Meet the Team

North Yorkshire’s, Swinton Estate; Birds of prey centre and aviary has fifteen birds, hosted between Swinton Park and Bivouac, with a variety of species including owls, falcons, hawks, the eagle and buzzard.

Our mother and daughter team, Mandy and Sophie Abbott, offer educational and fun experiences, available to visitors and guests.

Insight: Mandy, the Falconer at Swinton Estate for over three years.

Mandy, how did the Birds of prey centre take off?

“Sophie, my daughter (who is Operations Manager at Swinton Bivouac), is very passionate about falconry and my other two children are much younger, so I used to spend a lot of time, letting the younger children play whilst Sophie flew and looked after the birds at other centres. When Sophie set up the Birds of Prey centre in 2008, at the age of seventeen, I offered to help her out so she could have the occasional day off or holiday when time would allow.”

What flying experiences are available at the Birds of Prey centre?

“The family falconry experience, a falconry ‘starter’ experience or a more thoughtful hawk-walk. We seek to provide as much hands on interaction with our guests as possible and to enjoy the personalities and behaviour our large variety of friendly owls, hawks and falcons display.”

Which is the most popular experience?

“I would say our owl experiences are a great pastime, the owls, of which we have nine, have such great personalities and love everyone!”

What is the exercise routine of the birds?

“Our birds are flown daily, although just like us, the enjoy nocturnal activity and occasional leisure!”