Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Swainsons Hawk

Today I got a lesson in photography, and an exciting one at that.

What happens when you combine a momma hawk, sitting on the nest with her fluffy white fledgling?  (Crappy photo, but they built the nest deep in a pine tree.)
Now, add dad at the top of the tree, just keeping a watch on everything going on.
Once you get close enough to get pictures, dad starts vocalizing to let you know you shouldn't be around.
Now he takes off and starts flying around.  Oops, must have scared him off.  At least I got a good picture.
Then he starts dive bombing me at high speed, coming within feet of my head.  This is a big hawk, flying in like a missile. He did this several times until I went back to the truck. 
There are my things to be mastered:
  • Moving the camera on the tripod fast enough to track the bird
  • Ways to keep the fast moving bird in focus.  I think a big part of this is the camera you use.  My Nikon 300s is certainly not the best at this.
  • Setting the camera's shutter, aperture, and ISO to have a prayer of capturing these kinds of shots clearly.
Cool day.  I'll try to go back and visit again, but this time without aggravating them so much.
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