Tag Archives: Bird Photography

Old Friend, Turkey Vulture

Vultures nest on the ground. Someone did not know this and broke the rule…leave young birds where you find them.

Old Friend, Turkey Vulture
Old Friend, Turkey Vulture

Here we have a Vulture that only knows people, and seems to like people. Don’t leave anything unattended. He will dig around, or eat it.

Old Friend, Turkey Vulture
Old Friend, Turkey Vulture

He needs people to care for him. Unless he is flying. Like all vultures,  he’s really good at it.

He has been at the center for many years and is a great ambassador.

Avian Conservation Center.

Great Blue Heron, Moving Off

This particular spot has a long dirt road atop a dike that separates two very large marshes on one side, and the miles deep salt marshes on the other. It’s big, has many trunks with flowing water, and of course loads of wildlife. The big gators love it.

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

On a good day you can catch in flight shots of birds moving between the different areas of the marshes by walking the dirt road.

Above a Great Blue Heron jumped from the reeds heading towards a small clump of dead trees. Many times, like this, you don’t see them until they have made their move. Some times you get the shot and other times…

ACE Basin, South Carolina.

Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret

You could see it coming and around here that happens fast.

Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret
Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret
Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret
Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret

Birds were heading for good placing to hunker down.

Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret
Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret

As bad as it looked, turned out to be a few drops and wind.

Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret
Ahead Of The Rain, Great Egret

Better to be safe though.

Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center

You can see from these photographs this was a close encounter of the Red-tailed kind. A hawk we have photographed for around 5 years thanks to the Avian Center and their large rescue programs.

Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center
Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center
Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center
Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center

She was hit by a car, a common problem for large hawks. The center saved her. But like the hundreds of others here she can never return to the wild. This female lost an eye.

The center is about; rescued raptors, a large medical facility, a breeding program for endangered raptors, and not least a full staff of educators and willing raptors. They have been operating for 30 years.

There is over 150+ acres here making it one of the largest facilities of it’s kind. Size is important since a goal is to have these birds back flying. even if they cannot be released back into the wild, they may still fly so here they have that opportunity.

Many birds are fitted with special GPS tracking devices for their protection, and are exercised and fed in as close to their natural habits as possible.

Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center
Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center

This Hawk will fly to ‘catch’ chicken bits placed on stumps, logs, or other places she can easily find.

Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center
Red-tailed Hawk Rescue, Avian Conservation Center

A few times during the year a small group of photographers are allowed access to the exercise and training. usually no more than 20 around the facility. The center can use our images, get the word spread, and of course raise much needed capital.

As photographers we get to shoot birds we may never find, or in actions difficult to see. Things are never as expected. A Hawk may land on your tripod. We have had a vulture poking through out back packs, even dive-bombed by an eagle Owl. In these shots a Red-tailed Hawk basically ran through us heading to a dead tree.

The other day we spent time with 15 different species, with luck caught a few good shots, and now I get to dig through 1,800 images!

The Avian Conservation Center / Birds Of Prey, Charleston, South Carolina.

Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill

A single Roseate Spoonbill was busy here.

Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill
Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill

They are social animals so it’s a good assumption more were in other inlets we couldn’t see.

Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill
Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill
Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill
Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill

I don’t remember any Spoonbills ever fishing here, the Cooper River Cemetery area, before this year. It is not far from other known locations but they are really creatures of habit so perhaps there are much more Spoonbill around.

Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill
Working A Salt Marsh, Spoonbill

Charleston, South Carolina.

Male Kestrel, But Not Flying

Off the tether and he would be gone and visiting the young female sitting nearby. There was a female, not part of the Avian Center’s Kestrel’s flying around and temping him.

Male Kestrel, But Not Flying
Male Kestrel, But Not Flying

This is the smallest of the North American raptors. He was most likely hurt and now cannot hunt anymore. Most residents here have had that happen.

Male Kestrel, But Not Flying
Male Kestrel, But Not Flying

The small size doesn’t mean he can be exercised without the thick falconry gloves.

Avian Conservation Center, South Carolina.