Friday, September 28, 2012

Looking Back-Birds Of Prey

I began this year. The beginning of my real wildlife photography would start.  I would learn to track flight, manual focus on the spot, and train my eye and hand to be quick.

Harris Hawks
Looking back?  My knowledge of birds is stronger.  The wildlife photography has improved.

I have yet to spot so many more birds, but my investigations began with Birds of Prey.  

They were larger and easier to spot in the wild.

Red Tail Hawk

Some were found right in my own backyard!  Like these two hawks. 

Cooper's Hawk
 Some would be found accidentally like these owlets below. 

Or this Turkey Vulture...

.......and in more exotic locations, birds like this Northern Harrier would fly over my head and catch my eye.

The assassin known as the Loggerhead Shrike would sit on a branch waiting for its prey.

My ears could not deny me my first discovery of this pair of Great Horned Owls.

...or the camouflage of this Western Screech Owl.

Slowly, I add to my birding lists and will continue to do so until I find them all:)   And that may take me awhile.

The Gray Hawk is quite stunning around Riparian areas.

Or the mystical Ferruginous Hawk.....

More importantly.  Everytime I investigate a new bird, I learn about the habitat, what they eat and how they sound......

.....and that continues to add to my knowledge base.

And that in itself is the living classroom....the one we find surrounding us.

And then there are the exotic places that I can only glimpse at faires.  Birds that are found elsewhere around the world.....the Birds of Prey that exist in Europe or South America.  And I yearn to find them in their natural habitat.  I've been exposed to a broader picture of the bird world.

Eagle Owls with massive wingspans, deadly buzzards from Africa......

....or South America.....

.....make my mind wander.  What more is out there?  Where could I find them?

And thanks to these beautiful birds, my hunger only grows to find more at each Rare Bird Alert that pops up on my screen.  Location.  GPS tracking coordinates.  It's all exciting stuff.  More to come.....


  1. Such views are enrapturing. I am greeting

  2. It's great to share with your enthusiasm for birds Chris.I think you are well and truly hooked now. You got some great pictures above and I especially like the two Harris Hawks and your shot of the Red-tailed Hawk. Great you have Barn Owl too, I always think of it as a European species even though I know it isn't.

  3. Here's to many more years of photography. The learning curve is exponential so keep going and keep saving....the better you get the more you'll crave better lenses.

  4. All I can say is WOW! Great birds and awesome photos. You are learning fast. I would like to know how to manual focus quickly. The harris hawks are cool. Great post, Chris! Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. Chris, it's been a great year. Thanks for sharing it with us! I am really looking forward to your new adventures. -tracy

  6. When I was in Oregon I noticed all the wonderful birds - hawks and others. I caught a picture of a hawk that I'll post. They are beautiful. And the way they soar over those river lands! At my cousin's house, they soar all the time and even have dive-bombed her little white dog at times. I don't know about a dog's weight in a hawk's claws, but I'd sure be keeping a cat in the house. Anyway - it was neat to watch them.

  7. Such fabulous bird images Chris, they just get better and better.

  8. It's a gift to find a passion, dive in, learn and explore. Lucky us, you then share your passion with others :) I like the term "living classroom" if only we could educate more children about the wonders of the natural world.

  9. This series of your photos is brilliant Chris. I enjoyed them all.

  10. Great stuff Chris! Awesome sequence of shots. It's been a heck of a year!

  11. oh wow chris!!! these shots are spectacular!! i love them all!! but i especially like the owls!!!! wow, you are so good!!

  12. As usual Chris, these are pretty amazing! I especially like the birds in flight and of course the owls.

  13. Son fantásticas las rapaces.. Muy bonitas las imágenes.. Me quedo con los búhos y rapaces nocturnas y eso bellos Halcones de Harris.. Un abrazo..

  14. You need to come to Texas for a birding trek! An ornithologist spoke at my photography club meeting a couple months ago about all the incredible places to photograph birds in Texas. The Parks and Wildlife Trails system here is incredible. There are many wonderful trails in the area where I live but then when you get down on the Gulf Coast, it is amazing what can be found all 12 months of the year.

    1. I know:) I've heard it's all amazing. I'm overwhelmed. Last night I played airplane ticket games on my computer....Montana, Texas, Northern California...too many incredible places!

  15. What a gorgeous collection of birds. Well done!

  16. Fantastic photos of these wonderful birds. I kind alike owls, with their unique faces and all. Finding exciting, exotic birds here is a very rare occurrence though.

  17. So great to read of your enjoyment in birding. There are some wonderful shots there :) I wish I could learn to manual focus quickly! Look forward to hearing so much more of your birding exploits.

  18. Chris, these are fantastic shots! You truly have trained your eye!

  19. Wow! You are in a great area for bop.Many of these birds I've only seen captive. I especially love the to photo!


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