Tag Archives: Raptors

Crested Caracara, Mating Display

Doing what Crested Caracaras do, this gorgeous bird demonstrated an attention display even though it is not breeding season and there were no other Caracaras around.

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara

The handler shared that this bird was raised in captivity and this has become his default behavior around humans and is not to be taken personally.

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara

Crested Caracaras are found in the wild in Central Florida, much of eastern Texas, and a sliver of Arizona.

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara

He is beautiful, and I think he knows it!

Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara perched on handler’s glove

Ted and I recently attended our fifth Photography Day at the Center for Birds of Prey in Awenda, SC.  Photographers have an opportunity to take close-up images of a number of birds of prey as well as some flight demonstrations. As always the staff and volunteers provided a fun and educational experience.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Awenda, SC.
Photography Day, October 10, 2021

Yellow-billed Kite, Feeding Sequence

I’ve witnessed and photographed a Yellow-billed Kite feeding before, but it never gets old. Even if I once again didn’t get the actual snatching of the food as the handler tossed it high into the air.

Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight
Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight

Kites of all kinds grab their food with their feet while in flight then pass it to their mouths.

Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight
Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight

Imagine how much work it is to keep yourself fed this way.

Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight
Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight

The tossed beef pieces mimic the Kite’s natural diet of insects .

Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight
Yellow-billed Kite Catching Food In Flight

Yellow-billed Kite, Milvus aegyptius

Ted and I recently attended our fifth Photography Day at the Center for Birds of Prey in Awenda, SC.  Photographers have an opportunity to take close-up images of a number of birds of prey as well as some flight demonstrations. As always the staff and volunteers provided a fun and educational experience.

The Center for Birds of Prey, Awenda, SC.
Photography Day, October 10, 2021

Barred Owl On Trident Limb

I took this image back in May and it’s not a whole lot different than others I’ve taken of this Barred Owl or its mate–who could tell them apart?

I do like the three-pronged stick, and of course the Owl, so came  back to it.

We are in the summer doldrums here in SC as far as seeing many birds. Those that were here to breed have mostly scattered and the locals are hiding from the heat and rain.

Barred Owl
Barred Owl

Yellow-billed Kite

When we visited the Center for Birds of Prey in June the Yellow-billed Kite was part of the flight demonstration. First they demonstrated how the bird snatches prey with its feet then passes it to its mouth. It happens really fast and I only captured the pre-swallow moment.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite, Radio Transmitter attached

After flying, the Kite perched with the handler, fluffing its wings.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

The handler turned so the Kite was facing the audience.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

The bird adjusted to stay facing right, into the morning wind.

Yellow-billed Kite
Yellow-billed Kite

Turkey Vulture Chicks

I mentioned in a previous post that the Center for Birds of Prey has hosted two wild Black Vulture nests this year.

The Vulture parents picked spots in between the captive birds’ enclosures, which mimic the dark recess they might find in the wild. The female lays her eggs on the ground.

Black Vulture Chicks
Black Vulture Chicks, not yet fledged

The juveniles’ feathers were transitioning from chick fluff, making them look a bit scruffy.

Black Vulture Chicks
Black Vulture Chicks

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awenda, SC
June 24, 2021

Turkey Vulture, Flying Low

This is the same Turkey Vulture I’ve featured in recent posts as part of the the educational and flight demonstration program at the Center for Birds of Prey, this time showing off his flight skills.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture Ready to Go!

Turkey Vultures are impressive with their flight skills, easily making sharp turns, using their wings to full advantage.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture In Flight

It was very cool to see this one glide just above the ground, with seemingly little effort.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture In Flight In Flight

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awenda, SC
June 24, 2021

Previous Posts:

Turkey Vulture, Wings Out

Turkey Vulture, Up Close

Gulls Took To The Air

Danger, danger, fly, fly!

Can you spot the Eagle?

Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono
Birds in the Air, Eagle is about 1/4 of way in from the left, one of the top birds

This island has a lot of advantages for nesting birds, but it is not without risk. This time the Eagle appeared to leave without a meal.

Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono
Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono, Mostly Laughing Gulls

About a half hour later it happened again. We were further away from the action and I didn’t capture the Eagle, but this view gives an idea of how many birds are nesting on this little island. And how unconcerned the Pelicans appeared.

Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono
Birds in the Air over Bird Key, Stono

Taken from a boat at Bird Key Stono Heritage Preserve
Between Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, SC

July 12, 2021

Red-tailed Hawk, Living with One Eye, Part 2

The one-eyed Red-tail Hawk at the Center for Birds of Prey has adapted and despite my not getting any decent pictures, he flies with ease.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

At one point when he was on a post in front of us he turned away from the group, likely so he could face into the wind, which was steady with gusts that morning.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

But he was quick to turn back, the wind fluffing up his feathers was preferable to not seeing movement in front of him.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awenda, SC
June 24, 2021

Turkey Vulture, Wings Out

Another un-releasable bird that is part of the educational and flight demonstration program at the Center for Birds of Prey is this Turkey Vulture. He was “rescued” when a passerby spotted him on the ground, the normal nesting spot for Turkey Vultures, and took him home. The bird subsequently imprinted on the human and now cannot live in the wild on his own.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture

The Center for Birds of Prey,  Awenda, SC
June 24, 2021