Nature Photography Blog Trip reports, techniques and more...

September 2011

Red-Tailed Hawk with kill

While great for Raptors (birds of prey), Mount Auburn Cemetery hasn't been the most productive site for me with songbirds. With our new son in his stroller, my wife and I set out to find some songbirds on our next trip. Half an hour into our walk, I saw a hawk perched on the ground at the edge of the road, and I knew he must be on a kill. Since we were enjoying the stroll, I had left my camera gear in the car. After a couple of minutes spent convincing my wife that Red Tailed Hawks don't attack newborns in strollers, I ran back to the car and got the camera.
       When I came back I saw that my wife had flagged down a passing enthusiast and they were both watching the Hawk consume what was left of a squirrel. I got some decent shots, but the combination of the waning day and the shade of the trees meant it was difficult light, with shutter speeds hovering around 1/80th of a second. This, combined with the 800mm of glass strapped onto the front of my 1.5x crop factor D300S meant I wasn't able to get perfect sharpness.