Close encounters

Sometimes the best things are found close to home.  MJ talked me into going to the Frisbee golf park about a mile from the house, which wasn’t my first thought for exciting places to go, but there’s plenty of open space there.  I started out taking some pretty pictures, which were nice enough, but not terribly exciting.

Then I wandered over to a small pond, or maybe it was a large puddle.  As I walked around it, I came upon this scene.

At first I thought maybe it was dead, but then it moved.  But why in the world was a hawk just sitting on the ground when there were people around?

As I got closer, it became obvious what it was doing.  He had caught something, and was sitting there eating it, completely unconcerned with the curious onlookers around him.  Warning, some of the next images are a little graphic.

Or maybe not completely unconcerned.  He did keep an eye on me, looking up every time the camera clicked, but he stayed right there and let me get fairly close.

What an incredible bird!  Watching him eat was mesmerizing, but I also love the patterns of his feathers, and the strength of his shoulders.

These wings could be found on the Archangel Michael.

It wasn’t until I spoke to some others about what he was eating (the consensus was a frog), that he decided to fly away for a bit more privacy.  I apologize that I didn’t get him a little sharper here, but I didn’t think to open up the aperture as he flew.

Which drew my attention to this hawk sitting in a tree, also unconcerned with people watching him (or her?).

*****

The other one continued eating, barely even looking at me as I moved in closer.  I was within 5 feet of him, and he did not care a bit.

I think these are both red-tailed hawks, based on size and wing shape, but there is no red to their tails.  Google failed to serve me up any hawks that look quite like this in Florida, so I’m really not quite sure.  If you can identify them, please, leave me a comment!

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4 thoughts on “Close encounters

  1. How BEAUTIFUL! It looks like you’ve spied a *Cooper’s Hawk* — we have many of them down here. You’re so lucky you had your camera….! I’ve (and I know other photogs) have been caught thinking that hawks were hurt — they go into a food coma / trance when eating. Here I think I’m helping them, and I’m probably startling / disturbing them while they’re eating. Lesson learned, lol!

    • The bars on the tail seem much too close to be a Coopers Hawk, but the coloring otherwise seems to fit.

      It was amazing how unperturbed he was by my nearness. And yes, I’m so glad I had my camera with me for this one!

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