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Zoo Diary: Moss the Lanner Falcon‘s Adventure

on 26th June, 2023

It was an ordinary sunny day at the Lake District Wildlife Park. The bird keepers were out doing some routine flying exercises with their birds. Moss the Lanner Falcon was flying well on the hot balmy summer’s day. She was enjoying the thermals…when two buzzards flew in and spooked her. Moss was then not confident enough to return to her Falconer’s gloved hand, which she has done many times before.

Her Keepers spent hours trying to locate her by using her telemetry. She was eventually tracked out on the Solway Coast and then the signal was lost. Early mornings and late nights ensued to try and get a sighting of Moss. A few days later a message came through from a lady in Cockermouth whose mother-in-law had seen a bird land in her garden and had heard a bell. She had managed to get a photograph and send it to the Lake District Wildlife Park. It looked very much like Moss and so the bird keepers sprung into action. Unfortunately, by the time they arrived in Cockermouth, Moss had flown off again and was nowhere to be seen.

As it turns out Moss had ventured back to the Solway Coast and a phone call was received from Gary at the Cumberland Bird Centre. Moss had been spotted at Watchtree Nature Reserve and fortunately it was recognised that Moss was not a native falcon. Lanner Falcons look similar to Peregrine Falcons, but Lanners have a red cap and are slightly paler in overall colour. Gary had been called out to Watchtree and Moss flew down to his gloved hand. She was then safely handed over to her Keepers at the Lake District Wildlife Park and returned to her home.

Moss is fine and well after her little adventure and has settled back in. In the meantime, Turbulence the other Lanner Falcon at the Park is busy doing what she does best…showing the public how amazing she is at flying. When stooping (doing a vertical dive to catch prey) they can reach speeds of up to 200 mph. When you see Turbulence start as a tiny speck high in the sky diving towards you on the bird of prey flying field it is a spectacular sight.

Everyone is very happy that Moss is back at the Park and grateful for everyone who helped in getting her back.

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