This is Basil. He is a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). As a male he is known as a 'tiercel' being one third smaller than the female 'falcon' and was known as the tassel-gentle in the sixteenth century. Peregrine Falcons are the fastest flying birds in the world and have been recorded at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. In the wild they rely on speed to catch fast flying birds, and use their aerodynamic teardrop bodyshape to plummet from high altitudes. Basil is currently being trained to stoop to the lure.
This is Bramble, the smallest member of the team. She is a female Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and very cute. They are also known as the 'Windhover' or in Shakespeare's time, the 'Staniel' (standgale) for their characteristic style of flight. She was rescued after straying into a garden last year and as she was unclaimed she has become a valuable member of the flying team. Bramble loves hovering overhead on a windy day.
This is Bosworth, the most experienced and stubborn member of the team. He is an adult reclaimed male Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) with the customary russet-coloured tail. They are related to our Common Buzzard but with distinctly more lethal feet. Red-tailed Hawks are indigenous to the North American continent where they are opportunistic and solitary ambush predators. Bosworth is rather shy of large farmyard animals such as horses and cows and likes to stay in the trees!
This is Beaumont, a male Harris' Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus). They live in the arid deserts of the southern United States and Central America and fly from perch to perch in search of their prey. They hunt small rodents, reptiles and some birds and are unusual as they cooperate with their family units to catch prey. Beaumont is extremely intelligent and curious about his visual world and has a very amiable temperament.
This is Bomber, Beaumont's brother from the same clutch. As Parabuteos they are a species with traits similar to both the true Hawks and the Buzzards. Bomber is quite an obstinate character and lands on the glove with a thump!