A new feathered friend has swooped into a South Yorkshire visitor attraction.
Blue, a pale chanting goshawk, hatched in March and is already set to be a big star in free-flying bird displays at the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre.
However, Blue first needs to learn to fly – and he is expected to make his first ever flight in the coming days.
Ben Coulson, a bird display trainer and presenter at the North Anston attraction, said: “Even at just four weeks old, we began preparing him for future demonstrations, by bringing him out to meet the crowd.
“Seeing lots of people and hearing different sounds from an early age helps to socialise a young bird and ensures they feel safe and comfortable in a display environment as they get older.
“Blue has already started to walk a few paces to food and will probably take his first flight in the next few days.”
The chick moved to the Tropical Butterfly House when he was three weeks old after being purchased from an independent UK breeder.
He is now on display to visitors in the ‘Hawk Walk’ experience.
The unique-looking bird of prey is found in eastern and southern Africa and is a light blue or grey colour when it is an adult, with bright orange legs and beak.
Blue will have a different colouring in his first year of life, because in the wild it means other birds of prey can identify him as a juvenile and give him some leeway if he enters or passes through their territory.
The pale chanting goshawk is often seen in the wild near honey badgers, who dig in the ground for food, allowing the birds to capture fleeing lizards and rodents.
They also prey on small birds and large insects, often walking on the ground to find food.
In addition to Blue, spring has also meant some other new arrivals at the Tropical Butterfly House, including a first baby parma wallaby, three baby ring-tailed lemurs and four rainbow lorikeet chicks.