Now What?

Your rest area on the information super highway…

Posts for Tag: hawk

Another Flight With Two Hawks

I got another chance to fly with some hawks today. I initially saw one and wanted to get up in the air to greet it but, just at the top of my launch, I almost ran into a second one that I didn't know was there. I rolled to one side to avoid startling hawk number two and flew over to the original hawk and hawk number two followed along.

My camera is just a tiny mobius bolted to my hat but it captured some dramatic lens flare in this short clip.

Flying With The Hawks

I recently got to fly a few seconds with some hawks that drifted by on a thermal. I say they were hawks but I really don't know if they were or not because they were too far away. I was so excited when they showed up that I descended to meet them and I think I probably descended too quickly and scared them away. If I ever get the chance again, next time I will move in more slowly. They will probably still fly off but maybe not as quickly.

Because they were so far away, you probably won't be able to see much on a phone-sized screen. I recommend at least a laptop but, if you have sharp eyes, maybe you can get a glimpse of the flight even on a phone-sized screen. I recommend you crank the resolution up to 1080p on the youtube widget and view full screen.

The birds enter from screen-right at about the 2:00 minute mark.

Red-shouldered Hawk

When this guy flew past my head, I thought it was a flying barrel. I really thought it was an owl because it was so large.

The Goalkeeper

A few weeks ago I was roaming around Tom Sawyer Park as I often do, but it was so hot and humid that there didn't seem to be anything presenting itself to be photographed. All the plants were either brown and dry or wet and weedy. No butterflies, no deer, just gnats and hot air.

Having given up any hope of seeing anything interesting, I left the woods for the walking track where all the wannabe skinny people were walking as usual. Off to the side I noticed the familiar group of soccer fields and that the grass on those fields had grown quite high and was very dry like everything else. Then I saw there was something sitting on one of the goal cross posts. It was a large bird, a red-tailed hawk, and I was there without my long lens!! Apparently I had not made the appropriate offerings to the gods of Canon that week to ensure that the Force would be with me.

Well, I know these hawk guys can count the pores in your skin at 100 yards so there wasn't much hope in sneaking up on this fellow. I figured if I walked slow enough he (she?) would not feel threatened and, since it was so hot, maybe it would just sit there and "chill". I got close enough to be in range with my inadequate 200mm lens when it flew off before I had a chance to take my first photo! Arghhhhhh! Why is nature being so camera shy today?

But then I noticed that it had reappeared on the opposite goal but I didn't see how it had gotten there. It was like it jumped off of one goal one second and teleported to the other goal, a soccer field away, a second later. And then it was magically back on the goal near me and I was able to document what was going on.

If you look at the series of photos below, you will see what I saw. The goalkeeper was actually hunting at high speed between the goals. It would dive off of the close goal, beat its wings once or twice, and then ride the wind like a bullet, hovering just a wingspan above the ground, or less, as it made its high speed, guided missile-like run across the field looking for small rodents, rabbits, squirrels, etc. Though the hawk didn't catch anything while I was there, I caught my few photos and felt privileged to have been invited to watch.

(Each thumbnail will get displayed in the larger image area when you click on it and that photo can be enlarged, even more, if you click on it again. Clicking the super-sized photo will toggle it between large size and regular size.)

Old Hawk

Seems like one's lens is never quite long enough. Saw this old hawk in a tree but he flew away before I could get close to him.

The Birds of Tom Sawyer Park

My first foray into the realm of bird photography. All photos, except the hawks, were shot on the same day when the temperature was less than 20 degrees F. It's tough getting a bead on those little flighty guys.

Not sure what those red things are, but the Robins sure seemed to enjoy them.