Readers’ wildlife photos

December 1, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today we have some nice raptor photos from Alan Clark in Liverpool.  His captions are indented, and you can enlarge the fearsome bird pictures by clicking on them. TRIGGER WARNING: Predation!

Here are some more photos for your Wildlife Photos section. The birds were all photographed at a recent photo shoot organised by a local Nature photography group, with birds provided by a falconer.

Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus. This species is widespread on all the unfrozen continents. It became endangered in some places because of the use of DDT, but has now recovered well. It has been used in falconry for over 3000 years, and is the fastest bird in the world, having been reportedly measured at 389kph/242mph in a dive.

Northern Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis. Widespread in the Northern hemisphere. The name means Goose hawk, as it is able to catch large species of birds.


Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus. The same genus as the Goshawk, but a much smaller species. Found in much of the Old World North of the Equator. It is often seen in gardens. At one time in England it was thought that Cuckoos changed into Sparrowhawks in Winter.

Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Bubo bubo. Mostly nocturnal. This bird weighs 5 pounds and has a wingspan of 6ft.

16 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Great pics, thanks!
    The owl looks more supercilious than wise.
    I now intentionally read that warning as “TIGGER WARNING” and hope to see a bouncy cartoon tiger.

    1. As Andy Parsons said, “The wonderful thing about tiggers is…we can disembowel a gazelle in 10 seconds.” Harsh but not too inappropriate considering today’s content. ^_^

    2. Although owls have a reputation for intelligence they are low down on the avian IQ scale – only chickens are lower.

  2. Beautiful photos! It’s truly remarkable how big the other birds and mammals on which they prey can be! Reminds me of the Gary Larson “Far Side” cartoon, “Birds of prey know they’re cool.”

  3. Wow – intense! I wonder if that goshawk would be at risk of predation itself, holding such a bright colored meal … what is it anyway? Not a partridge, is it? Ptarmigan?

    The last one is sublime – elegant – powerful… wow.

  4. Sadly goshawks are amongst the most persecuted birds in the UK since gamekeepers attempt to disrupt the birds from nesting. This is highly illegal but the problem is gathering the evidence.

  5. These were impressive and stirring…they reminded me of Baker’s magnificent memoir: The Peregrine.

    That owl’s head is intense, I love those smoldering eyes.

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