Well, I tried something new the weekend before last and went to the Canadian Raptor Conservancy near Port Dover, Ontario. I went with Steve Gettle, the photographer I went with to Costa Rica, along with ekfelton and a couple other folks. We did a three hour shoot on Saturday afternoon, then another three hour shoot on Sunday morning. You get to shoot 3 birds in flight and 3 birds on perches. The set up there is fantastic and affords you the opportunity to get some really cool photos, not to mention getting to see some birds up close that you may never even get to see in the wild. They have no wild or rehab birds there...they are all hand raised. They raise them and some go to education facilities, some get released into areas where they need to increase populations and some are kept for photography purposes. I will be going back either in the fall or the winter since that is when they let the Snowy fly. Also, the Great Gray Owl and the Golden Eagle will both be done molting and will be able to fly. They have over 40 species of Raptors. It was a really good time to see the birds, photograph them and spend time with some friends. If you are interested in a trip like this, Steve will be running a workshop four times a year to go there and it is very reasonably priced. You can check it out on his website which I had in my first Costa Rica Trip report. Here are some photos from that trip.
Again, these are under controlled conditions and not wild birds. I have not edited these to remove the bands yet as you will see in the photos. I hope you enjoy them.
This photo is not cropped, that is how close he flew in to where I was set up.
This was a very windy day and it causes this Bald Eagle to fly higher above the water than normal. They said when there is no wind that he will sometimes drag both wing tips and both feet on the water so you get splashing in the photo, not to mention a good reflection.
There are many different locations to shoot from giving you a variety of photo opportunities.
This Great Horned seemed to fly with his mouth open almost every time.