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Birds Of Prey. August 27, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I haven’t seen prominent displays of eagles on the river since Spring, and our local population of hawks is pretty private, so I was pleased today to find both within range of my lens and comfortable enough with my presence to sit for me.

Well, the eagle wasn’t exactly close – it was perhaps a hundred yards away, and sitting in a densely-leaved tree, but I reeled it in with Gizmo and a 2X Tele-Extender for an effective focal length of 800mm. The shot is hand-held, albeit resting on the door of my car, and cropped pretty hard to get this:

The faster version of this lens, with image stabilization, is a cool thousand dollars more than what I paid for Gizmo, so you’ll have to suffer with us until I hit the lottery.

I did  get closer to a red tailed hawk perched on a roadside fence post this very same morning, and didn’t have to crop the photo to give you this:

I crept my 4-Runner up the shoulder of the road over ten or so minutes to position myself across from this beautiful bird, who stayed put and let me. Go figure – perhaps they know the difference between being loved and hunted.

I see lots of raptors every day, but it’s not every day that I have a chance to photograph them.

Thank you, Father Sky, for lending me your children.


1. Paul in ABQ - August 27, 2012

Wonderful, noble creatures. I suffer ornithophobia which is sad because I like birds and I love seeing raptors, ostenbibly the scariest birds of all. I could gaze in admiration at a hawk or eagle for ages. But I cannot deal with the sound of wings near me: total adrenalin. You will never find me near a chicken that is not being cooked. Thanks for sharing these beautiful beings with us.

2. TheCunningRunt - August 28, 2012

Paul, did you see The Birds as a child? That could scar a boy! 😉

And you’re welcome on the photos, it’s my pleasure.

3. Paul in ABQ - August 29, 2012

I knew better than to see that film, though I told my friends, “I told you so!” Chased by a bantam hen who did not want me near her chicks when I was three. THAT scarred me for life. I am calm near raptors, actually, but freak near live chickens. I have, in my life, put out bird feed and love identifying migratory waterfowl. Which is to say: I like birds but can’t be near them. I include birds in my novels.

Cthulhu - September 2, 2012

So….it’s probably not gonna help to remind you that birds are basically dinosaurs down where it counts?

4. susancrow - August 29, 2012

Both are magnificent pictures but naturally it’s the second one that stands out for me. I’m very impressed by the patience you show in getting just the right shot and I’m sure the hawk was fascinated by your performance. I was reminded of Dian Fossey’s stories about how she befriended the mountain gorillas.

5. susancrow - August 29, 2012

ps: My discerning husband has also become a fan of your work.

6. TheCunningRunt - August 29, 2012

Well then, God bless you both! 🙂

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