Sunday, January 21, 2018

Visitor at my feeders

Hello and a late Happy New Year to you all. Let me preface this post by saying that if pictures of a raptor bother you, please move on. Hawks aren't everybody's thing but I find them very cool. And interesting. I'm not often able to get many great photos of them but I caught a few decent ones only yesterday.

I'd come home with a small load of groceries and while I was unloading them onto the kitchen counter, I happened to glance out the window to see a hawk perched directly outside on the dogwood tree by my feeders.





I hunched down in the kitchen and crawled to the window, lest he see me and fly away. I keep my camera there at all times while I'm at home, and I carefully maneuvered the long lens in between my geranium and ivy pots, snapping the few photos you see here.




I was greatly satisfied to get one of him ruffling his feathers here.

I'm using the term him loosely, as I'm not sure whether this is a male or female. And I was also having trouble deciding whether this was a Cooper's or a Sharp-Shinned Hawk. If it's the latter, then it's probably a female, as they tend to be larger than the adult males. And this was not a small bird.

I'm going to go with a female Sharp-Shinned.



It's not often that a hawk will show up at my feeders looking for an easy meal, but when they do, it's nice to have the camera nearby. If I see this one return too many times, I'll take the feeders down for a couple of weeks as I don't want to encourage this kind of behavior. Hawks will come to backyard feeders but they tend to get most of their diet elsewhere. 




 Coolness.

After about ten minutes of being crouched on my floor, I felt the need to get up. And the hawk immediately flew away just as I'd suspected.




She landed in the dead dogwood tree outside outside the breakfast nook and I managed to shoot this through the window. But I thought maybe I could do better. So I put on my shoes and a light jacket and went outside. It went up to  56 degrees yesterday. I almost put on my flip flops. Ha. It was zero just a few weeks ago. 




I managed to get close enough to the tree and get a few shots before she flew off.




Look at that red eye.

Dang.




I got almost right under the tree before she departed and was glad with these shots.




My husband used to get really excited when a hawk would come into the yard.

Or when he would see one along a roadway.

Or whenever he would see one, actually.

So hawks tend to remind me of him. And a couple of things happened after he passed away that had to do with hawks and owls. But that's another story for another day. Suffice it to say that I sometimes think that certain birds (or their feathers) are a sign from the other side. 

And on that note, I'll bid you adieu ~

~ along with the wish that your year is one filled with more good than bad. 

And I thank you for stopping by today.




Your friend,


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40 comments:

donna baker said...

I do believe birds come as signs from another place we cannot see. Glad to hear from you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I know some people don't like birds of prey but really this is Nature and they really are the most beautiful birds. You have captured her to perfection in these photographs.
Lovely to read you again.

Michelle said...

Wow, the photos kept getting better and better! Tough call on ID; her head looks Cooper's and her tail looks sharpie. Julie Zickefoose (http://juliezickefoose.blogspot.com if you don't already follow her; I think you'd like her!) believes that about red-tailed hawks and her dad.

Love from Oregon, where your cardinal still makes me smile!

joeh said...

I saw one of these last year and posted on it. I called it a sharp shinned as well. Beautiful bird, and i read they sometimes look for an easy meal in the back yard. Gives new meaning to bird feeder.

Hilary said...

I definitely think that a hawk is a sign from somewhere, and it's good.

But yes, I wouldn't encourage him to dine at your feeders. :)

Cloudia said...

I can SO relate! Though my shots are not of this caliber! I'm thrilling to your shots and narrative

Donalyn said...

You've been blogging again! Read back through and you sound so good! Blessings to you, friend. ❤️

The Furry Gnome said...

Fabulous pictures! Really neat to see any hawk that close!

Karen Ann said...

great captures!... and I remember when you found that feather....

Debbie From Illinois said...

Very cool!

Daryl said...

those are incredible .. i think it might be a female since the feathers seem muted and usually the male of the species, at least in the avian world, has plumage of a brighter color

Kerri Farley said...

Wow! Awesome images of the hawk!!

Linda said...

Stunning photos as always.

Jeanette said...

Great pictures!

JaneK said...

Gorgeous !! I love hawks. We have some that live in my little suburban neighborhood and I love it. We also have some owls and it makes me feel a little connected to nature. Thanks for sharing :-)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful bird.

Sue in MA said...

https://feederwatch.org/learn/tricky-bird-ids/coopers-hawk-and-sharp-shinned-hawk/
See here. Tail color and shape are probably definitive. Love to see either of these hawks.

Becky Meyer said...

I agree that it's most likely a sharp-shinned hawk. The tail feathers (in your excellent photos!) are all the same length which is characteristic of the sharp-shinned. Also, the head is small which is another characteristic. We've had a Cooper's hawk doing the same thing (looking for bird prey) on a dead branch with suet feeders but the window has a very low sill so I've not been able to sneak up on it. Your photos are beautiful!

Yvette Hurley said...

That Hawk is really beautiful! I have been doing watercolor painting rings of hummingbirds as well as others..here is one-- well I can't seem to work out how to post my pic in the comments! Oh well! Enjoy all your birds and blogs!

Angie said...

WOW WOW AND WOW!!These pictures are fantastic! I always get excited when I see Hawks. And when I see a post by you. ๐Ÿ˜Š Hope your New Year is full of fun and laughter and more magic.

sharon said...

Wow, those are great pictures! Every time my husband see's a hawk we have to stop and look. You capture it's essence!

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