The Golden Eagle is one of the largest, fastest, nimblest raptors in North America. Lustrous gold feathers gleam on the back of its head and neck; a powerful beak and talons advertise its hunting prowess. Here is one in captivity at Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
Spectacled Owls are unique owls, so named because of the white spectacles around their yellow eyes, highlighting their brown facial disk. The bill is cream colored. A white stripe around the upper throat divides the color of the body, with the chest being dark brown. Here is a female at the Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
The Spectacled Owl is a medium-sized to large owl with a rounded head with no ear-tufts. It has a dark face with contrasting ‘spectacles’ made up of white eyebrows and other white streaking between the eyes and on the cheeks. A female owl at Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
The red-shouldered hawk is a medium-sized hawk. Its breeding range spans eastern North America and along the coast of California and northern to northeastern-central Mexico. With large, broad wings with long tails and heavy bodies, female red-shouldered hawks are larger than males. Here is a female fluttering its wings at Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
Photographically captured in cages at Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina and artistically rendered head shots of the Bald Eagle.
The Bald Eagle has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782 and a spiritual symbol for native people for far longer than that. These regal birds aren’t really bald, but their white-feathered heads gleam in contrast to their chocolate-brown body and wings.
Some bald eagles in captivity at Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, North Carolina.
The Eurasian eagle-owl’s large, very distinctive, orange eyes provide excellent night vision. This male bird is at the Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
The Eurasian eagle-owl is a species of eagle-owl that resides in much of Eurasia. It is one of the largest species of owl, and females can grow to a total length of 30 inches, with a wingspan of 6 ft. 2 in, with males being slightly smaller. This bird has distinctive ear tufts, with upper parts that are mottled with darker blackish coloring and tawny. The wings and tail are barred and the underparts are a variably hued buff, streaked with darker coloring.
Here is a male Eurasian eagle-owl at the Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
Outstandingly maneuverable, Lanner Falcons use their large tails and relatively low wing loading to perform exceptionally to the lure and can take a range of small birds as prey. The piercing eyes of a Lanner Falcon at the Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
The Lanner Falcon is a large bird of prey that breeds in Africa, southeast Europe and Asia and is a bird of open country and savanna. Males and females look alike, but the browner young birds resemble Saker Falcons even more. However, Sakers have a lighter top of the head and less clear head-side patterns. Here is a male Lanner Falcon in captivity at Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
A small, stocky raptor with black-and-white bands on the tail, the Broad-winged Hawk is a bird of the forest interior and can be hard to see during the nesting season. Its call is a piercing, two-parted whistle. Here is a captive male at the Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, North Carolina.
A female American Kestrel reaches for food from a handler and then sings at the Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, North Carolina
The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America, weighing 3-6 ounces. American Kestrels are one of only three raptor species in North America where males and females look very different from each other. Males have blue-hued wings and one black bar on their orange tail feathers; females have orange wings with black stripes and many black bars on their orange tail feathers.
Here is a female kestrel at Carolina Raptor Center.
A female Barn Owl captured in an unusual pose at Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, North Carolina
With its ghostly appearance, rasping shrieks, and habit of roosting in such places as church belfries, the Barn Owl has attracted much superstition. However, it is really a good omen for farmers who find it in their barns, for it preys chiefly on mice and rats.
A female version on display at Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, North Carolina.
The Barred Owl is a nocturnal bird. It hides in dense foliage during the day, usually high up. May also roost on a branch close to a broad tree-trunk, or in a natural tree hole. May be very aggressive when defending a nest. Here is female version – perched at Carolina Raptor Center, North Carolina.
The barred owl, also known as the northern barred owl, striped owl or, more informally, hoot owl, is a North American large species of owl. Here is a female barred owl at Carolina Raptor Center, Huntersville, North Carolina. Females are normally larger and heavier than males.
Carolina Raptor Center (Huntersville, North Carolina) is a living museum, dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey. It is home to over 25 species of native and exotic raptors — hawks, falcons, eagles, merlins, kites and vultures.
Although in captivity, we got an opportunity to photograph some birds in their natural setting. Will be posting individual images of these magnificent birds over the next few weeks.
We bid farewell to Sunset Beach, North Carolina with a brilliantly painted night sky
People enjoy watching the amazing post-sunset sky at Sunset Beach, North Carolina