About the Photographer
My interest in both birds and photography began in 2004 when, while I was backpacking in Nevada's Jarbidge Wilderness, I was dive-bombed by Northern Goshawks defending their nest. I had just bought my first digital camera, a Panasonic FZ10 ultrazoom, and I captured one of the attacks with it. From that point on I was, to put it mildly, hooked.
In 2005 I followed the raising and fledging of 3 young Red-tailed Hawks at a nest on a building, and in May 2007 I had the good fortune to discover and photograph a rare Mississippi Kite on the Palos Verdes peninsula. I became intrigued by the ability of birds to coexist with humans and adapt to their urban and suburban surroundings.
Then in late 2008 two Peregrine Falcons were found living in the bluffs of a seaside park in San Pedro, my hometown. Their leg bands, marked with the numbers 03 and 56, identified them as a brother and a sister that had been given the names Portia and Edge by Will Sooter, a naturalist and Peregrine Falcon observer in San Diego County. To get these photos without disturbing the pair I kept my distance, using first a 100–400 lens and then, during nesting, moved to a 500-mm prime from about 500 yards away.
The two siblings had hatched and fledged in cliffs, whereupon Edge disappeared and was presumed dead. In the meantime, Portia made her way north to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. After a disappearance, she was resighted with her long-lost brother in San Pedro. In 2009 they mated, becoming the first verified brother and sister peregrine pair in California. They've raised and fledged five young (“eyeases”) since then, and have become a success story here in a heavily used oceanside park.
Portia and Edge are just one example of the variety of birds to be found in the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula of Los Angeles County; I hope you’ll visit my website for more.
San Pedro, California
Steve put together this YouTube video tribute to Portia and Edge: