Close Encounter with a Red-tailed Hawk
Daily Photos - October 3, 2011
I was at a local conservation area this weekend working on a close up of some prairie flowers (which I'll post tomorrow) when this Red-tailed Hawk dropped about 15 feet away from me and started in on some very unfortunate little creature... Shocked the absolute snot out of me!!! These birds look formidable when you see them circling high above, but when they're taking care of business 15 feet away from you, they are intimidating as hell! I snapped a few shots which drew his attention away from his lunch and onto me. He turned and actually stared me down for a good 15 seconds before he took a few more bites of his meal and finally decided to retreat to a nearby perch!!! If looks could kill, I think he would have ended up having me for lunch instead! lol!!!
I posted two other shots from this encounter in another of my galleries. Nature Gallery
The first shot is of his open beak as he is about to "dine." In the second shot, the hawk has retreated to a treetop perch about 20 yards away. His stare was intently locked between me and the location of his kill. It's rude to interrupt someone when they are eating, so I moved on and let him enjoy the rest of his lunch...
I was using my 18-105mm for the close up work, so I couldn't get as tight in on this guy as I would have liked. As a result, the image is pretty heavily cropped. sorry about that...