We would like you all to meet the newest member of our team Loki The Harris Hawk.
For the last few years we have noticed more and more wild Jackdaws are making their nests and rearing their young inside the castle. While we love all wildlife here at the castle, the bird droppings are very corrosive and our castle was sustaining damage as a result.
A pest control solution had to be found so we put our heads together to discuss a solution which would not only be effective, but non- corrosive, eco-friendly and promote biodiversity.
Introducing a predator (under controlled circumstances) can achieve all these goals as well as give us a fantastic addition to our education programme (this ties in nicely as it is thought that Dundonald Castle may have been a hunting lodge at one stage).
Loki is a North American Harris Hawk and arrived with our falconer Gillian/Merida on 7th May 2018. He was raised completely by his hawk parents and had never even seen a human until Gillian picked him up, so he was rather fierce and completely untrained.
Gillian has been working tirelessly, manning him (you may have seen her walking round the village with him), feeding him on the glove and now flying with him at the castle. So in just 4 short weeks our lovely boy has learned to trust, sit on a perch, take food from the hand, meet people, dogs, cars and other day to day happenings at the castle.
Loki is now confident in flying to the glove and seems to be adapting to his new role fabulously, we are very proud of our new boy and look forward to introducing you all to him now that he is a bit more social.