A Tale of Perseverance (and a new Gallery)
To view the gallery of these photographs please click on: Red-Tailed Hawk
As we crossed a bridge in a popular nature reserve we passed some people watching some birds in the pond beside it. I looked over the gully on the other side and high up in a tree but only a bit higher than the bridge was a hawk. Apparently this juvenile had been sighted a few times, but it was my first view up close of a hawk. My lens could have been longer. We came back another day and were told that the bird had killed a green heron but we could not find him. On our next visit he was again in the gully but further along and there was only one good vantage point, which my wife, and another photographer and I had to share to get our shots. I was armed with a longer lens this time. We visit this reserve frequently so on another trip as we drove away we saw him swooping over the adjacent farm fields too far away to shoot. The last time we spotted him we were walking around not seeing much, when down a hill we saw him preening on a signpost. The photograph above is from that series. I particularly like this photograph because it reminds me of Napoleon’s Imperial Eagle, that the Grande Army marched under.
Shooting big birds is somewhat easier than smaller birds. I find the biggest issue is the background and making sure the bird stands out against it. In the excitement of the moment it’s easy to forget to check the exposure and other settings but the discovery alone is worth the journey.