I took a trip out to Appleton Farms Sunday morning. I didn’t get more than 100 feet out of the parking lot before stumbled into a little fallout of Palm Warblers feeding with Eastern Bluebirds and some Chipping Sparrows. I was working the shoot when all of the sudden, about 20 yards away, a Red-tailed hawk came in.
I’ve never been this close to a wild hawk before and I had a bit of a challenge because it was totally backlit! I took a few bracket shots to see if I could get a good photo.
Then all of the sudden, it started to come come in on me. All in about two seconds I though through the scenarios trying to determine what was on this hawk’s mind? I’m in a good nesting area, did I stumble close to a nest? Am I not seeing something in the environment? Now mind you, these are full frame shots.
I was having a BROWN ALERT!
By the time it got about 10 feet from me, it was still coming in. All that I could think of was how long those talons are! So I stretched out my arms to make myself look big, which startled him. Phew! He landed in a tree behind me, and in much better light!
He looked back at me, I looked at him.
Then I realized what what going on. He was onto something.
It got something but I couldn’t see what it was because it kept it’s back to me. It was cold, so I doubt it was a snake, perhaps a mouse. I only got a glimpse of the tail.
Finally, one of the best hawk photos I’ve ever taken.
It flew off across the field, across the road and caught a thermal and was gone. What a thrill!
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