I love raptors

Raptors are birds of prey.

  • Eagles
  • Hawks
  • Falcons
  • Buzzards
  • Kites
  • Vultures

They are the hunters of the skies.  The soaring shapes between the clouds, that suddenly burst out of the heavens and plummet down towards a chosen victim.

They are the secret wraiths of the forest, leaf hidden and watching, waiting for the moment they spy their prey. Swiftly through the branches with the ease of a bullet and gone, they excite the senses, that’s why I love raptors.


Snail Kite
Snail Kite

There are less predators than prey, a rule of nature. Like kings and queens, presidents and emperors they rule the smaller beings, they rule the skies.

There is no half measures with raptors. I love raptors because like emperors, they are both magnificent and graceful.

They cut a dash.



Andean Condor
Andean Condor

For the Inca, that dark spot present over the highest peaks,  found close to a kill, was a semi-god.

The Condor messenger that took the souls of the dead to heaven.



White-tailed Kite
White-tailed Kite

Kites have been associated with scavengers, but these scavengers are the hyenas of the skies, alert and powerfully strong, waiting their chance.



Long-winged Harrier
Long-winged Harrier

Harriers hunt with stealth, a low-level attacker, with the agility to drop vertically out of the sky. Buoyant in flight they drift low as if they were a very part of the grass.


Falcons are smart, compact raptors. Swift as darts, that strike as lightening does, sudden and dramatic.


Laughing Falcon
Laughing Falcon

Paula and I were driving slowly through the dry Chaco scrub, in-between Paraguay and Argentina. I spotted a white flash and bird alighted on a distant tree and looking at it through binoculars its dark eye patches were reminiscent of an Owl.


We looked at each other for five minutes. The bird did not move, I did not move.


Our spirits joined for a moment and the bird flicked its tail, lifted off and settled much closer.


Still we stared, locked into an ageless search for understanding.


I knew it was a falcon, blinked, and it was gone, into the forest, laughing as it flew, absorbed into the green cloak of cover.


That’s why, I love raptors.





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