Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Hawk Comes to Visit


This morning I was having my usual cup of coffee on the patio when a hawk landed on my fence near my bird feeder. I ran inside and grabbed the camera. My telephoto isn't that great but I was able to snap these before he flew off.
While he perched on the fence looking around, squirrels set up a racket in a tree nearby. I guess they were sending out warnings. A couple of other birds were also making loud noises, but none of the little critters could be seen. After he flew up into the trees across the way, I couldn't see him, but everything remained still. About five minutes later the doves came out of hiding, the chattering of the squirrels stopped, and things went back to normal.
My cat weighs sixteen pounds but I don't think he's going out the rest of the day. I didn't realize just how large some hawks are until I saw the wing span and body on this one.

(8 hours later: what I called "telephoto" is just a regular zoom lens...duh)

15 comments:

  1. We always hawk-spot in the car. I used to carry a camera around and take hawk pictures -- red tailed hawks -- but I never could get close enough for a good shot, and the tele lens I needed was too dern expensive!

    As a kid I tried to shoot a hawk with a pellet gun. I hit him in the chest and he turned his back to me. I hit him in the back and he flew off to a branch nearby.

    Basically he said, "Quit bugging me, kid."

    They're not just big. They're tough.

    - Eric

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  2. How cool! We had a hawk swooping around our yard a few weeks ago. It was so big! And its squawking was so loud! But they are fascinating creatures, aren't they?

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  3. Wow. We have a lot of hawks around here, especially red tails. They are big. I remember walking my dog one morning (Sammy was ten pounds of white fluff) and a hawk was seriously eyeing her. I scooped her up so fast, stared at the hawk, as in that's-what-you-think, and went inside. They mean business, but then again, that morning, so did I. :)

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  4. I absolutely love birds of prey. How amazing that you got to see one up close!! Very cool. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Amy

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  5. Oooo, thanks for sharing those pics! I love hawks and always get a thrill to see or hear one. They have a very distinctive call.

    ~that rebel

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  6. Eric, sounds like a story there about a boy and hawk!

    Andrea, I definitely think you saved your dog that day!

    He never made a sound so I didn't get to hear the call, but the size of him took me by surprise. I have no idea what kind he was but it made for a more interesting morning.

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  7. Yeah those hawks are really something. I remember when I lived in Tucson and one swooped down and flew off with some guy's poodle. Yikes!

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  8. Oh, gosh, that's what I'm afraid of. I don't know their size limit in prey. But it is kind of thrilling to be up close and almost personal with one :)

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  9. Wow what an amazing thing to witness. Thanks for the photos, if that were the cat I too would stay inside the rest of the day... those Hawks are nothing to mess with.

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  10. Thanks for stopping by, Jen, and commenting.

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  11. Yikes--such scary stories in the comments! You were wise to keep an eye on the cat. Very cool hawk sighting, though!

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  12. I watched a smaller hawk eat a leisurely meal in our backyard a couple of autumns ago. It went on for most of the afternoon. I never got near enough to see what it was dining on, but I had no idea it took so long. Nature red in tooth and claw indeed!

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  13. Ruth, it was cool and I still lookout before putting the cat outside!

    Wow, Anne, I bet that was fascinating. I wonder if he took so long because he felt comfortable and safe eating there, or it was too large to carry.

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