The Flying Pursuit
I photographed the garden drama where the sparrows won the battle for life.
Talk about a hard subject to photograph. Hawks in pursuit of prey are fast-moving to put it mildly. Drama in the yard daily and this guy gets nothing. I almost threw him a steak I felt so bad.
The dive above and below was not so hard to capture, although the images a tad under exposed. Looks fast doesn’t he?
He was only going to another perch, but put the pedal to the metal so to speak.
Now I am losing getting my camera focused and set. The hawk intently gazes then leaves the planter to start to circle and disorient his prey. He pretty much does that to me.
I am starting to lose control of the action. He jumps out of my focus range. Setting the camera to spot metering could have solved the problem, but all this was happening too quickly.
I did change the ISO twice though, not like it helped. I just get blurry tail below.
A bit of control is back as…
He circles the fir.
He comes around and goes in for a kill.
Finds nothing within reach. The sparrows are screaming bloody murder, yet not one of them was touched. So the hawk tries to confuse them and flush out a few tasty snacks.
Here we go again, round and round, three more times.
I can’t keep up. This guy is making me dizzy. Hundreds of sparrows for the pickins, but not one within grasp for the hungry raptor.
Another spin around, he switches directions for luck!
The photos get blurrier and blurrier, but here he goes in again.
Sparrows are in there but are a little wily.
Nothing like missing dinner. Off to find yards without so much greenery.
I have to show you these two shots I took on another day. I decided I would go outside and see how close I could get. This is how the hawks usually hunt in the yard, the stealth method, not the shock and awe.
Here I am close enough to where if I put out my hand, he would have had a finger for lunch. Only lilac twigs stood between him and me. I am between two of the arbs that front the fence. What a thrill to be that near a wild hawk.
But I think I can tell you why I could get so close too. While I was sneaking up on him, sparrows were fleeing the yard. The hawk was so intent on watching his meal fly away, sparrow after sparrow, yet too afraid to fly past me to get them. The sparrows must have thought me their savior as all were leaving behind me, but I bet Mr. Hawk hates me and wishes I was his size or smaller. Sorry bub, always next time.