Raptors: the hawks, owls, eagles and falcons. No other group of birds stirs the imagination, lifts our spirits, and symbolizes fierce and noble qualities more than these. This unparalleled photo shoot ranks at the top of the world's best opportunities to photograph birds of prey under controlled conditions. Against a backdrop of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains, a wide variety of birds of prey are brought together from raptor facilities across the state to provide an exceptional chance to learn about and capture these marvelous wind-borne hunters with your camera.
"Beautiful location, variety of landscapes and birds to shoot, excellent help and information from our guide. A fun, interesting, well-managed tour."
Master falconers, nature educators and raptor rehabilitation experts—who collectively represent more than 100 years of experience working with raptors—provide the birds for our four exciting days of photography.
We expect to photograph 15 or more species during our shooting sessions. They may include the peregrine and prairie falcons, gyrfalcon, American kestrel, Harris', ferruginous, red-tailed and Swainson's hawks, northern goshawk, golden and bald eagles, plus great horned, long-eared, screech, burrowing, barred and barn owls, and/or others. Many of the birds are flown free and/or perched in aesthetically pleasing locations with beautiful, natural backgrounds. No cages are used. All of the birds are in excellent physical condition and should provide for extraordinary "bird in the landscape" images, as well as numerous exciting fast-action flight shots. A few permanently injured and non-releasable individuals offer outstanding close-up portraiture opportunities.
Several beautiful habitats are used for the photography: rolling prairie grassland, forested foothills and rocky cliffs under brilliant Colorado skies. October brings the rich fall color of cottonwoods, plus the warm golds and browns of prairie grasses. Traditional falconry techniques can be photographed during our shoots and—prey species available—a golden eagle eating a (road-killed) rabbit, squirrel or prairie dog. We witness events that take place every day in the wild but we are there to watch, learn and generate many spectacular photographic images.
There is, literally, no other wildlife models photo opportunity in the world that compares to this one!
Be sure to read Perry Conway's 2016 trip report.
Day 1 (Oct 21)
We arrive in Louisville, Colorado, via the SuperShuttle from Denver International Airport. Shuttle transportation is not included in the trip fee. We meet in the motel lobby for introductions and dinner. (D)
These four days are filled with exciting photographic opportunities in several diverse wildland habitats. Along with the photography, we receive firsthand information about the life histories of each these superlative hawks, eagles and owls. (BLD)
Day 6 (Oct 26)
The SuperShuttle service returns us to Denver International Airport. (B)
Tour provides a comprehensive exposure to common raptors in as natural a setting as possible, with outstanding static and flight photography.
The sheer variety of raptors presented on this trip, and our level of access to them, was just amazing. Our leader was extremely knowledgeable about each bird, and helped to ensure both realistic and artistic settings.