AN animal centre in Ringwood welcomed five new feathered friends ahead of its reopening last weekend.

Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre is now home to five new chicks, who have hatched during lockdown and staff are ready to introduce visitors to the new additions. The centre reopened last Saturday.

Despite being closed since the end of March due to the Covid-19 outbreak, falconers at the conservation centre on Crow Lane have worked around the clock to care for the baby birds.

Among the hatchlings this year have been turkey vultures, a hooded vulture, European kestrels, as well as Ferruginous hawks and a black vulture.

Jayson Bridges, co-owner of Liberty’s said: “Like many conservation charities, we rely on the generous donations of our visitors and supporters to carry out our conservation work supporting both native and international species of raptors. Having to close the centre due to the coronavirus outbreak has really hit us hard.

“Although the centre may be closed to the public, life has gone on as normal at the centre, with the spring time being one of our busiest times of the year, with a lot of extra mouths to feed.

“It has been non-stop for us since March and we are delighted with how successful the breeding season has been here.

“We are part of a number of breeding programmes supporting some of the most endangered species on our planet, including a number of different species of vulture. They may not be the prettiest of birds - even as chicks - but the role they play in the ecosystem cannot be underestimated. They are nature’s binmen, and ensure that numerous deadly diseases are kept at bay.”

Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre is located in Crow Lane.

Go to for more information about its opening times.