ABOUT CJ'S birds of prey
Charlotte first developed a keen interest in Birds of Prey as a young girl after being taken to various Falconry Centres around the UK by her father John. After leaving School Charlotte studied for 2 years on an Animal Care Course at Moulton College of Agriculture where she further advanced her knowledge and also obtained several voluntary part-time jobs and work experience placements at a number of Birds of Prey Centres.
Upon finishing her course Charlotte was offered a position at the National Bird of Prey Centre at Newent. From there she went on to gain a vast amount of experience in the art of falconry whilst working and collaborating with many of the leading authorities in this field in countries such as Denmark, Austria, Czech Republic, Japan and Australia. This is obvious to the audiences and spectators who watch with interest and amazement at the spectacular flying displays that she gives with her birds which include a variety of Falcons, Hawks, Buzzards, Owls and Eagles.
Charlotte prides herself on always giving informative and educational commentaries from her vast experience, yet manages to retain a light hearted and often humorous approach to the antics of her birds, who may not always work to their scripts.
In 2013 Charlotte and José first introduced their then 4½ year old son Luis to the public in the arena. He is now 12 and taking an active role with the team, regularly flying some of the smaller birds, so the future for CJ’s is looking bright!
Charlotte’s mother Tina is a key member of the administration team. She is primarily responsible for booking your Birds of Prey Experiences at Westmill Farm, Ware, Hertfordshire and at Harvest Barn Farm, Farcet, Peterborough.
Tina is also responsible for acquiring new outlets and business partners to work alongside CJ’s Birds of Prey.
Charlotte’s husband José is an important and integral member of the team who takes a key role in the Falconry shows and displays. José is a well-known and highly respected Falconer and his interest in Falconry goes back almost 30 years.
He has been an active member of the British Hawking Association and served as Chairman for 5 years. He has also lectured to Falconers in Spain and has hunting experience around the UK and in Spain and the USA.
Sophie Smith has been with CJ’s for the past 4 years, Sophie studied level 3 in Animal Management at College and then spent some time working in as a volunteer on a wildlife reserve in South Africa.
After returning to the UK Sophie discovered an intrinsic love for Birds of Prey after rehabilitating an injured Kestrel. Her parents bought her a CJ’s experience day and she soon found herself hooked on birds of prey and the world of falconry.
Sophie now works alongside Charlotte training, flying and looking after all the birds at CJ’s.
The CJ’s Team
Charlotte and Jose are capably assisted by their enthusiastic family, plus a group of experienced team members (Damian, Sophie and Ashleigh) who regularly appear at many of the major shows around the country.
Meet the dream team! These are just some of our beautiful Birds of Prey display team that help CJ's Bird of Prey to provide amazing experiences and Birds of Prey display shows and events all across the country.
Saki, our female Brown Asian Wood Owl, was hatched in captivity in 2005 and has been an integral member of our team since she was just 2 weeks old. She was brought up with the family and has always been a real character. Saki is always very responsive in the arena and at our “Experience Days”.
Cardhu is a female Eastern Chanting Goshawk who was hatched in Holland in 2005 and is one of just a small number in Europe. She always creates a lot of interest in the arena; not only with her acrobatic displays but with the unusual amount of confidence that she demonstrates whilst on the ground. She regularly makes herself heard above the crowd with her piercing chanting call.
Jura our Crowned Hawk Eagle is the most powerful of all African raptors. She has huge, sharp talons at the tip of her muscular feet and feathered legs. Although she is not a member of our flying display team she is always a major attraction as she perches majestically on her block in the weathering.
Our male European Kestrel is becoming a big attraction at both outdoor and indoor events, as well “hands-on” Experiences; especially on school visits as he has been trained to fly to the fist of adults and children alike. Kestrels, sometimes known as a Windhover, can often be seen be seen hovering over road-side grass verges, looking for prey or urine trails left by voles and mice. This is due to there ability to see UV light sources in the trails. They are one of only 2 creatures in the world with this facility.
A Dark Breasted Barn Owl who was bred at Baytree Owl Centre at Spalding in June 2015. He is enthusiastically flying to people who come on our “Experiences” at Ware in Hertfordshire and has adapted very well to flying throughout the winter months.
Our male European Buzzard joined the team 2014. He is similar to the Buzzards that you regularly see flying high in the skies of the UK and is always an attraction; being able to see him at such close quarters.
Blue is a Chilean Blue Buzzard Eagle (sometimes known as a Black Chested Buzzard Eagle) who joined us at 5 years of age during the summer of 2016. Although he had been handled and flown previously he had never flown in a show or an arena. He has undergone a rigorous training programme and is becoming one of the stars of our displays.
Bud is one of the later “Harris Hawks” to join the team. Another one of our own youngster who we bred late in 2014. He is a very responsive bird; enthusiastically flying to the glove of visitors at our experience sessions, whilst also being a very aerobatic performer.
Ruby is a Tawny Owl who is one of the newer members of our team, also bred at Baytree Owl Centre in Spalding. She has already become a great favourite with visitors to our Experience Days due to her friendly and responsive nature. The Tawny Owl is the most common of all our British Birds of Prey. It can be recognised by it’s familiar ‘twit twoo’ call.