Burren Hawk Walk: The Experience You Cannot Miss
Due to some rough seas, we didn’t leave Inisoirr quite when we expected to. That put us in a little bit of a rush (but an Irish rush more than an American rush) to get to our next destination: The Burren Birds of Prey Center (located in Ballyvaughan).
The center is a cool stop along any journey around southwestern Ireland – you can walk around and see all kinds of interesting birds, hear about the latest research, and even stick around for a surprisingly-exciting-yet-educational show each hour featuring a few of the birds and their talents.
The main reason why we chose to stop here, however, is to do the Hawk Walk: a biologist-assisted hike through the forest accompanied by two hawks! At the start of the hike, we were each equipped with falconry gloves and given a brief orientation the “do’s” and “don’ts” of handling hawks. It was simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying to think that we would have these hawks less than an inch away from our faces as they explored the forest and came back to land on our arms as we walked! But honestly, after we understood more about them and how they think, the fear turned into pure excitement.
This was by far our most memorable experience in Ireland (and one of the highlights of all my travels so far). I booked it as a mid-trip surprise for Rob and can still remember the look on his face when he realized what we were going to do! I highly recommend that you check this out if you’re even remotely in the area.