The Marlborough Falcon Trust Falcon Valley has opened at the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre this week, a memorable destination for travellers in New Zealand this summer. The result of a partnership between the Trust and Brancott Estate, visitors can check get up close with a kārearea (New Zealand falcon) for a donation. The donations will go toward falcon awareness and rehabilitation at the Trust’s aviary in Marlborough.
The Trust has two advocacy birds in flight that visitors can see as part of the Brancott Estate Falcon Encounter. The birds help keep grape-eating birds away from the vineyard, and can reach 200 km/h when hunting.
There are fewer than 3,000 pairs if kārearea in the wild, and they face a number of threats, including loss of habitat, electrocution on power poles, collisions with turbines on wind farms, predation by cats and hedgehogs, and stoats and rats preying on eggs and nestlings. They are listed as a threatened species by the Department of Conservation.
The Falcon Encounter also includes a tasting of wines from the Brancott Estate Living Land range of organic wines. The range has raised a good deal of the NZ$500,000 that the winery has given to the Trust, where NZ$1 from each bottle is donated to the Living Land Fund. The funds have helped finance a 16-pen rehabilitation and breeding aviary, and the ongoing care of falcons.