Category Archives: Raptor

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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Asian Brown Wood Owl

I participated in my second Photography Day at the Center for Birds of Prey on Sunday where we had the opportunity to photograph sixteen raptors.

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Most of the birds were limited to perches and handler-held closeups, but a few performed flying demos. The area is host to a large hawk population and the Center has limited some of their birds’ free flying.

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This was one of seven Owls–all of them exceptionally beautiful.

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Center for Birds of Prey, Awanda, SC.

 

Bald Eagle Pair

The sight of a Bald Eagle never fails to impress.  Two together was a real treat. This pair sat watching and waiting for at least a half hour that I was fortunate enough to photograph.

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Anticipating their moves with so little experience watching them make getting the coveted action shot tough. The size of the trees they perch in add to the difficulty.

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The vocalizations of the bird on the right alerted us that something was about to happen.

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Then it was over–they had rearranged themselves in the same tree. A scratch, then they settled back to sitting and watching.

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When the first one finally flew off I lost sight of him quickly behind the trees. I returned my focus to the second Eagle, hoping he would follow in the same path and I might get a shot. After waiting about 15 minutes with no movement we moved on.

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He took off shortly after, a few powerful strokes and he was out of sight across the marsh.

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Click on any image for a larger view.