Category Archives: Raptor

Barred Owl Gets Lunch

Barred Owl watches the water below.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl Perched in Tree – click on image for larger view

With little warning the Owl swoops from the branch to the water.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl drops out of tree – click on image for larger view

After a small splash around at the base of the tree the Owl emerges…

Barred Owl
Barred Owl – click on image for larger view

Yes, he was successful! A fresh water shrimp or some type of crayfish was firmly clasped in the Owl’s beak.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl with lunch – click on image for larger view

The Owl flew to a safer spot, transferring his catch to his claw, and in no time he had consumed it.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl securely holding his catch – click on image for larger view

Barred Owl

This Barred Owl was looking over a small pond in a grove of trees that let very little light through.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl – click photo for larger view

He was more concerned with watching for movement in the water and on the small island than with humans passing by.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl – click photo for larger view

The Owl moved from tree to tree, patiently looking for a meal. Unfortunately the space was too tight to get an in flight shot.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl – click photo for larger view

Checking out the water below with a twist of his head, the Owl’s giant feet were on display.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl – click photo for larger view

Great Horned Owl

It’s easy to see why Owls are one of the biggest attractions at the Center for Birds of Prey. Trained to participate in the Center’s Environmental Education programs, they tend to sit calmly on a perch giving a wonderful opportunity to see them up close. This Great Horned Owl, however, was intent on getting on the ground for a few minutes.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl – click photo for larger view

His handler waited for him to look around and settle.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl – click photo for larger view

After a bit he went back to the perch and showed off with a lovely pose.

Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl – click photo for larger view

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 2017,  Awanda, SC.

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk Snake Snack

This Red-shouldered Hawk kept a vigilant watch while he snarfed down lunch, his head was swiveling all around.

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I hadn’t seen him land so didn’t know what he might be eating.

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I was rather surprised when I developed these photos that it was a snake and at the way it was coiled up under his feet.

Red-shouldered Hawk

From a little further down the path the background was nicer and the snake out of view.

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Click any photo for a larger view/close up of the snake.

Taken February 22, 2017.

Red-shouldered Hawk

We spotted three or four Red-shouldered Hawks today at the edge of the swamp today, mostly sitting in the sun and occasionally calling in their high-pitched whistle.

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This one spotted a snack, dropped down to the ground and came back with what appears to be a frog.

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He held the frog in his beak for over a minute and the photos don’t show any sign it was alive.

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He landed on stick that made for nice photos in the afternoon sun.

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I didn’t see the hawk actually eat the frog–he may have dropped it.

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If so, he didn’t seem concerned.

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Click on any photo for a larger view.

Saker Falcon

Found from eastern Europe to central Asia these hunters face survival pressure due to development driven habitat loss and black market sales into falconry. The most sought after hunters also would make the best parents if they were left in the wild.

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This bird was bred in captivity and is part of the Center for Birds of Prey’s education program.

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On this November day there was enough breeze that she kept turning  into the wind to keep her feathers un-ruffled.

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Click on any image for larger view.

Center for Birds of Prey, Awanda, SC.

Bald Eagle Portraits

This Bald Eagle posed for portraits at the Center for Birds of Prey Photography Day in November.  He recovered from a back injury under the Center’s care but cannot fly to catch food so he will remain part of their education program.

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This was the first bird of the day and the song birds that had been flitting in and out of the pine trees at the edge of the demonstration field all disappeared from view when he was brought out.

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The size of the Eagle’s claws are even more amazing up close.

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Click on any photo to enlarge.

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Harris’s Hawk

Beautiful in flight and perched, the Harris’s Hawk was part of the Center for Birds of Prey’s Photography Day in November.

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The turning leaves around the edge of the flight field added some color to the perch background.

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This hawk was a smooth flyer, skimming the ground as he returned to the perch.

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Flying right over the line of photographers, I was disappointed I could not get the entire wingspan with my 100-400 mm lens, but did capture the beautiful feather pattern of his underbelly.

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