Birds take to skies to put on first show

A YOUNG merlin will be one of the stars in the sky as visitors flock to see a zoo’s first Birds of the World Show.

Ten-month-old Belle – member of the falcon family and the UK’s smallest bird of prey – will show off her airborne antics at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Belle the merlin

Belle the merlin

She will join feathered friends, including a bald eagle, a barn owl, a vulture, hawks and buzzards in the Bird Arena at 1.30pm every day of next week.

Birds trainer Liz Brown said: “Belle is doing really well with her training.

“We’ve been teaching her to fly to the lure, which is swung around for her to try and catch.

“We’re very pleased with her and looking forward to her first show.”

Merlins rarely stand more than 33cm tall or have a wingspan greater than 67cm.

During half-term, the zoo will be open from 10am to 5pm with a variety of animal talks.

Click on the video to see the birds in action.