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Cooper's Hawk Raid

Thursday, October 25, 2012

                    My favorite shot, with everything backlit as she fetches up in a snag. O beautiful!!

You see things from the tower that you couldn't from anywhere else. I always take my big Canon rig up with me, and most of the time I have it, rather than my binoculars, in my hands, held up under my chin, waiting for a shot. You never know what's going to fly by. Sometimes it's a yakky pileated woodpecker

 sometimes a squadron of machine-gunning blue jays, and sometimes it's a Cooper's hawk. Wooo! A Cooper's hawk!

Look at her head, up, and eyes searching...I'd hate to be on the receiving end of that stare.

This is where my Canon 70-300 mm IS L zoom telephoto shines--on birds in flight. Set it on AV, set it for central spot focus, and it will track and focus on the subject as it moves. I love, love, love shooting birds in flight. This immature Cooper's wanted mourning dove for brunch, something awful. So she blasted through the yard, scaring up the winnowing herds and slamming into the treetops where they were perched. Never got one, but I was rooting for her. Hoping it wasn't Libby Lou she ended up with.

The supremely elegant airfoil shape of a Cooper's hawk on the hunt. 

Made my day.


YIKES--something has happened to this post. It only appears along the side column and then only part way.
Is it my computer? or yours?

Never fear my Web Witch is on it. This happened when I tried to update my "Julie in the Flesh" section and must've hit SOMETHING wrong. Seriously one bad keystroke can FUBAR the whole template. She's working on it right now, sorting through the haystack of possiblities. Never fear.

IT seemed to work for me at 3.29pm Daylight savings.
Thanks for the flight shot tip of center focus and AV

Oh, oh, oh, to see pileated woodpeckers from your house! Every now and then I catch that silhouette zinging by overhead, mostly on my way to NH.

But then there was that amazing peregrine falcon sighting back in July, from high above the Boston skyline. Seeing that once makes up for my lack of Cooper's hawks on the wing.

Some photographer, or maybe it was an architect, said "Light never knew how good it was until it hit a wall." I think the backlit tail feathers of a bird of prey is about as good as light gets, don't you?

Posted by KH Macomber October 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Did a bird banding trip with Earthwatch many eons ago in the Goshute Mountains in Nevada. The project was studying migration of raptors and eagles, so I held a number of lovely Coopers Hawks in my hands to band, along with kestrels and Sharpies and some redtails too. I love these birds. Thanks for some stunning shots.

Great shots! The Cooper's Hawk is truly a beautiful predator.

Fantastic! There was a big hawk in my front yard eating a small snake yesterday. Very wild kingdom for the burbs.

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