At times luck plays a role in our lives, whether avoiding an injury or happening upon an opportunity. This was not earth rocking but it was exciting none the less. I spend my early mornings with coffee, my camera and try-pod on the water-side porch. The sun was climbing over the horizon, the glow began to light up the Slough. Just as I set my camera on the trip-pod this Chicken Hawk landed on the fence in front of me.
I did not have the settings on the camera ready, I had been in the noon sun yesterday photographing Crows; the camera was set up for the bright daylight. F9 Iso 1250 and 1/60 shutter. It accidentally worked out well, I would have set the parameters around that anyway. I am fairly happy with the image, but the backdrop is not the best causing me to have to crop it quite a bit. After doing so the houseboat blurred isn’t too cumbersome or attention grabbing.
The image above is not the same shot, it was taken just prior to the top one. It is never-the-less the same background, this is a slightly cropped image. I have taken pictures of different birds on that same spot. Owls, Red Tailed Hawks and bunches of small birds. The draw for the predators is the Rabbits den under a landing on the Hawks tail side of the fence. That is what attracted this Coopers there in the first place. The opportunity was presented to me in a hurry, I had to rush to take an image. He flew off moments after I had taken these few.
I saw him a day earlier, he’s been flying around for over a week. The picture above is 160 yards from me on the far side Levee, they are small birds. The Crows were chasing him from their habitat, naturally I wanted to capture the action. I use my 100-400mm lens 60% of the time while keeping my 18-135mm on the camera the remaining 40%. To crop a photo as much that is needed to enlarge the Hawk would distort it terribly. Beside that I wanted to get an image of the size difference between the two birds. The Crow is 1-1/2 times larger than the Coopers Hawk. The image ended up being just OK.
He finally made his escape from the angry birds, happily I was able to capture an image. Again to crop this photo any more than this would distort it to the point of not knowing what it is. I chased this Hawk around the slough for a week getting within range once but he was quite a distance up in the air. The image was unusable and immediately deleted. I’m happy with the ones that were keepers, they are certainly blog material as each one tells it’s own story. That’s what I’m all about.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter