Anyone who follows my Facebook page or even follows my posts here knows, one of my favourite places to go is the Raptor Foundation.

My first visit was back back in January 2012, just after I had purchased my Fujifilm HS20. From that very first day one of my favourite birds was Dollar, a bald eagle. He was one of the first birds I saw, and couldn’t help but be captured by his presence.

Dollar made an impression on all of my family. My daughter (who wasn’t quite 4 at the time of our first visit) referred to him for the next few visits as ‘the grumpy bird’. Needless to say he wasn’t grumpy, it was just the natural look of eagles – fierce.

This was one of the first photos I took of Dollar, and is still one of my favourites.

2012-01 copy

Dollar had already been resident for some time having been rescued from an abusive home. There were a number of health issues as a result, these were now being looked after properly at the foundation.

Unfortunately towards the start of July Dollar passed away at the age of 14 years after a short illness. I won’t write anymore about Dollar as I could not do him justice – you can read the post from the Raptor Foundation on Instagram announcing his death (linked below) and you will see the impression he made of all of his carers and visitors alike.

The Raptor Foundation on Instagram: “Dollar 30/9/2006 – 3/7/2021 ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ This is a eulogy we had not imagined writing for many years yet to come, but here we…”

Instead I have spent time looking through the collection of photos I have of Dollar, and have re-worked some photos shared before, and also worked on some photos I haven’t shared before.

The following photos were taken at various times between now and September last year, which was the last time I was able to go to the Raptor Foundation.

Raptor Photography Day 452 copy
2017-10-25 Raptor Foundation 367 copy1
Raptor Photography Day 446 copy
Raptor Photography Day 454 copy
Raptor Photography Day 184 copy
Raptor Photography Day 166 copy
Raptor Photography Day 185 copy
X-E2 Raptor 608 copy
2020-09-19 Raptor Photo Day 933 copy
2020-09-19 Raptor Photo Day 941 copy

Having started with one of the first pictures I took of Dollar, I will finish with one of the last I took.

2020-09-19 Raptor Photo Day 951 copy

Dollar will be missed by all those who have visited the centre, and particularly by the staff and volunteers that have looked after him over the years.

The staff and volunteers spend a lot of time with the birds that are permanently resident at the Raptor Foundation as well as the birds they nurse back to health and re-habilitate in their hospital. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for any loss like this.

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