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Birds of Prey Beside a Highway

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk
Thread started 22 Jul 2012 (Sunday) 05:08   
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Hairyman
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Joined Sep 2007
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Newcastle, NSW
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Dear All,

When travelling along a particular country road (Golden Highway, NSW, Australia), I notice a lot of birds of prey (no idea, maybe Nankeen Kestrels) hovering over the roadside ditches looking for food less than 50m in the air - strung out as individuals about 1-2 km apart.

They do not seem at all bothered by the passing traffic.

My question relates to getting in position to photograph them.

I suspect that they'd likely just disappear if I stopped and got out of the car with a lens pointed at them.

My thought was to put the car somewhere safe and maybe sit a bit back in the paddock on the opposite side of the road from the birds and wait for them to come back.

Anyone with any specific thoughts (I've had a read of the stick threads - what a great resource) on photography/bird behaviour in this particular situation?

Post #1, Jul 22, 2012 05:08:09


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tomj
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Cars make great blinds, birds are frequently comfortable with them.

Post #2, Jul 22, 2012 07:43:30


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Hairyman
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Newcastle, NSW
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Ta - great news in fact.

Post #3, Jul 22, 2012 07:46:56


All the gear and no idea.

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mileslong24
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I stop frequently for red tails. Some will take off when they see a vehicle stop, others may not. Pretty much a crapshoot in my opinion. I use my sunroof to peak out through that way I can rest my lens on the top of the car. That also helps if they take off across the highway so you can easily follow them.

Post #4, Jul 22, 2012 15:33:51 as a reply to Hairyman's post 7 hours earlier.




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Hairyman
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Ta. I'll give it a go.

Post #5, Jul 23, 2012 10:38:04


All the gear and no idea.

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Billginthekeys
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Yes, birds of prey actually seem more comfortable around people when you remain in/with your vehicle. I was taking some pictures of a hawk in a nest by the road for a while, had stopped by several times, shooting from through my window, or opening the door and staying behind it. First time I dared step away from the vehicle to try and get closer, she dove at me and beleive me I was glad I had a big lens on a monopod between me and her.

Use the car to your benefit.

Post #6, Jul 23, 2012 13:59:04


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Hairyman
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Thanks, I was more concerned about them flying away rather than providing opportunities for macro photography! I'll stick in the car.

Post #7, Jul 28, 2012 07:14:01


All the gear and no idea.

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Jim ­ Neiger
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Joined Sep 2007
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Kissimmee, Florida
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From your description I would guess that the birds are kites, perhaps whistling kites. They often exhibit the behavior you describe. I think it is likley that you can get out of your car and photograph them all you like. I suspect they will ignore you completely, at least that is the experience I've had with them.

Post #8, Aug 06, 2012 12:53:30


Jim Neiger - Kissimmee, Florida
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dfbovey
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IMAGE: http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/359/3/1/red_tailed_hawk_3_by_bovey_photo-d4k8do5.jpg

This one was an odd encounter. Sat there as the sun was going down, didn't flinch when I got out of my car and didn't mind the flash either. Sat there for me for a good 15 minutes. It probably helped that I was wearing black and my car is black, so that probably disguised my shape a bit.

You do have to be careful though when it comes to the law, a lot of highways are illegal to stop on unless you have an emergency. So keep a look out for police vehicles.

Post #9, Aug 07, 2012 00:45:11


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