Last Saturday four other photographers and I spent a few hours photographing captive raptors at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy. We worked on owls and raptors. They were captive but that doesn’t mean they were easy to photograph! They’re just as fast in captivity as they are in the wild.
We started out with a young female Barn Owl. She was easy compared to the faster ones!
There are the same things to consider with captive birds as in the wild – Direction of the light, direction of the wind, background, lens and camera body choice and habits of the bird.
This is a typically light-coloured male Red-tailed Hawk as seen in Southern Ontario.
Because the birds are fairly close using a shorter telephoto means that more of the background is in focus. Next time I might just have to get farther away and use a longer lens!
Also, of course, with these captive birds we had the opportunity for perched shots.
All the images took at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy were taken with the Canon 7D and a 70-200 IS lens at f2.8.
Two wild Bald Eagles stopped by to check out the captive birds while we were there. One carried a defunct transmitter.
Sunday I spent at my favourite photography spot for Hawk Cliff. It was a warm sunny day with little hope of much of a flight as the winds were fairly light and South to SouthWest. A stronger, nastier SW wind might have been good for the last of the Peregrine Falcons but I didn’t see a single one. A huge surprise was a juvenile Golden Eagle. It had been seen and photographed the day before and just decided it was time to head on through.
At least the high key sky shows off the bird!
Another nice surprise was a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. It is typical of a northern bird with darker markings than one from southern Ontario.
I decided to take a chance and add a 1.4 converter onto my 500 f4 IS lens. It made all the difference in the size of the bird in the frame. I must be getting better at this as I had no problem finding the birds in the viewfinder. I think the speed of the auto-focus of the 7D does help!
All the images in this and all my blogs are the property of Eleanor Kee Wellman, are copyrighted and may not be used for any purpose without the express written permission of the photographer!