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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:18 AM   #1
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Default Hawk

While reading the morning paper I heard Blue Jays making a fuss outside the kitchen window. The Blue Jay population has all but disappeared over the past few years so I took a look. This is what the fuss was about:

(K20D - Tamron 18-250mm)

There is a bird in the hawk's talons but I can't tell if it's a Blue Jay. My best shot was taken without the camera. My wife insisted I chase the hawk off with a snowball - one shot and he was gone.

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 10:49 AM   #2
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What a series! Manual focus for the win - right? In most cases I am too slow to mount a tele lens before the bird is gone... I need more practise I guess.

Thanks for sharing these!

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 12:29 PM   #3
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Now that is a fierce looking character. It is an immature Accipiter - based on the size of the prey, which looks like it might have been a white pigeon - it is either a large female Cooper's hawk or a Goshawk. Nice catch - but tell your wife hawks have to eat too (mine wouldn't like it either!)!

BTW the decline in Jays isn't due to hawks, but to West Nile Virus, to which Corvids (Crows, Ravens and Jays) are particularly susceptible.

Edit: for size comparison, here is a past example of a Cooper's with a pigeon:

Killer Cooper's photo
If life brings you lemons, you can make lemonade.

Last edited by penolta; Dec 22, 2010 at 4:19 PM.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 1:44 PM   #4
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Excellent picture of the Hawk and it's meal. Especially when you have to focus through branches...I have to manual focus in these cases.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 4:41 PM   #5
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Hi Jim,

Great series!!!

Don't think you could have done better taking advantage of a rare (at least for me) opportunity.

As penolta mentioned, the West Nile Virus has been very tough on our local Bluejay population. Two years ago, I think I only heard or saw a couple the whole year. They are making a comeback though, and last year were pretty evident, if not common. Crows are still rare out in my section of suburbs, but I've seen quite a few in neighboring areas.

Nice work!

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Old Dec 22, 2010, 5:22 PM   #6
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Excellent captures...!

And yes, Hawks need to eat too...! It's all part of the grand scheme of
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 5:33 PM   #7
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Wow, lots of detail. I can`t wait to see what the K20D will do with the old F 100-300mm f4.5-5.6. I know I won`t get that quality but at least I should get some sharper images than I have gotten with the K10D.

Great images, hawks are fascinating. As for the poor blue jay, hey this is a hawk and he has to eat too.
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Old Dec 22, 2010, 6:00 PM   #8
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What a handsome bird...the detail and colour is amazing! Nice shots!
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