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Tawny Eagle III

Tawny Eagle III
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/4, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: A day at Whipsnade [III]
Theme(s): Zoo animals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-26 11:20
Viewed: 5173
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 38
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is one of dozens of pretty decent (in my own opinion!) photo's I've had sitting in my archives for months, waiting to be uploaded. I tend to get so tired of them sitting there that I like them less and less, and eventually delete them rather than uploading them! I thought that this spectacular eagle was far too good for such a fate, so here it is.

Tawny Eagle - Aquila rapax


The species Aquila rapax is a well distributed bird, ranging from Rumania east through the south Russian, south Siberian and Kirghiz steppes east through Transbaikalia to Mongolia; south through Arabia, India and almost the whole of Africa.
The northern populations only are migrant.
Throughout its range it favours desert, semi-desert, steppes, open savannah, thin bushveld and cultivation steppe from sea level to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) - higher on migration.


The diet of the Tawny Eagle is largely carrion of all kinds, usually fresh, often the kills of other raptors; mammals up to the size of a rabbit, small to medium rodents; lizards and snakes. Locusts, grasshoppers and flying termites are taken in season, also birds up to the size of guineafowl, particularly injured individuals.
It will also pirate food from any raptor larger or smaller than itself and kills its own prey on the ground.

Status and behaviour in the wild

On migration and in winter quarters these birds are gregarious; also near a carcass, or when scavenging around a camp. Often twenty or more will be found in a small area. If there is a concentration of food, such a s near a swarm of locusts, a dense population of rats or a flock of flamingos, even more will collect.
The orientalis race, whilst wintering in Africa, spend much time on the ground, and many will collect at a kill of one of them.

Like vultures, they will rob each other of kills and, also like vultures, they spend much time near water and drink freely.

Fisher, liquidsunshine, Signal-Womb, aido, coasties, tinman, soccer, thistle, sAner, Alex99 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To liquidsunshine: Bird of prey portraitsflagman 1 06-27 08:00
To aido: Tawny or Steppes Eagleflagman 1 06-27 03:58
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • hvdp Silver Star Critiquer [C: 24 W: 1 N: 3] (210)
  • [2006-06-26 12:18]

Wonderfull picture, with great definition and composition.

  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2006-06-26 12:18]

Hi Andy,
This is a very god shot of the eagle. It is well composed and clear. The lighting is acceptable, too. The main shortcoming of the photo for me is the similar color of the subect and the background, so the bird blends into the background. A different color background would have helped, or the application of some backlight, though I realize how difficult that is in these bird sanctuaries, since we have operation under the conditions we find.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2006-06-26 12:35]

Hi Andy,

Beautiful portrait, excellent details and composition. Nicely done.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-06-26 12:41]

"pretty decent" is definately an under-statement! This is an amazing shot. The detail is magnificent. Also great are the POV, colors and contrast. In my opinion, do us a favor and don't delete your photos. Upload them! :)
Realy TFS and a big Bravo!

hi andy
c'est parfait!!!
et c'est tout.

  • Great 
  • cali Silver Star Critiquer [C: 32 W: 0 N: 0] (316)
  • [2006-06-26 13:18]

très très belle photo. le sujet est magnifiquement mis en valeur et son regard en dit long. Merci.

Fantastic capture Andy,
You should never delete this image, it's fantastic. I'm still trying and waiting to get a good portrait shot of the Birds of prey at Whipsnade.
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.

Thanks for posting, have a great week.

This one is a showstopper, excellent portrait with great pose and fantastic details. Very well done Andy.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-26 14:05]
  • [+]

Hi Andy,
Excellent portrait, he looks a little ruffled. Great details, colours and exposure, DOF is perfect, excellent defocused BG. Great shot.

Just a point about the note, as I understand it Aquila rapax is the African Tawny Eagle, the Steppe Eagle is Aquila nipalensis. DNA tests have been carried out and although these birds are both of the family Accipitridae (i.e. they're Eagles :-)) they are not directly related. Look very similar though.


  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2006-06-26 15:35]

Hello Andy,
Ouf, glad you didn't delete such a treasure,
It's Fantastic, very good focus and colors.
This looks like a young one, isn't it?

Perfect Andy... just perfect!! :-)

Bella foto Andy!
Composizione, contrasto, colori ottimi.
Ciao Franco

I agree with your feelings, super shot and well done, nothing to crit at all. TFS

Suprb shapnesss and details.
Great composition.
Excellent portrait.


Great Portrait. The composition, sharpness, detail, BG and DOF are all great. TFS,

Hello Andy,
Lovely shot! I'm glad you decided to post it rather than delete!
The picture has superb POV. It seems the eagle was glad posing you and he did it really well. I like the tight framing and colours too.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-07-03 1:48]

Hi Andy,

I love all your Tawny Eagle shots and this one is no exception. Wonderful details and perfect exposure. Well done & TFS!


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2006-08-05 12:00]

Hi Andy.
I don't find lacks of this picture and I do not wish to search them. I enjoy it, its fault-less quality. Detail, sharpness, composition, colours, amazing colourful BG and others components of this photo are outstanding. Bravo and TFS.

Crystal clear capture of the raptor, all colors and excellent details in this one. Nice one Andy. :)

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