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Raptor Portraits

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I spent last Saturday at the California Raptor Center's spring Open House, where several of the non-releasable birds were on display for an up-close-and-personal look at them. The California Raptor Center in Davis is a licensed rescue and rehabilitation facility operated by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: Raptor Center

 

Keep in mind because of captive living conditions these should be considered portraits of individuals and not necessarily representative of the species.

 

Sadie is an imprinted Northern Saw-whet Owl.

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Athena is a Barn Owl who was rescued and brought back to health after a collision with a barbed-wire fence broke her right wing.

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Spar is an imprinted male American Kestrel, full of spunk ("I'm tiny but I am a FALCON, beware!").

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more in next post

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Annie is a female American Kestrel who is imprinted and may have damaged tail feather folicles. Right now, her tail is missing and she can't fly well. Personal grooming after a meal apparently isn't a high priority for her.

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Grasshopper is a Swainson's Hawk who has cataracts. He's a very gentle bird, easy to handle and most of the time puffs up his feathers and chills out.

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Thor is a Ferruginous Hawk who collided with a Union Pacific freight train somewhere in Nevada and was discovered stuck to the front of the train barely alive when the train reached California.

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technical notes: Leica R8 with DMR digital back, 280mm f/4 APO-Telyt-R, shoulder stock & monopod. Check Sadie's eyes to see how much light there was. All comments welcome.

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Doug- Can't say I prefer one over the other, they are all absolutely spectacular, as always.

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Doug

 

Just amazing. I can honestly say I love looking at your work. Masterpieces. The note about about Thor literally made my jaw drop.

 

LouisB

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doug -

 

I've been anxiously waiting for these (Sallie told me you'd be at the open house), and you've exceeded my very high expectations. I trust you've sent copies to Sallie.

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Guest wls.shanghai

Doug,

 

wonderful - great series.

I like it

 

Regards

wls

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Doug, Every one of your series of photographs are stunning. I cannot think of another source that is up to these. I like them all.

 

Paul

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Doug,

 

My only criticism is that: You don't seem to be posting as often as I want you to.

 

.............................but I really do like the photographs

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I like'em all, but Thor is my definite favorite. He still looks 'all business' despite his hardships.

Thanks for posting these Doug.

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Thanks for all the comments!

 

I've learned today that some of the biographical info was incorrect. The Northern Saw-whet Owl's name is Sophie and she is blind in one eye, not an imprint. Also Athena is an imprinted bird and her wing injury may have been from a metabolic bone disease, not from barbed wire. Still magnificent creatures IMHO.

 

Thor is my favorite because of his survival story and his unbroken sprit.

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Very special portraits. I have always felt a strong affinity for raptors.

A few days ago I was walking in the woods with my dog and was looking for a female barred owl that lives there when I saw something that was unbelievable----she flew from her usual spot over to another tree and picked up a full grown raccoon. The coon was able to wiggle free and ran down the tree and off into the brush. Lucky day for the coon. I doubt I will ever see that again!

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