Last weekend I spent two hours at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, in the company of a select group of other photographers. We were there to learn about and bear witness with our cameras to those most beautiful creatures of the air, Raptors.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a “Raptor, in general, is any bird of prey; the term raptor is sometimes restricted to birds of the order Falconiformes (hawks, eagles, falcons, and their allies).” We would see more than a dozen, in a natural habitat suited to their instincts. Here, they fly. Soar. Dive. Hunt. Sometimes they pass swiftly and silently by, so close their wings actually brush your hair.
Make no mistake, though beautiful and sometimes cute, raptors are first and foremost natural predators. Seeing them this close, untethered and flying free, you are mindful that most of them could remove your face without missing a (wing) beat. It is a sobering reminder that Nature truly is red in tooth and claw. When you are up close and personal, raptors seem almost entirely tooth and claw.
During the next two hours I recorded raptors in flight, mainly in high speed video. More on that another time. Today I want to showcase my favourite photos of my favourite raptors, including Frodo. He’s the ironically named Eurasian Horned Owl posing for portraits: His species is the largest owl on Earth.
But enough of this. Let’s get to it. Time to show the photos. Enjoy.