Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Venezuelan Raptor Week 2: Black-collared Hawk

Black-collared Hawk (Busarellus nigricollis) are so named because they have those rather neat black collars (this is one of the more sensible bird names in my view).

darkcollared hawk

These are big, highly visible birds but due to their diet we only ever saw them perched in the tops of the trees lining the various ditches and rivers we toured by boat (as opposed to from the trucks or on foot). Interestingly if you google the species you get a lot of hits from Hato el Cedral so I guess this must be one of the easier places to find and shoot them.

darkcollared hawk7

Partly this may be because they'd learned to take baits from the surface of the water here. They are mainly fisheaters (although I suspect they are not above plunging on surface swimming snakes, frogs, mammals etc too) and our guide liked to leave piranha for them to steal from the waters by the boat. I kept missing the moment of truth but got some cool flight shots as they took a look at the bait a couple of times.
darkcollared hawk9

Its amazing how the underwing varies depending upon the light.
darkcollared hawk8

One thing I really liked about these guys was the way their bodies seemed to glow when hit with the evening light. I guess you'd call this a cinnamon colour.

darkcollared hawk

So there you have it fantastically beautiful with habits that make for easy photography. What more could I want?

1 comment:

jason said...

What a majestic--and cooperative--bird! Great shots. I love that your guide knew to let the birds plunder your fish as a means to get them in closer. Very cool!