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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Birds of prey worker swoops with national award nomination

A 24-year old apprentice bird handler at Duncombe Park's birds of prey centre is in the running for the Guardian Small Business Showcase awards.

Birdman who's never in a flap ... George Daltrey
 and Atlantis the White Tailed Sea Eagle.

George Daltrey, from Helmsley, took a summer job at the centre, last year, in the shop. Soon, he was also volunteering with the birds before joining the bird staff full-time while the centre’s curator was in Nepal working with endangered vultures. George has now enrolled on an animal care course with the College of Animal Welfare to further his knowledge and career.

Charlie Heap, director at the National Centre for Birds of Prey, said: "George is a grafter. His easy-going manner, both with the birds and the visitors, is a real hit. He has always shown a true eagerness to learn and to improve.

“His bird skills are now significant. In December 2015 he started to train a white-tailed sea eagle. He already flies a bald eagle to a high standard. This particular eagle had never been trained and had been in an aviary for 20 years – so it was a real challenge.

"However ‘Atlantis’ is now flying free and on demonstration. This is a real achievement and one that many experienced falconers would have failed at. While George has worked here for nearly a year, he has never taken a sick day, nor even any annual leave. That’s commitment”

The winners of the award will be announced at a ceremony in summer 2016.

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