Socks was hatched in 1997 and has been flown at the centre for many years. He used thermals (warm air currents) to gain height and then stoops back down to the centre. Socks is currently housed off display as he is now retired from flying displays, but Itchy, our other Saker falcon, has taken over from Socks in the flying and display team.

 

In the wild

The Saker is the species of falcon traditionally used in Arabia for falconry.

Origin: The Saker Falcon is a widespread species of bird, coming from Eastern Europe, Russia, China and the Middle East with some migrating to Africa in the winter.

Diet: Mainly small mammals (especially rodents), also many birds, some reptiles, few insects (beetles) and rarely amphibians. The Saker Falcon is unusual in taking ground prey - compared to other large species of falcon e.g. the Peregrine Falcon.

Habitat: Typically open dry country, with cliffs or scattered tall trees: especially favours forest-steppe, steppe, sub-desert, plains and grasslands. Nests in old nest-tree of other raptor, corvid, heron or stork. More commonly in eastern part of range nests on cliff ledge or rock crag.

SPECIES FACTFILE

LENGTH: 47-57cm

WINGSPAN: 97-126cm

WEIGHT: 730-1300g

EGGS IN CLUTCH: 3-5

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