Sunday, March 30, 2014

Crested Caracara Eagle

Crested Caracara Eagle

During my recent trip to Florida I was lucky to get close enough to a caracara eagle to make some photos.  On previous trips I had seen a pair of them around Citrus Park but never close enough to make a decent photo. This eagle, also known as a northern caracara, Mexican eagle, or Audubon's caracara, is a fairly slow-flying bird of prey that often scavenges rather than hunt from the air.

Today's photos were taken during on the same day during my regular morning walk around the park looking for wildlife to photograph.  I first saw the eagle on the ground pecking at something.  I tried getting close, but the large bird moved away.  After downloading the images I realized that it was actually pecking at the shell of a turtle.

I was disappointed that I didn't get the images I was after, but later I saw the eagle pecking at the air conditioner on a nearby house.  I backtracked and went towards the house but by the time I got there, the eagle had gone.  After putting the camera back in my camera bag and resuming my walk, I was surprised to see it sitting atop a tree directly in front of me.  It was being harassed by several crows and finally took off after one of them, but eventually flew away being chased by at least a dozen crows.

Once again I continued walking and spotted another eagle pruning itself on top of a tall tree.  I walked slowly towards it and made several photos along the way.  I walked in someone's driveway and stayed there for around 30 minutes making photos as it cleaned its feathers and kept an eye out for possible dangers.  Because I was quiet and still, it ignored me completely allowing me to get a few good shots. 

I am sharing several photos on my Blog this morning.  The closer views have been cropped from the original images to let you see this beautiful bird up close.

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