Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Close Encounters of the Bird Kind,Red-tailed Hawk

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.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

I was having a BROWN ALERT!

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

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!

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

He looked back at me, I looked at him.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

Then I realized what what going on. He was onto something.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky


©2013 Steve Borichevsky

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.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

Finally, one of the best hawk photos I’ve ever taken.

©2013 Steve Borichevsky

It flew off across the field, across the road and caught a thermal and was gone. What a thrill!

If you would like to see some birds from around the world, visit Wild Bird Wednesday.


eileeninmd said...

Awesome images of the hawk,Steve!

Carol Mattingly said...

Fantastic. Last one my fav.

Roy Norris said...

That last shot is brilliant Steve.
A ballistic helmet a bullet proof vest may have been appropriate wear taking those first shots.

Helen said...

Those were great shots.You did good!

Richard said...

Great last shot of the hawk. That one needs to be hung on the wall.

Karen said...

Gosh, you are brave. If I saw that coming at me, I would hold my camera tight and run!! Fabulous shots though!

Jenny said...

Stunning last shot Steve. I'd have ducked rather than try (unsuccessfully) to make myself look bigger! (-;

mick said...

That was a fantastic encounter with the hawk and you got some great photos.

Dave said...

great encounter - great images Steve, well done on both counts

Arija said...

That last shot is just beautiful!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Such a handsome bird. I love the last shot!

Gemma Wiseman said...

Wow! These photos are like stages in a grand adventure! Each one shares intriguing perspectives of the hawk! And then the grand finale of those huge wings filling the photo frame!

Gary said...

Great series,especially the last shot. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Anonymous said...

That last shot is amazing!

Small City Scenes said...

I bet that was a thrill! Nice series of images. Love that last shot. I have a hard time catching flying raptors. MB When you said wild Hawk I thought all were wild but then there are places where Hawks are in cages--I guess.

Judy said...

Incredible series!!! My favourite images are the first one in flight before the strike, and the vanishing act!!!
I can totally understand your being confused when he came so close!!!

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