28 comments on “Raptor Review – Riding the Thermals – Part 1

    • Thanks Sandra, for your appreciative comments, raptors are beautiful soaring when the sun is on them, but very difficult to catch their beauty when it is cloudy and there is background lighting. Raptors in a blue sky is perfect. 🙂

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  1. It’s enlightening to gain more insight into the behaviors of your raptors, and the lovely photos are always a treat. As always it is interesting to see both similarities and differences between our raptors, but saddening that the loss of habit is an ongoing global phenomenon. Wishing you and all your family a blessed and relaxing weekend 🙂

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    • Thanks Cindy, yes raptors are one of our favorite photo moments, Where did you see the Sea Eagle Cindy, It would be unusual to see them in the US? I had a special relationship with a Sea Eagle many years ago when I lived on our north coast which I shared in my comment reply to Karen. As you said it is always a thrill to see them soaring, hunting or perched. Enjoy your week !

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  2. I love all of them, but the wedged tailed Eagle is my favorite. I have a thing for Eagles, I only see the Bald Eagles here, but the eyes and the beak are so similar. So striking, I love that about them.

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    • Thanks Sandra, yes the Wedgie is an Aussie favorite, most birders get especially excited to see them being our largest eagle with a wingspan of 2.3 metres fully grown. These birds were alsmost pushed to extinction last century because there was a bounty on their heads as they were accused of taking young lambs, which they only did in times of severe drought. The conservationists manged to repeal the law in most states, but we know many farmers still shoot them and keep it to themselves. As a result we do not see as many of these majestic wonders.

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  3. Excellent post on raptors, Ashley, and you could never raptor me out! 😉 Fabulous shots, what a great variety of beautiful raptors to see in one post. The Wedge-tailed Eagle really catches my eye with that awesome tail splay!!

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    • Thanks Donna, Yes the Wedgie is always a great thrill to see being our largest eagle with a 7.5 ‘ wingspan, as I shared in Sandra’s reply there was a bounty on this bird for over a hundred years which almost wiped them out, but with much fighting for the birds survival by conservationists those laws were slowly removed from each state so now there is a fine for killing them, though many farmer still shoot them secretly.

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      • Thanks for sharing Karen. You reminded me of a special experience and relationship I developed with a White-bellied Sea Eagle when I use to live on a headland on the north coast of our state, where this eagle would often rest in the air above my head whenever it saw me, so people would call out “Ashley your eagle is here !”. It was amazing as I was the only person in town that it would do this to. When I would try to stalk photos of it by hiding in the bush waiting for it to do its flight around the headland it would cruise right up to the bush and just look at me hiding, while it maintained its position and after a several seconds glide off to complete its journey. I can remember being on the beach with my youngest son and started to tell him about this eagle and how it knows me and he immediately said looking up “Dad, is that the eagle?” and there it was above our heads and while it was windy it maintained its position dormant and as soon as I pointed my camera at it, without a visible whisker of movement it glided off, as if to tease me. That always was a special moment in my life to be so favored. 🙂

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      • I love this story! And I would say it is definitely your totem in life or spirit animal. I seem to be the only one who is overwhelmed with joy at its presence and so, I believe these eagles do know us and visit us for a reason. 🙏🏻

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  4. A fine collection of wonderful images and beaut insight into their lives.
    I have to say that the Braminy Kite is one that I’ve not seen nor photographed, but is certainly one of the more spectularly marked of our raptors

    We’ve had a couple of seaons with Black-shouldered Kites, Brown Falcons and recently Hobbys and the various training methods seem to be individually tailored for each young one. Dad Black-shouldered Kite is not above giving his wayward youngsters a sharp ‘clip’ on the back if they ignore his warnings.

    So much to learn, so many different approaches.
    Always good to see your view of the wonderful birdlife around you.

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    • Thanks David, yes your research on how the different raptors you have observed has proved very interesting and again highlights how much the demonstrate human like traits in their parenting, having individual recognition of the needs of each youngster. It is good that our collection of knowledge is making the world aware of the intelligence and close structure of many of these family groups which our society is sadly loosing on many fronts today. I have to say that a Brahminy Kite in full sun is one of the most brilliant sites of any bird, the contrasting chestnut with pure white. Hope you have a sunny week.

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  5. Thank you for such an informative post again. I remember being at a beach resort up north with officemates on a team-building activity. We got to watch a Brahminy kite flying rather low. I think God made its outstretched wings extra colorful and interesting.

    Filipinos, even those not really interested in birds, were saddened with the recent death of a Philippine eagle: https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2021/1/8/pagasa-philippine-eagle-passed-away.html.

    Seems like you recently joined Facebook! Nice seeing you there!

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    • Thanks Myra, and thanks for your recent letter I will reply soon. Yes the Brahminy is the most brilliant of raptors to see in full sun, they always show stark contrast with their white and chestnut plumage. Thanks for sharing the link to your national eagle, sad to read of its death and even sadder that like many of our majestic raptors their habitat is being stripped away from them. Our national eagle, the Wedge-tailed Eagle suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties since British settlement due to a bounty on its head, but thankfully laws were eventually changed in all states, though reluctantly, to make it illegal, though many farmers continue to shoot them secretly. This is why we get so excited if we actually see our eagle as they are not common any more. I have been on Facebook for years, but have gone under several names, I now only have one account and I mainly am there to market my book, and soon books: @BeautifulBirdBook and to see what family and friends are up to oh and also for our church encouragement which was important during Covid. Enjoy your weekend !

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  6. A beautiful collection of photos Ashley, raptors are such beautiful and majestic birds. I occasionally get to watch a swamp harrier flying over the local Wetlands or hovering above the grassy areas there looking for food in the early mornings or evenings. They are mesmerizing to watch when in flight, I could watch them all day. 🙂

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    • Thanks Sue, yes Swampies are a very different hunter and always show great majesty as they scan low over the fields. I have a a very vivid memory of one I saw in the Townsville wetlands years ago which was just so beautiful and majestic in the sun. Your Harriers will be migrating soon across Bass Strait to the mainland to escape the cold. Apparently it can be a very hazardous journey for this bird as it is build for slow low flying. Their nests are well hidden down among reeds and tall grasses unlike many raptors which have tree nests. Enjoy the Autumn freshness, those single digit nights in February is interesting. 🙂

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