Wednesday, January 7, 2015

More Captive Raptors

This is the fourth post in my project on captive birds of prey. Actually, looking through the collection of photographs that I have taken over the past year the project will include a few species that are not birds of prey. But more of that at a later date. Today I am posting single pictures of two species, one that is quite common in captivity and the other seems to be much rarer. The first is the American Kestrel Falco sparverius which I have come across in a couple of captive settings and the second is the Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus . I have only encountered one Booted Eagle in captivity.
The American Kestrel is widespread in the Nearctic and the Neotropical zones, ranging from Canada, except beyond the Arctic treeline, down to the southern tip of South America although it is not found in the dense forests of Amazonia (what little dense forest is left!). The Booted Eagle on the other hand is a Palearctic, Ethiopian and Asian zone species found in parts of southern and eastern Europe, Africa south of the Sahara and India. The latter two areas being winter quarters.
The Booted Eagle has not been officially accepted as a genuine vagrant in Britain although it can be found in the list of Category D species...birds seen in Britain but likely to have escaped from captivity. So presumably more are kept than I thought. The American Kestrel on the other hand has been recorded as a genuine vagrant  twice in Britain, once in Shetland and once in Cornwall and both in 1976! The Shetland bird was a male and the Cornish bird was a female. They missed each other by just a couple of weeks but could hardly have been further apart and still be in Britain. Shame really!
The Kestrel was photographed in February 2013, long before I'd planned this project, and it was not caged but rather tethered to one of those typical plastic grass covered stands that are so popular with falconers who display birds. So no nasty cage wire in the way but the photo is not really of the sort that I want. The Booted Eagle was in a large cage and was photographed in September 2014.

No 4 American Kestrel Falco sparverius

American Kestrel Falco sparverius South Yorks Feb 2013

 No 5 Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus

Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus  ICBP Helmsley, Yorks. Sept 2014

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