Saturday, February 25, 2012

Captive Birds of Prey

A portion of the workshop, led by Rod Palmer of Natures Photo Adventures , that I attended in Utah included photographing captive eagles, we were able to photograph a Golden Eagle and an Bald Eagle.  Both eagles have interesting stories.
The Bald Eagle, Liberty,- Bald Eagle on Rock_ROT9117-Edit-Edit February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S-2 is 26 years old and when it was a younger bird tangled with a power line which cause equilibrium problems in the bird, which cause problems with the eagle flying.  After time in rehabilitation, it was given to Steve Chindgen, a master falconer, to maintain.

The Golden Eagle, Gonzo, is 36 years old. - Golden Eagle_ROT8491 February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S It's story in some ways is a sad one, because it should not of happened.  A couple of a couple of workers were working along a power line when they discovered the Golden eagle nests, which contained 2 baby eagles.  They did not see the adults around and thought that the Eagles were abandoned and took them home.  First mistake, adults if they see people coming toward the nest will usually fly away and will observe from up high.  The 2 workers did figure out how to feed the baby eagles, but they were reported to the Fish and game department, which came and confiscated the eagles.  One of the baby eagles was so weak that it finally died, but gonzo made it through and because it had been imprinted by being fed by hand by humans, it lost its fear of humans and therefore could not be released into the wild.  If released, it would not have any fear of humans and would come down to humans, and if there was a dog or a cat with the humans, it could attack and kill the pet for food.  So The feeding of the eagles by hand was the second mistake.
Steve, - Steve Chingren and Liberty_ROT8826 February 19, 2012 NIKON D3Sowns Skyking birds and runs in the summer, "World of Flight" bird show at Utah's Hogle Zoo.  He fell in love with falconry as a boy, and has been working with the birds since the age of 8.

Rob our leader, is also a falconer, and brought his Peregrine Falcon, Frieda- _ROT6788 February 17, 2012 NIKON D3S  for us to photograph.  We were not able to photograph the falcon flying because of both the weather and the winds that were present on some of the days.

All the birds were extremely beautiful and well cared for.  An interesting fact is that falconers do not own their birds, rather they are on loan from the federal government that protects them under various laws including the migratory Bird act. 
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Liberty in the Spring gets the Maternal Urge and gathers sticks
to make a nest
- _ROT8977-Edit-Edit February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S- Bald Eagle February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S
- Steve and Golden_ROT8760 February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S
Steve is hidden behing the rocks and allows Gonzo to land on them for a semi-flight photo
- Golden Eagle landing_ROT8667-Edit February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S- Golden Eagle_ROT8795 February 19, 2012 NIKON D3S
- _ROT6662 February 17, 2012 NIKON D3S
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- _ROT6577-Edit February 17, 2012 NIKON D3S