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A bird in the hand

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James McLaren James McLaren | 15:11 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

I've always been a sucker for birds of prey. Like thousands of small boys, I got enthused by hawks, falcons and eagles to such an extent that I joined the Young Ornithologists' Club, the 'youth wing', if you will, of the RSPB.

So it's still exciting for me to see raptors up close and personal.

At the Royal Welsh Show, I encounter Layla Bennett of Hawksdrift Falconry with her collection of harris hawks, eagle owls, gyrfalcons, peregrines and barn owls, tucked away from the main arenas and with this generation's enthusiastic small boys posing for photos with a bird on their arms.

To one side, under the trees, I ask her about what her firm does - and it's not just displays these days - a lot of her business comes from pest control contracts:

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Find out more about raptors on BBC Wales Nature.


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