Welcome to the Cortijo Búho website where you will gain an insight into what we do, how we do it and why.
We're located in Southern Spain in the beautiful province of Granada known for it's wealth of history, vivid blue lakes and of course rich and varied wildlife. On a simple journey to the village you can witness Golden Eagles soaring on thermals, Jewelled lizards sunbathing on rocks and the obligatory shepherd wending his way through the valley with his flock of sheep & goats ambling along behind.
At night the area is magical with foxes sauntering through the fields below the house, shining a flashlight down onto the land all you see is the brilliant reflection of their eyes amidst the darkness. Wild boar families snuffle through the under growth by the river and owls call into the night while hunting their prey, they often sit outside the house and chat with our birds too.
Cortijo Búho is an educational facility teaching adults and children alike about birds of prey, we are not open to the general public but you can make an appointment where you will be the only party here.
We do not give bird of prey displays, we offer a one to one experience where you learn about the birds as species and individuals, fly them, feed them and have an experience
you will never forget.
THE FEATHERED TEAM.
Hatched on June 7th 2017 Molly is a cross between a princess and a
a diva. A very intelligent girl she loves to fly just for fun but also likes a the reward of a morsel of food to make it more interesting.
Molly also delivers wedding rings.
The European Eagle owl with a huge character. Hatched on June 6th 2017 she's only a baby but a big one.
She is currently weighing in at just over 7.8 kg with a 2m wing span and flies like a Lancaster bomber but lands very gently on the glove.
Matty prefers adults to children, little ones tend to move too fast for her and she gets a little spooked but she does enjoy her photo being taken and unusually for this species she loves to fly - Sometimes.
The Northern White Faced owl was hatched on the 15th February 2018 and is a favourite with guests as she rather likes to eat at the dining table.
Mystic is never happier than when walking around the table being fed by anyone who happens to have some food, she's playful and rather likes to relax in front of a bit of cat tv when she has a moment.
This species of owl is commonly known as the transformer owl and she'll go from a little round ball to a tall thin grey streak if there are eagles flying overhead - She's our early warning system for when all the birds are out in the corral garden.
A rare Black Barn owl, he's one of 100,000 to be born and one in a million to survive.
He hatched in April 2017 and has been with us since April 2018.
A beautiful bird, a little shy but not of the camera. When you see Darcy & Molly together you can appreciate just how similar they are yet so different.
You will never see another in your lifetime.
'A Wonderful day
Ten of us arrived at 11am for our Owl experience. We were warmly welcomed by Lawrence and Matilda and given a much appreciated cup of coffee. Then we were introduced to the Owls and the Harris Hawk and thoroughly enjoyed getting close up and personal with these delightful members of their family. Having these beautiful birds on my hand was a real joy. They have cats, dogs, a baby lamb rejected by its Mum, a horse and the tiniest baby voles which they are hand rearing. Sunday will see the arrival of Meerkats (I came a week too early!) We enjoyed a lovely lunch and then further interaction with the Owls. We learnt so much from our hosts about their life and the cave house in which they live. A thoroughly relaxing day and one I have no hesitation in recommending.' Anne.
'The visit was everything I had been hoping for - what a birthday treat!
I saved my visit for my birthday treat, with friends - and what a birthday it was. I just love owls anyway, to to hold, fly and be so close to these beautiful birds was a dream come true. Every question was answered fully by Laurence, who has 40 years of experience with hawks and owls, with extra information included. I must admit to having a favourite - Mystic the little Scops Owl - but all of them are such amazing characters.
We also had our choice of meal, Indian, followed by Magic Lemon cake, and it did not disappoint. Generous portions, organic home grown food, Matilda is a star!
If you get a chance for the experience of a lifetime, I recommend Cortijo Buho without hesitation. Thank you again Laurence (hope your toe gets better soon) and Matilda, you haven't seen the last of me! x' Sandy.
Lovely birthday treat!
A truly incredible experience. We visited for my partner's birthday and only booked at short notice and so full lunch wasn't an option (We want to come back for this having tasted the produce!)
It was very hot and so an early visit. It was an absolute joy to meet all of the birds! It was so unusual to have the time and a small enough party to see all of their personalities. Flying the birds was amazing and I have a particular soft spot for Darcy!
We bought some delicious wine, cheeses, chutney and beetroot and were given two slices of orange cake to bring home.
Thank you for helping to make Dave's birthday special and giving us memories to treasure! Katie.
An amazing Birds of Prey experience with a delicious lunch
Matilda and Lawrence were lovely hosts and provided an absolutely amazing experience, that by far exceeded our expectations. From the warm welcome, even though we were keenly early, to seeing inside their amazing cave house, to learning so much about the beautiful birds, to getting up close and flying them was just amazing. Last but not least, the best 'picnic' lunch we have ever eaten! Super tasty, as well as fresh from the garden and homemade, accompanied by their delicious homemade wine too. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his birthday treat. Definitely 15/10 from us! We will be back. Karen.
What a great experience we had at Cortijo Buho. The owls and other birds are so calm and friendly. The hosts are fabulous. We had an amazing time there and we recommend this to everyone. A must do, go and see.
Open Day Visit & High Tea
Despite being slightly lost on the way (thanks Google maps should followed Matilda's directions!) I had a super time with Matilda, Laurence & their host of lovely animals!
It was a no fly day as the birds were resting & the sun as blisteringly hot so our experience took place in the courtyard which was shaded with canopies. I made some lovely new friends, was treated to excellent coffee & one by one Laurence introduced us to the birds...
High tea was amazing with a section of home grown, well made organic hummus, pate, pork pie & other savory treats followed by a section of tarte & cakes all made by Matilda on site.
After this we got to meet the barn owls who were up for a meet, greet & short fly. They were both gorgeous but the exceptionally rare black one really stole everyone's hearts!
Next stop the meercats who were still settling into their new 5* home but took time or to say hello & bask in the warm September sun. Sweet!
Although this wasn't a fly day is highly recommend the experience. Laurence & Matilda are great hosts & I had a lovely time there. Thank you for making me so welcome guys I'll deff be back for the full experience... !
Fantastic way to spend a day!
We went for a light lunch , , and to meet the Birds and Animals, the Meerkats were new arrivals, I had meet the Owls before, , we had a lovely time, , Mat and Lawrence are the best hosts ever, , and the Owls really are fascinating Birds!
Overall it is the one of the best days out, , whether for a Coffee morning, ,light Lunch or full experience, , you can not beat Mats Cooking, , be it simple English food or exotic, , it’s Amazing!
I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Cortijo Buho to anyone.
Fantastic day out.
A great experience, Lawrence certainly knows his stuff and Matty what a fab cook really enjoyed the bird experience and of course all the other critters will definatly visit again.
Treat for my 85yr old bird loving Father
What a superb morning ...
we surprised my father with this visit .... and along with my daughter her boyfriend and my husband we learnt so much from Lawrence .
Both he and Mathilde were superb hosts and we felt we were visiting friends .
A wonderful unique experience and we are at the stage where we want to make memories with my father ... this was truly a special memory for all of us.
We look forward to returning and sampling your organic foods .
Georgina , Lawrence , Gino , Sarah & Gary
Brilliant experience with incredible lunch!
We spent a wonderful day here (two couples in our 20s and 50s) learning about the birds and flying them. We found the historic cave and grounds incredibly relaxing. Lawrence is very knowledgable and Matilda made the most delicious lunch with homegrown organic ingredients. We really enjoyed their homemade natural wine with the meal and then the company of one of the owls at the table afterwards!
We are very impressed with the work they do with the animals and hope to be back again soon!
We will return!!
Despite the fact that we arrived 30 minutes early we were given a warm welcome by Lawrence and Matilda (and 3 or 4 dogs!). After a cool drink and general chat about the Cave House and land and the interesting history of both, we were then taken to meet the Birds. Lawrence is an expert in his field and he explained the difference between the species of Owls and also his Harrris Hawk. He imparted a lot of information which was so interesting and held our attention throughout!
We then got to handle and fly the birds - amazing (especially as I have a bit of a phobia about them). I stuck to the smaller owls although my husband was more than happy to fly SaSa the Hawk.
We got to see the personality of each bird from the sleepy little Theia, to Matty the Eagle Owl and the barn owls Mr Darcy (very rare) and Molly and the cheeky little Scops Owl, Mystic ,who had us enthralled with her antics. SaSa the Hawk was my husbands favourite but I had a soft spot for Mystic!
About midway throughout visit we had a delicious lunch prepared by Matilda along with some of the Cortijo's own wine!
The bonus for us was when we were told that the experience was personal to us even though there were only the 2 of us!
I cannot recommend this experience highly enough, Matilda and Lawrence are truly living the good life with their collection of birds and cats and dogs - (although I have no doubt they work very hard too). It was an almost 2 hour drive to reach their home but well worth the effort to get there! Thank you so much!
Wow! What a great experience.
I cannot put into words how much my husband and I enjoyed this fantastic afternoon out. The food was stunning (hubby said it was the best meal he had had in a long time) and Laurence and Matilda were the perfect hosts. The birds were absolutely amazing and we learnt so much about them. Cannot rate this highly enough. If I could give it 10 stars I would.
Marvelous, Magnificent, Memorable
This is such a wonderful experience. 6 of us helped celebrate a birthday which was superb in every way. The Birds of Prey are so impressive, the close and personal contact with them is such a joy. Lawrence was extremely patient and informative. Mat prepared a memorable and delightful deluxe lunch which was the icing on the cake. Hope to come back another time - this is one activity which we would highly recommend to both residents and visitors alike.
A Little owl with the personality of a bouncer, she's feisty and will square up to anything no matter the size difference.
Hatched in March 2018 she's the baby of the clan and is already flying to the glove and showing great progress.
She's as gentle as a lamb when she's sat on your gloved hand but beware she has little owl syndrome so she's very bossy and demanding when she wants to be.
And she sounds like a squeaky dogs toy in the early hours of the morning when she's chatting to a wild Little owl that sits outside the house.
Meaning princess in Hungarian is a two year old female Harris hawk, a fearless hunter and the business end of falconry.
She's a calm, calculating lady on the glove but at rest she loves to sit on her hay rack which is filled with rosemary branches. She always smells lovely.
A remarkable species for hunting, find out more about her when you visit.
Our new addition at only seven months old (Oct 2018) he's a huge character and no mistake.
He's a 'Laughing Kookaburra' and he lives up to his name, his timing is normally spot on as he laughs when there's a funny moment or if you hurt yourself. He finds that amusing too.
Sydney adores the sun so a special enclosure will be constructed for him where he can soak up the rays all day long and snuggle into a box at night. He's in the house during the Winter so he can get used to us and also keep warm but he's carried out like a king in his holding cage each day to sit in the sunshine and cackle away.
That's the flying team, all born in captivity and each wears a closed ring on their leg showing a registration number corresponding to their paperwork. Our birds are only caged overnight, during the day they are outside in the garden watching us working or if the weather's bad they come in the house with us to stretch their wings.
They are tethered in the garden for their own safety as the different species would attack each other but they all have their little spots in the garden where they relax, baskets line the walled garden providing them with shade and they love peaking out of them to see what's happening.
The first to arrive, a lively chatty young lady but very calm and took well to training right from the start. Any bird that is greedy to eat is a dream as that's the leading factor in gaining their attention and trust.
Katy stayed with us for 8 weeks and was released here into the valley and she is thriving, often she sits in one of the pine trees in the garden and chatters in her usual style.
With over 65 years combined experience in bird and animal welfare naturally we take in rescues whenever possible and this year we've had wonderful success with Katy & Kouki two Kestrel chicks which fell out of nests in the Malaga province. They had just fledged but didn't have the hunting skills needed to survive in the wild, with patience and minimal handling Lawrence managed to encourage them to hunt.
The second to visit and a totally different character. Kouki had a distinctive call much higher pitched than Katy's, he was far more stand offish but still ate like a trouper.
Unlike Katy he didn't settle into routine training but he had other skills, he was a crafty thief when it came to feeding time which was also a good sign that he'd survive.
Kouki was actually last in and first out, he'd fattened up and was starting to get restless so early one morning he was released.
Just like Katy he stayed in the valley and often soars over the house on his way from the forest to the cliff face on the opposite side of the valley.
There is no greater reward for the endless hours spent caring, feeding andpreparing these birds for their release back into the wild than when they buzz you when you're out walking in the valley or working in the garden. To see them in their natural habitat creating a little life for themselves is simply fantastic.
AND THE REST OF THE GANG.
ALESSI & FLUER.
This little pair are hilarious to watch and so many hours slip away while sitting and witnessing their antics. They chitter, squabble, sunbathe and generally entertain for hours on end.
We make sure that every single day they face a new challenge whether it's hiding food in a ball pool, cardboard boxes or pine cones they love to be active and it's important they have stimulation.
ANGÉLA & JOSÉFA
10 Meerkat facts.
1. They share baby sitting duties.
2. They warm their bellies which circulates heat throughout their whole body.
3. There's always one officially 'on duty'.
4. No two Meerkats have the same voice.
5. Although they work as a team they can be incredibly selfish.
6. They are a thriving species.
7. They are competative over personal space.
8. They're ominivores.
9. They love to snack on scorpions.
10. Meerkats are diurnal once the sun is up, they carefully emerge from their burrow and spend some time sunbathing and grooming.
Angéla is a Polecat and Joséfa's a ferret, such an entertaining couple of ladies and so funny when they 'dance' around. Full of fun and love to be handled although they can nip sometimes if over excited - Not ideal for young children.
FRANCIS & THE CAMPBELLS.
Francis the Aylesbury drake was being picked on when he was a duckling so friends asked if we'd take him and now he's grown into a gorgeous fella and more than able to stand up for himself.
The Campbells are wonderful quackers and eggs layers which go into the many cakes we make here each week.
Not many people can say that their chickens are sponsored but ours are by two kind ladies (Sam & Dolores). We have a little mix of old and young, retired battery hens, French and Andaulcian poulets which will come into lay in the Spring. These are our heavy duty egg layers and a very good job the do too.
The baby of the family at the moment, Pixie is a Maine Coon kitten and simply adorable. She'll keep growing for five years and will eventually weigh in at around 20 kilos, she's one of the largest domestic cat species in the world.
A lovely day out, very interesting and always a nice welcome. Food delicious too!
Wonderful day with Matilda and Lawrence showing us and educating us with their knowledge and skills with owls, Harris hawk and meerkats. After gloves on flying the birds we were presented with a superb spicy meal with home made wine. Lovely spiritual people an honour to meet them. Will be going back for sure.
Very informative and interesting day out in lovely surroundings. Served great home cooked organic food. Also selling: Lovely home made wines, preserves, olive oils, fresh eggs and honey. Supporting owl conservation.
Amazing experience from start to finish xxx
Wonderful experience with the owls and the hawk. Lawrence and Matilda are excellent
Had an amazing bird of prey experience and great food would definitely recommend and what lovely people.
Surprise birthday visit today all organised by the Cortijo Búho team. Fantastic selection of food all freshly baked and a special birthday cake made by request.
Such a unique and wonderful experience in an authentic cave house in Granada Province. I highly recommend it! The lunch experience consists of a delicious three course lunch while meeting some very cute and friendly owls. All events are private - which is really cool - so it’s just you, your friends & family. Simply brilliant. Very chill atmosphere too where dogs, cats, birds and humans all get along!
The rest of the family all rescued in one way or another.
THIS IS WHERE WE ALL LIVE.
An 11th century cave house overlooking a lush green valley where sea water passed creating a deep inland course enabling traders of silks & spices to sell their wares from the port of Huescar which is 217km from the sea.
The whole area is steeped in history and one local village has been declared the earliest European settlement dating back to the 8th century. Roman remains are scattered throughout the locality from pottery to the sites of wealthy Roman villa's with their footings and pathways. There's an adventure to be had everyday or you can simply enjoy the beauty of mountains and lakes scattered throughout the province and don't forget the Alhambra Palace in the city of Granada.
Cortijo Búho is a proud member of the International Owl Society.