Category Archives: Raptor

Eagles Have Returned

After only a few sightings over the summer, I’ve seen quite a few Bald Eagles in the last few weeks. This pair was watching a pond below them.

Bald Eagle Pair in Tree
Bald Eagle Pair in Tree

My walking route took me past a nest I know Eagles  used last mating season and I wondered if I could even see it. The last time I passed by here the foliage on the lower trees was too thick to get a clear view. Since then a few leaves have dropped, vines have drooped and fortuitously the late afternoon was shining through a gap in the trees, spotlighting the nest.

Eagle's Nest, Resting
Eagle’s Nest, Resting

You can visit my post It’s Twins, Eagles That Is! for some views of the nest in use last winter.

Barred Owl – Looking Right At Me

If I hadn’t seen the Barred Owl fly up into this tree I might have walked by without noticing him. He sure saw me. It was a spot I’ve passed many times but never seen much happening. Rather dark with a heavy tree canopy, it’s not far from the bamboo area where a juvenile has been learning to hunt. I looked around to see if junior was here too, but didn’t spot him. Or maybe this was him, all grown up—it happens fast.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Continue reading Barred Owl – Looking Right At Me

This Pond Isn’t Big Enough For Both of Us

As I rounded the corner of the pond I could hear an Osprey calling, and finally spotted him perched with a view of the pond and river beyond.

Osprey High in Tree
Osprey High in Tree

Then I saw what he was calling about: Bald Eagle on a fast approach. All the other birds I had seen as I approached were gone.

Eagle Flying In
Eagle Flying In

The Eagle landed a few trees over from the Osprey.

Eagle Flying In
Eagle Flying In

The Osprey wasn’t interested in any competition and buzzed the Eagle.

Osprey Challenging Eagle
Osprey Challenging Eagle

I thought the Eagle would stand his ground — but I guess he wasn’t interested in a rumble right then.

Osprey Challenging Eagle
Osprey Challenging Eagle

I didn’t see the Eagle again; the Osprey made a few menacing laps around the pond with his claws out, ready for something!

Osprey Fly-by, Claws Out
Osprey Fly-by, Claws Out

Swallow-tailed Kite

We’ve been seeing a few Swallow-tailed Kites around, including one flying over our house last week, so I wasn’t surprised to spot a group of 10 or 15 circling over one of the marshes this morning.

Swallow-tailed Kite Feeding
Swallow-tailed Kite Feeding Midair

These raptors feed by snatching insects, often dragonflies, out of the air or off their perch on a tree or reed.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite

Their flight skills are just amazing and they make full use of their tail and wings to swoop and dive.

Swallow-tailed Kite
Swallow-tailed Kite, Insect in Claw

A mix of Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, and few terns were working this area.

Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, Gulls
Swallow-tailed Kites, Mississippi Kites, Gulls

Barred Owl With Lizard for Lunch

This Barred Owl sat quietly with his catch, a Five-lined Skink, a common lizard in South Carolina.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl with Skink

After squeezing it with his beak for a bit he transferred it to his talon. You can see the tail dangling below the branch in this next image.

Barred Owl with Skink
Barred Owl with Skink

I didn’t see any sign of life in the lizard, but the owl kept a firm hold for six or seven minutes before flying off with it.

Barred Owl with Skink
Barred Owl with Skink