adjusted to suit specific requirements and/or circumstances.  Because we have such a large and varied collection of raptors, we can always ensure that we have sufficient suitable birds for all our commitments.

For further information, and/or a no-obligation quote for your event, please contact

Share Our Passion & Vision

We strive to help raptors, and those who share our enthusiasm for these magnificent creatures.  Our passion for our subject is palpable, and will certainly infect your customers and clients.  By being associated with our “green” credentials, client companies will also be seen in a good light by their own customer base.

You can be assured that we will give you a thoroughly professional service, tailored to meet the demands of your organisation and its publics, reflecting the very best in conservation, education and entertainment.

Due to our deep passion, knowledge, experience and understanding of falconry and our birds, we are able to offer specialised “themes” for events, such as medieval displays, “hands-on” encounters, and many others.

What Our Clients Have To Say About Us

“The most professional display team we have used”

“A stunning display”

“Breath-taking”

“The pleasure of the child when a real, live barn owl flew across the arena and landed on her gloved fist, is something that will remain with her – and myself – until our dying day.”

“The spectacle is something that excited the audience, and will undoubtedly remain with them.”

“We have never known such an all-encompassing display before – fantastic!”

“Everyone was entertained throughout the display, and I believe everyone must have learned something  - I know I did!”

“It was wonderful to see such beautiful birds at such close quarters.”

“The birds behaved impeccably, and were handled with care and respect.”

“For the children to be able to handle such beautiful creatures was a joy to behold.  The pictures they later produced in class show what a lasting and positive effect the experience has had on them.”

“Never fails to impress”

We would normally bring 6 to 8 birds on a display, but this figure can be adjusted to suit specific requirements and/or circumstances.  Because we have such a large and varied collection of raptors, we can always ensure that we have sufficient suitable birds for all our commitments.

For further information, and/or a no-obligation quote for your event, please contact us,