Cooper’s Hawk

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m in the midst of a Photo365 project in which I’ve challenged myself to take one portrait every day for a year. When I got home from work yesterday, it was chilly, quite windy, and looked like it might rain so I opted to do the day’s self-portrait (having no one else to take a picture of) inside. But as I was setting up, the light outside shifted and suddenly it was sunny and all the blossoms and budding leaves on the trees were glowing, so I hauled the camera, tripod, etc. out to the front yard. As I stood in front of a tree and composed a portrait using my tablet, I saw something large and dark fly into the tree out of the corner of my eye. I looked up and saw a Cooper’s hawk sitting on a branch, an unfortunate smaller bird under his foot. Cursing myself for using my 50mm for the portrait, I flung the tablet to the ground and ran into the house to grab a telephoto lens. I was pleased to find the hawk still there, placidly enjoying his dinner and I managed to snap a few pictures before he flew off. This is a pretty terrible picture technically, shot with the bird silhouetted against the bright sky, but although obviously I prefer taking higher quality photos, I also enjoy just documenting whatever wildlife I see, especially when I’m fortuitous enough to find it in my own yard. I have a feeling this guy watched me fill my bird feeders just a few minutes before and then struck as soon as the first birds returned to find their bounty.
Coopers hawk eating a bird 042715

As for my self-portrait? Well, the light was glorious for trees, leaves, and blossoms, but not so great for my face, so I ended up using one of the interior shots as my Photo365 pick of the day. But as seeing any raptor is generally the highlight of my day, I’m super glad I was compelled to go outside!

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