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Can You Pet a New Zealand Falcon

  • Pet Care

Can You Pet a New Zealand Falcon?

Falcons are an amazing species of bird that have fascinated humans since time immemorial. Many of us would love to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures. However, whether or not it is possible to pet a New Zealand Falcon is a more complex question than it might seem.

Native Status

The New Zealand Falcon is a bird of prey that is native to New Zealand and is known for its incredible aerial acrobatics and hunting techniques. It is one of the few species of bird in the world that can be found in all mainland environments, from the coastal wetlands to the alpine peaks. As such, it is an iconic symbol of the country and holds a special place in the hearts of many New Zealanders.

New Zealand Falcon as a pet

Cultural Context

The New Zealand Falcon holds a special place within Maori culture. It is an iconic bird of prey that is heavily tied to many stories and traditions, some of which are centuries old. In Maori beliefs, its feathers are closely related to prestige and mana, as they are thought to have the power to protect and bless those that wear them. Maori people highly value the conservation of these raptors and view them as a symbol of strength and resilience.

The Inherent Risk

Given the reverence and importance placed on New Zealand Falcons in the country, it is not surprising to learn that these birds are highly sensitive to human interaction and disturbance. As such, their habitat is severely restricted, and any attempt to pet one of these birds is likely to be unsuccessful and may even be dangerous.

The fact of the matter is that these birds live in an incredibly fragile environment, and any attempts to pet them could easily lead to disturbances that could affect their behavior or even end up killing them. Any contact between humans and wild Raptors is illegal in New Zealand, and any attempts to do so may result in legal consequences.

Pet Raptor Alternatives

Even though it might be impossible to pet a New Zealand Falcon, you can still experience the thrill of getting up close and personal with these majestic creatures. One option is to visit a wildlife rehabilitation centre or zoo and observe their Raptor enclosures. This will allow you to observe these birds in natural habitats but without endangering their safety in any way.

Another alternative is to adopt a raptor from a rescue and rehabilitation centre. There are some organizations that specialize in rehoming raptors that have been orphaned or injured, such as the Royal New Zealand Society of Protection of Animals. This will not only give you the opportunity to experience the joys of having a raptor as a pet but also to help in the conservation of the bird species.


The New Zealand Falcon is an incredible species that holds a place of deep reverence in Maori culture and the hearts of many New Zealanders. Sadly, attempts to pet them are illegal and could end up endangering the bird’s life, making it a highly inadvisable prospect. However, there are still plenty of ways to get close to these birds in a safe and legal manner. Whether it is observing them in natural habitats or adopting one in need a of a home, it is possible to enjoy the majesty of these creatures without putting them at risk.

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