Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hawk Photo Shoot

There's really not too much I can say about these pictures. It was a beautiful solid, blue sky of a day with the promise of thirty degree temperatures later as the day developed.I was driving along an old dirt road, after having checked on the progress of a Monarch butterfly cocoon that I have been monitoring, and this hawk flew right across the road in front of me. I couldn't believe my luck when it landed in a tree on the opposite side making it a very easy view for me from my truck window.
It stayed and stayed and stayed and I did too, creating a very difficult job for myself later as to what photos to choose for posting. I'm not totally sure of its id but I am making a guess of a Sharp-shinned or a Cooper's Hawk. I hesitate to say Coopers though, for they are not that common in my area, however this hawk looked quite large, maybe a bit more than I would expect a Sharp-shinned to be, although a female Sharp-shinned is larger than a male and so perhaps that is what it might be.


Mary said...

It's beautiful! Wow! How come hawks never stop in front of me and pose???? Canadian hawks must be friendlier then ours :-) That blue sky really pops out at you and makes the hawk's feathers really show up beautifully.

kjpweb said...

Gorgeous! I was chasing one today - but they are so darn good in camouflage - it's unbelievable.
I was looking right at it, and didn't see it. Had to take a photo of the general direction, to see at home if he really was there. And he was.
And having a chance like you had! Wow!
Cheers, Klaus

Deborah Godin said...

Oh no - not the old Cooper's/Sharpie conundrum!! Been there myself. Some field guides seem to indicate that tail differences are diagnostic, but that's certainly easier said than done. Anyway, those are absolutely wonderful shots, no matter who.

Ruth said...

Great pictures with a perfect background! I have not seen a Sharp-shinned hawk to my knowledge. I will have to keep these images in my mind for reference.

Rambling Woods said...

Great photos Ann and the hawk ids are tough. I have sent my photos to birder friends as I can't ID them. I took photos that are of a sharpy and they are here and it was not a small bird.

Sharp-shinned hawk

Also Cornell has a comparison page that is helpful.


me ann my camera said...

They usually don't hang around a long time for me either, but I think this one was young and inexperienced. I like those moments when it is just the wilderness creature and myself. Its a moment in time bonding with nature when you look eye to eye at each other.

That is a good way to see if its really there while it stays forever stationary in your view :-)

I see these hawks most often in the winter when they visit my feeder area. I think this one was a young one.

rambling (Michelle):
Your photos of the Sharp-shinned are lovely. Thanks for the url of them.

I have been told that the Cooper's head is flatter also. In most cases, in my area, it is a Sharp-shinned and I fall back on that when I am in doubt. Not really a very scientific id approach but at least I can narrow it down to two choices :-)

Leora said...

Looks like you and the Hawk had a good time together! The hawk looks great against that bright blue sky.

me ann my camera said...

These photos represent nice nature moments that I stumble upon.

bobbie said...

These are terrific photos. Thanks for showing us such close ups.

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Great shots, what a stunning birds this is.

fishing guy said...

That really is a wonderful capture and you did it so well. I would like to have that opertunity.

2sweetnsaxy said...

I love those days when you feel as if something came along just for you, like it was just meant to be there for your camera. These are wonderful shots! :-)

scienceguy288 said...

Great shots. But he certainly seemed angry to have his picture taken.

Leedra said...

I don't know which one, but you got some great photographs.

Mike said...

Aren't accipiters a pain? I find it a lot easier to differentiate these birds in flight rather than at rest. The rounded tail in one of your photos suggests Cooper's but only vaguely.

My link above leads to a post I wrote about separating these two if you're interested.