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Old Aug 3, 2005, 12:19 AM   #1
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The Harrier killed a blackbird chick tonight and I was there to see it, now I fully understand why the blackbirds are a bit miffed at this raptor hanging around. However, it doesn't lessen my feelings about this bird. It is a dynamic, wonderful, fabulous example of the beauty and terror of nature. Both beast and beauty on wing, I am completely magnetized by the Harrier, and it performed wonderfully today, feeding it's mate, and dive bombing me to the point where I was forced to wear my biking helmet.

A beautiful bird



On the wing, grabbing a blackbird chick from a nest



The dangling leg from the infant seen clearly as well as the downy remains are evidenced from the sharp beak of the predator



Away the Harrier rushes, catch in hand



Leg of the infant flails in the wind



A rush by to show me the catch and that this is his territory and not mine (a touch of drama . In actuality, the bird probably didn't care one bit about me and my camera)




I was dive bombed a number of time by this bird, then I called it out and walked right towards it, to the top of a large hill where it sat perched, screaming at me, and the situation was totally backlit so I decided to try to get closer, and past the bird a bit so the backlighting wouldn't be so serious. I walked directly at it, but with my helmet on as I'm just stupid, not a fool. It waited for me, and I got within about 30 feet of it, and took this photo. It didn't move, and allowed me the pleasure:



The hill I climbed to get to it



I was impressed by the fact that it allowed me to venture so close, and not a dive bomb. 5 minutes later it was dive bombing me again, go figure.

The Harrier is officially my favorite raptor, even though it wants to kill me.




Here's a shot of the female who is causing all of the problems:






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Old Aug 3, 2005, 12:54 AM   #2
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Excellent shots:!:

Nothing like annoying a bird that can come at you at a million miles an hour.
And has talons that can do some serious damage to boot. :blah:

Peter.
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 8:37 AM   #3
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Incredible shots Norm! You're lucky to see this live. I doubt many people have even seen this bird let alone hunting.

Good job.

//jim
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 9:31 AM   #4
DBB
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Yeah, this is a great series!

I've tried and tried and tried to locate a Harrier nest. And without success. Somewhere in a four acre swamp, the two of them are laughing at me...

I must say, they've never tried to dive bomb me. Apparently they have a business relatiionship with the Willet, and sub-contract out the work. Of course, maybe they know I'm no-where near the nest...

dave
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 6:33 PM   #5
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"The Harrier is officially my favorite raptor, even though it wants to kill me." :?

That's one cool bird with a VERY determined look in his eyes...watch out!

Great photos!

...Ed
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Old Aug 3, 2005, 11:48 PM   #6
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Normcar, maybe he was mad at you for not asking for getting the "model release". Nice series BTW.
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Old Aug 4, 2005, 1:34 AM   #7
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Thanks for looking you all, it's a lovely bird but I prefer it when it doesn't have a little chick in it's talons. I need to get used to that sort of thing, personally.
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Old Aug 4, 2005, 11:30 AM   #8
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I am amazed at how you seem to always be where the action is and always capture it so well.

Houston
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Old Aug 4, 2005, 3:13 PM   #9
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Thanks Houston, I apologize for the long post as I know you are on dialup. I just couldn't figure out which one to keep out in this series so I simply posted them all. The nice thing about this bird is that it remains in the same location because the feeding is so good there, tons of blackbirds. I can only take so much of the gruesomeness, though, and need a few days break from it.
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