Category Archives: Raptor

Barred Owl in Bamboo Grove

A pair of Barred Owls frequents the pond near this stand of bamboo looking for food. This owl had just had an unsuccessful attempt to catch a noisy bullfrog.

Barred Owl on Bamboo
Barred Owl on Bamboo

The bullfrog stopped his song but the owl flew away with nothing in his talons. The owl chose a spot with a good view of the pond to watch and listen for his next opportunity.

Barred Owl on Bamboo
Barred Owl on Bamboo

Native bamboo was grown on the plantations in South Carolina to create natural barriers to help keep livestock in and keep predators out. Today it makes a beautiful addition to some of the area gardens and museum properties.

Yellow-billed Kite: On the Ground

As part of the Yellow-billed Kite flying demonstration the handler tosses pieces of raw meat into the air to simulate a bug and the Kite catches them on the fly. I didn’t get a decent picture of that action, but in the sequence below the bird missed and immediately dropped to the ground to find the food.

Yellow-billed Kite:
Yellow-billed Kite – click image zoom in and you’ll see the meat in the bird’s mouth

The demonstration field was covered in little yellow flowers, a pretty background for this brown bird.

Yellow-billed Kite:
Yellow-billed Kite

He sauntered around a bit for taking to the sky again.

Yellow-billed Kite:
Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

Ted, TPJ Photo, captured some nice images of the mid-air feeding  and the Kite taking food from the handler on the fly.

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Yellow-billed Kite: In the Air

After his posing session at the Center for Birds of Prey Photography Day this Yellow-billed Kite had an opportunity to fly.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying with radio transmitter attached

Kites catch thier prey, mostly insects, by snatching from the air with their feet. This requires a lot of swooping and circling to get higher off the ground.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying

The Center’s birds are fed and according to the handler will not seek out food during flying demonstrations, returning to the handler for the reward of food. This particular Kite seemed to enjoy his time in the air, circling around the demonstration field over the row of photographers several times.

Yellow-billed Kite Flying
Yellow-billed Kite Flying

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Yellow-billed Kite: Posing

First, I need to give a shake.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

Then, get my feathers settled.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

Now I’m ready, wings stretched out, go ahead and take that photo!

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Barred Owl Owlet

A Barred Owl pair with two fledged owlets has been seen regularly from the boardwalk at Beidler Forest. We spotted just this one youngster taking short flights in the limbs above us.

Barred Owl Owlet
Barred Owl Owlet

The owlet was curious about the humans passing on the boardwalk below him, not bothered by our presence. A school group of about twenty-five kids and chaperones had just passed and a few of their stragglers stopped with us to watch the chick.

Barred Owl Owlet
Barred Owl Owlet staring down

American Kestrel

The American Kestrel is the smallest North American falcon, and also the most colorful.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel

The pairs of black vertical slashes on the sides of their faces give them a distinctive look along with what appeared to me as “eyes in the back of their head” as he swiveled around.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel

Here he is settling himself after “rousing”, a shaking action that lifts all the feathers.

American Kestrel
American Kestrel

American Kestrel, Falco sparverius

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.

Eurasian Kestrel

The Eurasian Kestrel is  widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa. They are small compared with other birds of prey, but larger than most songbirds. The females are slightly larger then the male, weighing in at 6.5 ounces (184 grams) on average.

Eurasian Kestrel
Female Eurasian Kestrel perched on handler’s glove

In the full side view shows off the brown and black coloration of the wings, useful as camouflage.

Eurasian Kestrel
Female Eurasian Kestrel

The sun was warming us up after a chilly start and the Kestrel seemed quite content to puff up a bit and enjoy the sun.

Eurasian Kestrel
Female Eurasian Kestrel

Eurasian Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

The Center for Birds of Prey offers photographers an opportunity to take close-up photographs of owls and other birds of prey a few times a year.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Photography Day, April 22, 2018,  Awanda, SC.