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Posts Tagged ‘hawk’

The crows were making a racket yesterday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and I wondered if they were harassing a raptor. Even though they are a lot smaller than most hawks, eagles, and owls, crows are fearless in their efforts to force the much larger birds to leave their area.

As I walked down the trail scanning the trees, I spotted the bright underside and tail of a large bird that looked to be hiding. Rather than perching upright, the bird seemed to be perching horizontally. I approached as stealthily as I could and eventually managed to get almost directly underneath the the bird, which I believe is a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus). The hawk looked straight down at me with a look of mild disapproval. I managed to capture this image in the seconds before the beautiful bird reluctantly took off.

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I spotted this bird from a distance on Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge when it was perched and when it took to the air. The tail struck me as being exceptionally long and the wings seemed relatively short in length, so I decided it was probably not a Red-shouldered Hawk or a Red-tailed Hawk, the two most common hawks where I live. Was it a falcon or one of the smaller hawks?

As I usually do in situations like this, I asked for help in a Facebook group devoted to birding in Virginia. Some experts there identified this as a mature Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii). The Cornell Lab of Ornithology described the species with these words, “Among the bird world’s most skillful fliers, Cooper’s Hawks are common woodland hawks that tear through cluttered tree canopies in high speed pursuit of other birds…Finding a Cooper’s Hawk is typically a matter of keeping your eyes peeled – they’re common but stealthy, and smaller than other common hawks like the red-tailed, so your eye might skip over them in flight.”

Cooper’s Hawks are about the size of crows, although males are significantly smaller than their mates. Mating can therefore be a tricky proposition for a male Cooper’s Hawk, given that females Cooper’s Hawks specialize in eating smaller birds.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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On Tuesday I could hear a pair of screaming hawks overhead at Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge and eventually I saw one of them land on a broken-off tree. As I focused on that hawk, which I think is a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), the other hawk zoomed into the frame and continued the fight.

In the first image, the perched hawk appeared to sense the approach of the “enemy” and was preparing itself for battle. I didn’t realize that the other hawk was approaching I saw it through the viewfinder of my camera as you can see in the second shot. At that moment, the stationary hawk was preparing to take off. In the final shot, the flying hawk had closed the gap and the two raptors were engaged in what looked to be a fierce struggle.

Why were they fighting? My guess is that it was some kind of territorial dispute, but there is no way for me to be sure. When I first saw the two hawks chasing each other, I thought it might be love, but the final frame suggests that was not the reason.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I was walking along one of the trails last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I glanced to the side and spotted this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) perched at eye level on a tree that was really close. There was a lot of vegetation between us, but I managed to get this shot that did not have to be cropped at all.

Initially I did not think that I would be able to capture a usable image, because there was no way that I could get an unobstructed shot. I crouched down a bit and managed to find a kind of visual tunnel that provided a clear view of the head. The out-of-focus branches are a little distracting, but they provide the viewer with a sense that they are peering into the world of the hidden hawk.

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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This Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) was so puffed up early last Saturday morning at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge trying to stay warm that I couldn’t even see its feet—it was about 18 degrees (minus 8 degrees C) when I captured the image. The hawk seemed to be hunched over a bit and it looks like some of its lower feathers were draped over its feet.

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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One of the basic rules of portrait photography is that you should try to be at eye level with your subject. That’s a bit tough to do with raptors, but this past Friday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge I encountered a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) that was perched very low on a tree and I managed to capture a number of shots of it. The wind was blowing strongly at the time and my guess is that the hawk was trying to shelter itself from the wind by perching low and from the cold by fluffing up its feathers (as you can see in the the second image).

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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A group of five or so photographers stood on the boardwalk on Friday morning at Huntley Meadows Park watching a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) in a tree above us. We waited and waited for the hawk to take off and when it finally did so, I almost managed to keep the hawk within the frame. I can’t really complain too much, though, because as far as I know, none of the others managed to get a shot off when the hawk took to the air.

We were in a really good position and the lighting was beautiful, but it is hard to remain alert and ready as you wait for a bird to spring into action. I was using a monopod again and I think it may be the reason why I was able to capture the hawk taking off. My camera was already at eye level and pointed in the direction of the hawk during the entire fifteen minutes or so that we watched the hawk. The other photographers had to raise their cameras and were not able to do so quickly enough.

It might be my imagination, but I also think that some of my shots with the monopod are sharper than they might otherwise be. I have balked a bit at carrying a big tripod, but think that the monopod will now be with me most of the time—it collapses to a pretty small size and, because it it carbon fiber, is both sturdy and light.
Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

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When is a cluttered background so distracting that it draws attention away from the primary subject? When I have the luxury of time, I will normally attempt to compose my shots so that the background fades into the background as a creamy blur. As a wildlife photographer, though, I am often photographing live subjects that are likely to flee as soon as they become aware of my presence. Frequently I barely have time to bring the camera up to my eye and am forced to react rapidly and instinctively—I just don’t have time to think about the background.

Yesterday as I was walking along the Mount Vernon Trail in Alexandria, Virginia parallel to the Potomac River, I spotted a bird at the very top of a distant tree. Earlier in the day I had seen an osprey in a similar position, so I initially assumed it was another osprey. I had just zoomed in on the bird when it exploded out of the tree into the air. From the way that it was flying, I realized that it was probably an eagle or a hawk. I tracked the bird, which I believe is a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) as it flew behind some trees and eventually into the clear blue skies.

Here are my three favorite shots of the encounter. Two of them are cluttered and one has a plain blue background. Which one do you like most? I am not bothered by the branches in the first two shots and like the way that they help to give a sense of context to the action that is depicted. The third shot shows some of the wonderful details of the beautiful hawk, but it seems a bit more sterile to me. (For the record, the first shot is probably my favorite of the three images.)

Are cluttered backgrounds ok? Like so many factors in photography, the correct response appears to be that it depends on the specific circumstances.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-taile Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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This Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) seemed to be facing in the opposite direction when a sharp-eyed fellow photographer spotted it in a tree across a field. We were able to move quite a good distance across the field before the hawk became aware of our presence and took off.

Instead of flying up into the air, the hawk flew downwards initially and then flew behind the stand of trees, so I was unable to get any mid-flight shots with the sky as the background. However, I did manage to capture a sequence of shots as the hawk was getting ready to take off and also shortly after the takeoff.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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High in the trees on a bleak, overcast day, this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) was keeping watch over Huntley Meadows Park last Friday. As I was getting ready to post this image, I realized that I photographed a hawk on exactly the same perch a little over a month earlier. I decided to reprise  that earlier photo to show you how much the foliage has changed. I suspect, however) that it is not the same hawk.

Red-shouldered Hawk

 

Res-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When I was walking yesterday along Cameron Run, a tributary of the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, I was shocked to spot a hawk perched nearby in a small tree almost at eye level. I was on a paved bike trail that parallels the stream and there is a relatively steep embankment that slopes down to the water’s edge. The tree was located on that embankment.

When the hawk, which I think is a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) eventually flew away and landed atop a building, it screamed out repeatedly at some circling crows. It makes me wonder if the hawk had previously been hiding from harassing crows and that is why it permitted me to get relatively close without initially taking off.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

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I have been hearing the cries of Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) frequently at my local marshland park, but I have had a lot of trouble spotting them. At this time in the autumn there are still lots of leaves on the trees that obscure my view. Gradually some of the leaves are starting to change colors and fall from the trees, but that process takes place a bit later here in Northern Virginia than in more northern areas of the United States.

As I was walking along the boardwalk at Huntley Meadows Park on Saturday morning, I saw a brightly colored object at the top of a tree. Looking through my telephoto lens, I was thrilled to see that it was a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk that was out on a limb, giving me an almost unobstructed line of sight for a shot. In most of my shots, the hawk was looking away, but I was thrilled to be able to get a few shots in which one of the hawk’s eyes is visible. The bright blue sky and the red leaves surrounding the hawk were a nice bonus.

Res-shouldered Hawk

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On Monday I spent a good amount of time watching this hawk in a distant tree at Huntley Meadows Park (and, alas, missed the shot when it flew away). There is something simultaneously beautiful and fierce about hawks and eagles that never fails to attract me. Clouds covered the sky for the entire day and there just wasn’t a whole lot of light to work with. That’s why this image has an almost monochromatic look, which makes the yellow color of the talons and the eye stand out even more prominently.
I think this is a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo  lineatus), but would welcome a correction to my identification.
Update: A Facebook friend, who is a much more experience birder than I am, has suggested that this may be a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus), while others say it is probably a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii ). Again I am proving to be identification-challenged.
Red-shouldered Hawk

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I got excited yesterday morning when I spotted a hawk perched high in a tree at my favorite marshland park. The light was coming from a good direction and I was able to identify it as a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus).

Frequently the hawks I see will sit in the same position for a long, long time, but this one kept changing positions. Maybe the branch was not comfortable or maybe the wind was bothersome. Whatever the case, I was able to have a miniature portrait session with the hawk as I tried to capture its best side.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

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Why was the juvenile hawk perched on the ground? When I first caught sight of the flapping wings in the shadows beneath the trees, I assumed that the hawk had just captured a prey. However, there was no prey to be seen and the hawk just said there for what seemed to be a few minutes, looking from side to side.

juvenile hawk

juvenile hawk

juvenile hawk

I tried to be as stealthy as I could as I moved forward a little, but the hawk apparently sensed my presence and took to the air. I was surprised that it simply flew to a nearby tree and perched there. The light was a little better and I could see the hawk more clearly than when it was on the ground. There were, however, a lot of little branches, so it was not possible to get a completely unobstructed shot.

juvenile hawk

After a little while, the hawk flew to a more distant tree and I lost sight of it. I moved slowly in the direction that it had flown, scanning the trees. I finally spotted the hawk when I was almost directly below it. I got this shot of the hawk staring down at me before it flew off one final time. I guess the hawk decided that the portrait session was over.

juvenile hawk

I think that this might be a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), but I am not at all certain about my identification. Adult hawks challenge my identification skills and juveniles frustrate me even more.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Wouldn’t it to be great to be able to soar high in the sky like a hawk, liberated from the cares of our daily lives? Of course, hawks have their own share of problems, like the pesky crows and blackbirds that mercilessly harass them.

I think the hawk in the photos is a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), the same one, in fact, that I featured making a hasty landing in a tree. There were several small birds chasing after the hawk, though I was only able to capture one close to the hawk.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The hawk was moving really fast when it apparently spotted a perch that it liked. In an amazingly short distance, the hawk was able to slow down and really stuck the landing.  If I were a judge, though, I would have to deduct some points for the break in his form as he slowed down—it certainly did not look very elegant.

For most of these shots of the hawk, which I think is a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), I was shooting at a higher ISO than I prefer in order to keep the shutter speed high. The results are a little grainy, particularly because I had to a fairly substantial crop, given that I was shooting across a small pond and the tree on which the hawk was perched was pretty far away. In the final shot, when the hawk was stationary, I was able to lower the ISO and there is a bit more fine detail.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Full speed ahead

Red-shouldered Hawk

Trying to slow down

Red-shouldered Hawk

Sticking the landing I

Red-shouldered Hawk

Sticking the landing II

Red-shouldered Hawk

Adjusting the position

Red-shouldered Hawk

Surveying the area

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I walked toward a brush pile yesterday at my favorite marshland park, I flushed a bird. It flew to a a nearby tree and perched. Slowly I moved closer, hoping to get a better look at the bird, which seemed pretty large, though not as large as the eagles, ospreys, and hawks that I occasionally see at the park.

I took a series of shots and was disappointed at first that the head was not visible in any of them—the bird was hunched over and facing the opposite direction. Upon closer examination, I was thrilled when I noticed a bright yellow eye in one of the shots. That yellow eye and the long, rounded tail suggest to me that this is an immature Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii). According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, adult Cooper’s Hawks have red eyes, while juveniles have yellow eyes.

The young hawk’s face is partially hidden in the image and the background is cluttered, but I am excited that I was able to capture an image of a species that I knew lived in the park, but that I had never before seen. Leaves are starting to fall from the trees and I hope that I will be able to spot more birds as the density of the foliage decreases. I can hear so many birds as I walk about, but so often they remain hidden from view.

Cooper's Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I felt like a goalie in a penalty shot situation, waiting for my opponent to act. Would he go to the right or to the left, go high or go low? Could I react quickly enough to capture the shot? Time seemed to stand still as I waited and watched.

In this case, my “opponent” was a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) perched in a tree at my local marshland park. Once I spotted the hawk, I slowly moved as close as I could get, walking quietly on the boardwalk. The hawk was facing in the opposite direction, so my initial shots showed the details of the back of its head. Scanning the area, the hawk periodically looked to the sides and I managed to get some profile shots, the second and third shots below.

Finally, the hawk took off, diving quickly to my left. I reacted and managed to get a few shots of the hawk in mid-air.  Although my  trigger finger reacted well, I didn’t move the lens fast enough and failed to keep the hawk centered in the frame. I barely managed to capture the entire body of the hawk in the photo below and the composition of the shot is less than optimal. However, I like the overall feel of the image and the fact that you can see details like the underside of the tail feathers and the talons.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It was finally above the freezing mark yesterday, which made my trek around Huntley Meadows Park a bit easier to tolerate. Among the highlights was this Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) flying overhead with a very determined (or maybe hungry) look on its face. Although Red-tailed Hawks are common in many places, most of the hawks that I see at my local marsh are Red-shouldered Hawks, so it was a nice treat to capture a Red-tailed in flight.

The blue sky provided a clean background for these shots, though I must confess that I am still having some difficulties finding and keeping moving subjects in the frame and in focus when at full zoom. I’m hoping that I have lots of opportunities to practice this winter.

Red-tailed HawkRed-tailed HawkRed-tailed HawkRed-tailed Hawk

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Where’s Waldo? As I was observing a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) in the early morning, it took off and I captured this first image, in which you can just barely make out the hawk’s face and body amid all the branches.

In the second image, the sunlight hit one of the hawk’s wings just right and illuminated it against the backdrop of the tangled branches, making the hawk a bit easier to pick out.

UPDATE: Several readers have noted that this is almost certainly a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), not a Red-shouldered Hawk—I still have lots of work to do on improving my identification skills.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

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Now that the leaves have fallen from the trees, I have a much greater chance of reaching one of my goals for this winter of capturing some better shots of hawks.

One of the biggest challenges at my local marshland park is that most of the trees on which hawks seem to like to perch are inaccessible—the trees are surrounded by flooded swamps on one side and dense vegetation on the other.

This past week I took my best hawk shots in quite some time when a fellow photographer pointed out this Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) on the limb of a distant tree. We were able to move a little closer to the hawk, because it was facing away from us, but when the water started to get ankle-deep, I had to make do with the conditions I had.

I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open for the sights and sounds of these magnificent birds and hope to get a bit closer to one in the coming months.

Red-shouldered HawkRed-shouldered Hawk

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When I spotted a fairly large bird soaring in the sky, I stopped talking in mid-sentence and pointed my camera to the sky. My fellow conversationalist might have thought it was rude (she is not a photographer), but I am always trying to capture images of birds in flight and will start shooting long before I have identified a bird.

This bird looks to be a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), though I am not certain about the identification and the hawk did not cry out at all, so I have only visual clues to go by. At first I thought it was just soaring for fun, but the intensity of the hawk’s eyes, especially in the second shot, suggest that it was paying attention to what was happening on the ground.

I was pretty fortunate when the hawk turned toward the light with its wings extended, providing a good look at the beautiful feathers of its wings and body. I am hoping that I will be getting better shots of hawks as we progress into winter, though, as with most wildlife subject, there are no guarantees.

hawk1_soaring_bloghawk2_soaring_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Now that most of the leaves are gone from the trees, one of the Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) seems to have returned to a favorite perch at my local marsh. The good news is that I know where the perch is, but the bad news is that there is a large field of cattails in mud and water between my best observation spot and the tall tree in which the hawk is perched.

The branch is parallel to the ground and seems to provide the hawk a comfortable observation post from which to survey the surroundings and look for prey. Apparently it is so comfortable that the hawk can stay in that one spot for a long period of time. I had my camera on a tripod for the first shot and I waited and waited for the hawk to fly.

A fellow Canon photographer came by and we started taking about menu settings and I took the camera off the tripod in order to check the menus. As I was thumbing through the menus, my friend suddenly blurted out that my hawk had taken off. I turned back in the direction of the hawk and was able to snap off a couple of quick shots of the hawk in flight.

The shots highlight some of the beautiful colors and patterns of the hawk’s wings and so I have chosen to include them in this posting. As one of my fellow bloggers Lyle Krahn has noted, any day that you see a hawk is a good day. Be sure to check out his blog for some awesome shots of hawks (and lots of other wildlife), including this recent posting, in which you are asked to make a difficult choice between two hawk photos for an imaginary calendar.

hawk_flying3_bloghawk_flying_bloghawk_flying2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Yesterday as I was walking on Roosevelt Island, a National Park in the Potomac River,  I heard a hawk screaming loudly and realized it was pretty close to where it was.

I walked slowly and quietly toward the source of the sound and spotted this hawk almost directly above me in the trees. There were a lot of branches in the way and I had to search to find a visual tunnel to try to get an unobstructed shot of the hawk. The angle was a steep one and gave me a view of the underside of a hawk that I had never had before. In fact, I think that you can see the roof of his open mouth in the first shot.

hawk_screaming1_blog

The hawk stopped screaming for a little while and I got a shot of him with his mouth closed. It may just be the distortion caused by the steep view angle, but it seems to me that he has an awfully small beak.

hawk_screaming2_blog

I am having a little trouble identifying this hawk. At first I thought it might be a Red-Shouldered Hawk, but now I am not certain, because it doesn’t quite match any of the photos that I see on-line.  I’d appreciate any help from more experienced bird watchers in figuring out which species I photographed.

After a too short period on this branch, the bird flew off this perch and disappeared from view. I’ll be keeping my eyes out for hawks and hopefully it will be easier to spot them when the leaves fall off of the trees.

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I have not seen any hawks at my local marsh for quite some time, so yesterday I was really happy when I heard the unmistakable sound of screaming Red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus). (Check out the sound file on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website if you have never heard the cry of these magnificent birds.)

From the sound of the loud screaming, I could tell that the hawks were not far away and eventually I spotted two of them soaring above the trees. After a few minutes, one of them flew silently into view and landed in a tree across the beaver pond from where I was standing. I suspected that he would not remain very long, so I decided to try to get some shots with the lens that I happened to have on my camera at the time, my Tamron 180mm macro lens, rather than take the time to set up my tripod and change to a longer lens.

Before long, I heard the cries of the other hawk and the one that I was watching took to the air and joined in the screaming. I was a little surprise to see that it flew laterally and downward, but I was able to track it pretty well and got the in-flight shot that you see below.

I was pleased to see that the lens was able to capture a pretty good amount of contrast and detail, even in heavily-cropped images like the two that I am posting. I enjoy the challenge of attempting to capture any birds in flight and look forward to more attempts as we move out of insect season, when my macro lens is use most of the time, into bird season, when I switch to a telephoto lens.

screaming3_blogscreaming2_blog

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Why do hawks scream? That question ran through my head yesterday during a visit to a local garden, when the call of a hawk rang out almost continuously for long periods of time.

Twice I managed to see the hawk, which I think may be a Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and got some shots of it. Although I was able to get a shot of the hawk perched on the limb of the tree (the second photo here), I prefer the first image.

I had observed the hawk flying to the branches of a tree that was relatively near to where I was. The photographic challenge for me was that the hawk was mostly in the shade and the sharp upward angle made it tough to get a good shot. After a few minutes on the branch, the hawk took off and I got a couple of photographs before the hawk disappeared into the trees.

I really like the outstretched wings and tail of the hawk as it took to the air. Note too that the hawk’s mouth is open—I think he was still screaming.

hawk3_bloghawk2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I haven’t seen many hawks in the last month or two, so I was delighted when I spotted this Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) circling in the distance this past weekend.

Most of the hawks that I had previously seen at my local marsh have been Red-shouldered Hawks, but I am pretty sure this one is a Red-tailed. The hawk never came close enough for me to get a really good shot, but I am content that I was able to get some shots in which the hawk is recognizable as more than an indistinct blob in the distance. Several of the shots I am posting look almost like they have a rock formation in the background—it was only, however, a dead tree.

These images are aspirational ones for me. They represent the kind of photographs that I am working to be able to produce in the future with greater sharpness and more pixels (I had to do a lot of cropping). They are a step on the path of my journey into photography.

hawk1_bloghawk2_bloghawk3_bloghawk4_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I’m starting to see hawks—primarily Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus) with some regularity, but really good shots of these powerful birds have proven to be elusive so far.

I am happy that I am beginning to capture images of the hawks while they are flying, but virtually all of the time they are flying away from me and not toward me, so the hawks do not fill up much of the frame.

Perhaps when the weather is warmer, there will be more prey for the hawks, thereby giving me more chances to get good shots. At a minimum, I’ll have more hours of daylight in which to make my attempts.

hawk2_bloghawk1_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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I stood and waited, camera at the ready, as I stared at a hawk in a tree overlooking a field, hoping that he would fly toward me when he spotted a prey.

I waited and waited and finally he took off from the branch. Unfortunately, he flew up in the air and away from me, rather than down and toward me. I tried to track him and snapped off a couple of photos.

I managed to capture him with his wings fully extended as he headed into the woods and was struck by the degree to which he blends in with his surroundings.

I am sure that I will soon find myself in a similar situation, watching and waiting—it’s the fate of those of us who choose to photograph wildlife.

hawk_woods_blog

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I continue to try to photograph every hawk that I see. This past weekend I encountered a hawk that was perched relatively low in a tree that was pretty far away. I got a couple of shots of the hawk in the tree that had a surprisingly large number of leaves still on it.

As I was setting up my tripod to try to get a steadier shot, the hawk took off. Instead of flying up, he flew down low across a field with trees in the background. Although I didn’t really think I would be able to get a decent shot, I kept shooting and got the shot below. I like the position of the hawk and the contrast between its light brown color and the darker tones of the tree. It not often that I get a chance to take a photo of a hawk in flight at that angle.

I am also including one of the shots of the hawk in the tree in the hope that someone will be able to help me identify his type.

hawk1_bloghawk2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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