Birds of Prey

Last week, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take the "portrait" of a very special someone.

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Owl portrait

The above owl, is one of several birds of prey working at the Montage resort in Laguna Beach.  The Montage is a very fancy, super exclusive, outrageously expensive, drop-dead gorgeous resort here in South Orange County.

The resort spends (supposedly?) around $1,000 per day for a falconer to bring his birds to hang-out (work?) several days each week.

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Falcon

Why?

Having the raptors visibly present at the resort, scares seagulls away.  It's considered a humane way to rid the grounds of the general peskiness, and messiness, of seagulls.

(For those of you who have never spent time by the ocean, seagulls will "steal" food right off your plate, are very messy, and a general nuisance for beach-goers.)

The various birds of prey do get to fly, they aren't always tied to their perches as they are in my photos.  They have constant access to water and are treated well, as they should be.

Guests love to see the birds up close.  They ask the falconer questions about his raptors continuously.  The falconer, and his birds, are a huge point of interest for tourists.  (They've even appeared in newspapers and on TV.)

I loved having the opportunity to photograph these beautiful birds.

Also?

If I was a seagull, I wouldn't want to mess with them either.

Bird_of_Prey-1
Bird of prey

These birds give a whole new meaning to "hotel security."

© Twenty Four At Heart

10 Responses to “Birds of Prey”

  1. karen

    Beautiful birds. Best hotel security I’ve ever heard of.
    We have plenty of seagulls on the east coast, but they are not as brazen as yours.

  2. Jan

    OMG – what *gorgeous* photos. I really like the one of the horned owl.

  3. Robyn

    I would love to see some more of the bird of prey pictures if you have them… I may even be interested in buying something. Do you plan to put them up on your site for purchase? : ) I have a strange obsession with birds of prey… turkeys even.

  4. Denise

    I saw these on G+ and wondered where you were. They really are so amazing. We have so many hawks in our area, but I would need a VERY EXPENSIVE lens to be able to photograph them up close. What a unique idea for keeping those dang gulls away.

  5. KirstyB

    Stunning photos! The owl is especially my favorite! 🙂

  6. Di

    We see a hawk now and then here at our place too. Such great creatures! Your photos are perfect, Suzanne!

  7. Deidre

    This year for the grand final of footy in Australia, there were rumours that they were going to hire a falconer to help get the sea gulls off the field during the game. Not sure that ever happened.

  8. LindaSalem

    I absolutely MUST have the owl picture. Let me know when you post these. I’m purchasing the hummingbird picks this week. (Had to wait for the money to come to me before I could send the money to you – lol.) Besides hummingbird, I’m nuts about owls. GREAT pics!! Thanks.

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