This was the last raptor in the show, and a very impressive one. They had her flying around free for some time before her cue, and the previous birds ‘knew’ a bigger predator was in the sky.
In the above shot you can see the lovely wingspan (about 2m) with the pinions all flared out and the tail swivelled around, controlling the direction. They flew her around several times for us to see her clearly in the sky before landing.
I didnt get any shots of her with the handler, and she was such a large bird, I can’t remember if she came to the glove for any length of time. They talked about the habitat and rarity of the birds with a good environmental message.
For me the absolute highlight was what happened next. The eagle was taken into a small enclosure and you could have your photo taken with her for a small fee, a nice touch and something you certainly don’t get to do every day. I switched over to my 17-55 F2.8 and showed the lady at the gate my camera, and asked if I could take a couple of shots – I expected to pay and would have been happy to, but she let me through ! (and another lady with a camera behind me)
At first I just looked because this was the closest I was ever likely to get near such a magnificent bird, and I was also appreciating her size – standing a good 2 ft high on her perch. Got the camera out and took some shots, the enclosure was under a tree and with solid dark walls it was quite dark, and I made a comment about it. The background was very bright, and I was thinking that it was going to be a waste of time due to the dark bird not being exposed correctly. Imagine my delight to be told I could use my flash! I only had my pop-up but it was enought to provide some fill light to balance out the bright background.
Concious of not wanting to take too long I snapped the following shots, and left buzzing with delight 🙂
This ends my series on the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and posts I made, despite having the news about the quake just before we arrived, I was determined to make the most of the day, and I really enjoyed the trip. Got to see many new and interesting animals and *lots* of pretty and unusual birds and clearly took far too many photos 🙂