Outdoor Events

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Raphael Historic Falconry is a professional falconry demonstration and education team which travels all over the UK all year round. If you need a top quality falconry display to wow your audience, something totally new, look no further. Fed up of "green welly" falconry at your country show? Invite us to perform Victorian Falconry instead, your visitors will love it! If you want an indoor or non-flying event, click "The History Birds" logo on our home page.

Flying Displays

Our public flying displays are the most slick and professional you are likely to see. Our focus has always been on the quality of flights and the manner in which they are presented - that's how we engage audiences and deliver a thrilling performance. We know our competition, we've been around a long time and have seen a lot of other falconers, we don't do what they do. Ours is not a bird show, it's a proper falconry display revealing the skills and techniques behind an ancient craft. We simulate hunting and demonstrate a variety of hawk species in free, natural flight. For outdoor events where there is adequate safe space to fly we provide a static exhibition of birds and arena-based falconry demonstrations. Details of our static exhibitions can be found below. Our falconry displays will include a variety of raptor species which could include any of the following; Goshawk, Gyr Falcon, Saker Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Kestrel, Harris Hawk, Lanner Falcon, Barn Owl, Eagle Owl, Golden Eagle. The selection of birds will be made by us depending on the time of year, the nature of the venue, and the period of history requested.

Depending on the type of event, we offer 2 or 3 daily flying displays of 30 minutes duration each containing a different selection of birds and a different commentary. Every bird is flown in individual and impressive style accompanied by an eloquent commentary revealing how its species was used and valued in history. We weave a seamless story throughout our displays demonstrating training, hunting and flying techniques in live action using a variety of period props. We also tell folk stories and dramatic tales about real characters in history. There is a relevant public interaction element to many of our displays and our performances are suitable for audiences of all ages and sizes. At larger flagship events we sometimes draft in fellow professional falconer Ben Long to demonstrate kite hawking which is a truly stunning spectacle and a realistic recreation of the sport of kings. We also supply Ben independently as our support team when we are not available in person, and where budget allows he is accompanied by Kathy Hipperson (professional actor) to provide commentary.

We supply our own top quality rechargeable PA system as we require hands-free microphones, we also provide our own stake and rope arena barriers and safety signage. We are fully self-contained and require nothing from a venue other than vehicle access and water. As the law requires we carry £5million public liability insurance, possess an Animal Activities Licence, carry a Welfare in Transit licence, and have a comprehensive company Safety Policy incorporating site-specific Risk Assessments and Covid measures. Copies are available by request on completion of booking.

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Static Display

All falconers are expected to provide a selection of birds on perches to view between displays, we are no exception but we have gone to exceptional lengths to make our historical static display one of the best in the industry. The historical place of rest for falconry birds was The Hawk Mews; we have recreated various period mews using carefully crafted historical tents, like stage scenery they help to create the right period ambiance as well as providing all-weather shelter for the bird team. Each tented mews is lavishly decorated with sumptuous period fabrics, hand crafted perches, furniture, props and equipment off-setting the birds beautifully in a period-appropriate surrounding. It is a visual feast for the eyes and an attraction in its own right!

The mews is open for external public viewing only and encourages visitors to chat to the costumed falconers, take photographs and see the birds at close quarters. On a sunny day the birds are often placed outside with water baths and can be seen having a jolly good splash! Visitors with dogs are always asked to keep a little distance as a welfare measure and signs are displayed accordingly. What we don't do is place a name sign in front of each bird because it would ruin the integrity of the historical setting. Instead, we use a chalk board to randomly identify our birds by species and invite the general public to try and work out who is who, with a little help from us of course. This has proven to be a popular feature!

Event Suitability

We are very flexible in terms of the type of events that we are suitable for inclusion at. Much of the time we work alone as sole performers providing period falconry as the entire event, we are fully equipped and experienced to do this and can offer a full daily programme of flying displays, talks and show-and-tells. We also work equally well at large multi-performer and multi-period events like Jousting Tournaments, Roman Festivals and Victorian Fairs. Wherever we work there are certain geographical requirements we need to be able to perform safely. Not all venues and events are suitable for falconry due to their size, location or activity content so do please get in touch if you have any doubts. We are the best people to advise you and can often make recommendations or devise a "best fit" plan. Falconry is NOT a suitable activity to include at any military events which include explosions from gunpowder - unless your venue is very large and you are prepared to work with us to find an appropriate safe location.

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We do not charge a single standard rate because of the variety of services we offer but you can expect to pay anywhere between £500 - £1000 + VAT per day for us to attend a public event providing flying displays and a static exhibition. Our fees are calculated on an individual basis depending on distance, duration and content. We do not charge an inflated rate for bank holidays, we offer discounts for events of more than 3 consecutive days, and the rate you are quoted will include fuel and accommodation expenses. We will take single day bookings at weekends however a nominal fee for the loss of the second day will be charged. If you are interested in making a booking the best thing to do is contact us by email for a written quote. Give us a brief outline of your requirements and location and we will respond as soon as we can. Keep in mind that our prices include costumes and historical equipment as well as all the standard falconry kit, so we are more expensive than modern falconers. If you have a fixed budget available but no more, tell us what your budget is and we will suggest what we can do for you.

Our business is VAT registered so all charges will be plus tax. We charge a non-refundable deposit to secure all bookings and issue written confirmation with terms and conditions included. Booking deposits are valid for 1 year from the date of booking. Please note we do not put out donation buckets to boost our income as this is illegal unless a registered charity! If you are booking an animal performer to exhibit animals at your event they must by law possess an Animal Activities License.

Artwork, design and text are copyright of Emma Raphael 2024