Birds of Prey Behavioural

The first image gallery displays some aspects of raptor behaviour. And the last four galleries feature photo essays of White-bellied sea-eagles, Brahminy kites, Aerial conflict white-bellied sea-eagle and grey-headed fish-eagle, and New World vultures.

Birds of Prey Behaviour

Birds of Prey Behaviour Notes

Raptors hunt from a perched position or seek out their prey when soaring or flying in the sky. The gallery displays four genera flying, and two either resting or perched looking for prey.

Owls are nocturnal resting up during the day but are often quite active. My first photo of a buffy fish-owl was of a one-eyed bird perched near the mangrove swamp at Pasir Ris Nature Park. I’ve also photographed them in Botanical Gardens and Ang Mo Kio Park. The short-eared owl also has only one eye. Both these birds have survived for several years. 

Spotted wood-owls are uncommon residents in Singapore; the images are of a juvenile and its parents at Pasir Ris Park. Brown hawk-owl or brown boobook is a winter visitor to Singapore. It’s a small owl that I photographed at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve at the edge of tropical forest.

Photo Essay – White-bellied Sea-Eagles

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Photo Essay Notes

The photo essay displays an immature white-bellied sea-eagles fishing, a crow harassing a juvenile, a juvenile and immature flying and an adult perched in a tree as the sun began to set.

Adults prey on relatively large-sized birds; I saw them try and take grey herons. An Australian darter was perched drying its wings while a white-bellied sea-eagle perched in the same tree, maybe its next meal.

Photo Essay – Brahminy Kites

Brahminy Kite Photo Essay Notes

Displayed in the photo essay of a brahminy kite flying and fishing at Sungei Buloh Wetland in Singapore, the light on the water was unique. The second sequence is adult and juvenile birds at the Chinese Garden in Singapore. The final image is a kite flying at Cape Gloucester in Queensland.

Photo Essay – Aerial Conflict White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Grey-headed Fish-eagle

Aerial Conflict Photo Essay Notes

I photographed the following sequence at Dairy Farm Nature Park, which shows an adult grey-headed fish-eagle attacking an immature white-bellied sea-eagle. The white-bellied flies faster to get away, then gains height gets behind the grey-headed and finally swoops down to attack the grey-headed which defends and then flies off into the trees. A brahminy kite chassed of the white-bellied sea eagle as it hs strayed into its territory.

Photo Essay – New World Vultures

American Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus brasiliensis) waiting for leatherback turtle to finish nesting at Grande Riviere in Trinidad
American Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus brasiliensis) waiting for leatherback turtle to finish nesting at Grande Riviere in Trinidad

New World Vulture Photo Essay Notes

The main series of images were taken at Grande Riviere beach on the northeast coast in Trinidad. Leatherback turtles come ashore to nest at night, its chaos as many tens of turtles nest each night digging body pits and egg cavities sometimes over existing nests and disturbing the eggs. At dawn, waiting vultures surround any leatherback stragglers in the hope of stealing eggs. And local dogs also dig for turtle eggs. The beach is small; sea erosion takes a toll on nests that too close to the water.

The final image shows a flock of vultures scavenging discarded fish heads, along with a local dog, at Orange Valley Mudflats in Trinidad.