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At Eye Level with Eagles, Owls and Vultures
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At Eye Level with Eagles, Owls and Vultures

When wild birds of prey circle above your head

Time for calm! "Lower your heads and please do not get up," Florian Gamper tells visitors. "And better not to eat." His arm is wrapped in a thick leather glove. A buzzard is perched on it. With a powerful beating of wings, the bird of prey takes off and flies into the sky. Evenly circling higher and higher. The visitors look up, spellbound. Not only the children are amazed.

Every day, the flight demonstrations above the castle hill of Tyrol Castle in the village of the same name draw dozens of visitors into their magic spell. Eagles, vultures, hawks, kites, owls and buzzards circle majestically. A breathtaking sight, which offers itself to visitors at the bird care center "Gufyland".

These wild animals are not trained. At this air show, they merely control their actual territory and are "bribed" with edible rewards. Florian and his colleague Willy are the caregivers of the birds of prey. They not only look after the animals, but educate visitors about the life of wild birds. Some animals are even threatened with extinction. In the background is Tyrol Castle, one of the most famous castles in the region.
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The main task of the bird care center is not the air show. The daily work of this private initiative takes place in the background. As the name suggests, the center is there to accept and care for wild birds. If injured or helpless animals are found in South Tyrol, then Florian, Willy and the other employees of the Gufyland are called. They restore the animals to good health and if possible release them later to the wild. The convenient location of the care center offers optimal climate conditions for taking care of injured wild birds.

Every year, around 250 of these animals are brought to Gufyland. About half of these can be released after their recovery. If the animals are unable to fly or unlikely to survive in the wild, then they may stay in the center, in one of the 24 spacious special aviaries located on a space of approximately 9,000 square meters. Visitors are able to view the animals in the aviaries on a 300 meter-long tour, and also learn interesting facts about these magnificent native bird species via ten large-format displays.

If you are looking for a flight demonstration in Gufyland, you should definitely plan a visit to Tyrol Castle (https://www.merano-suedtirol.it/de/dorf-tirol/artikel/schloss-tirol-in-dorf-tirol-44/ ), located directly above the air center. The castle was formerly the ancestral seat of the Counts of Tyrol, and the cradle of the Lands of Tyrol. In addition to the South Tyrolean Museum of Culture and Provincial History, temporary art exhibitions are regularly held. Those seeking peace and quiet should sit in the courtyard. In addition to the shop and café, the shade of the trees and the babbling fountains invite you to relax or read a book. From the castle you can also enjoy breathtaking views of Merano/Meran and the surrounding South Tyrolean mountains.
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Would you like to learn more about the fauna of South Tyrol on site?
Would you like to learn more about the fauna of South Tyrol on site?
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