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I shot these near my house a couple days ago. The kites are kind of a permanent fixture there, which I love. A lot of Red Shoulder Hawks, some kestrels, and occasional other raptors hunt here, in the American River Parkway. Makes for good birding. I even took a 4 hour workshop yesterday on 'bird communication'. Hoping it'll help me get better shots, but what I really need is bigger glass. These are cropped, taken with a Canon 7D and a 70-200 f4/IS + a 1.4x extender. I see and shoot a lot of kites, but I hadn't really captured the true beauty of one yanking and flinging the juicy guts from a mouse (may its soul RIP) this well before.
My sole bird pic. A Great-Horned Owl that just sat there 20-30 feet from me in an old willow, making me feel a bit spooked. He was a big one, acting like he was in a portrait studio. I happened to have a camera, so I obliged. I wallked back to the car to get it. He was still waiting.
This was in the Russell Lakes wildlife refuge in the San Luis Valley of south central Colorado.
or blind in one eye, which I doubt. I stumbled on great horned owl nest last year. Three owlets (?) and an adult. I should go see if it's back. It was pretty high up and had a slightly inaccessible view. This is the best I could do with it.
Smaller than Hawks but large enough to take fledgling Sparrows and Finches. We always have a few soaring in the neighborhood in the Fall accompanied by an entourage of more agile Sparrows that harry it to protect offspring.
One riding the thermals and changing direction with a twitch of that magnificent tail is something to see.
Usually try to shit right on your head.
They are really good at it.
I enjoyed the game, as I know them pretty good, and usually manage to avoid being a bird toilet. I laughed a lot when it was happening.
This is all from youth. Long enough ago that there may not even be any birds left.
Great photo! The way the feathers are camo-colored, looks just like a pigeon from below. Pretty awesome adaptation.
Great shots man!
Sequence is a concept I never seem to get in photography, so my applause to you.
And just what was wrong with those intestines? Mouse food selection must have been gnarly.
I saw this guy circling around, then he took off quite a ways and hovered. I got a shot or two of him dropping, from a distance, but didn't have a clear shot of the catch. Fortunately, he took it to a treetop pretty close where I had the right light, more or less. I got off 40-50 shots from start to finish.
Thanks for making me think of that!
Good shots, but of course! :-)
Also see below.
JBTWay - their young look nothing like mum and dad.
Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger
Yeah, apparently our kites here and your Oz-kites are close relatives. Same genus. Like cousins. ;-) E axillaris vs E leucurus.
For a while here i heard ours called Black shouldered too, but for some years now, they've been called White tailed. Not much difference. I'm glad there are a good supply of them here. They seem to stake out a territory and stick with it a while. They're probably able to know me and my dog by now since I point the camera at them often enough. The red shouldered hawks seem even more acclimated to me, to the point of almost friendly, or at least inquisitive, about us on our walks. Our parkway sees a lot of bike and pedestrian traffic, so the birds aren't too worried about humans, which works for me.
I was quite thrown one day up on the top to see a small kite I'd never seen, it took me a while to look at the juvenile pics!
Skeptical Measurer & Audio Scrounger
..evidently the raptor prefers not to dine on what was the rodent's last meal. A matter of taste, no doubt...;-)
Prolly lots of nasty buggies, for those things that like things raw.
Nice photos! Nature's rodent abatement.
fortunately for us living close to the mouse factory no doubt...
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