Category Archives: Nature

Two Hawks and a Nest

I’m back to bird-watching. I haven’t done a bird-watching post since I watched the little hummingbird in June of 2016. It’s not that I decided it was time. It’s just that I noticed the two large hawks flying around the treetops of our woods.

Woods with nest at top of sycamore tree

The red-tailed hawk nest is at the top of the sycamore tree near the middle of the photo. This is a fairly accurate non-magnified portrayal of my view of the nest.

I first noticed the large nest at the top of a sycamore tree visible from my kitchen window last year. I never saw any fledgling hawks and really don’t know if the nest was even productive last year.

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The hawks are back. And they’ve been active the last couple of days, sitting on the nest,

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flying to the nest,

Red-tailed hawk in flight

flying away from the nest,

Red-tailed hawk in flight

standing on the nest,

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and sitting and looking around some more.

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Sometimes one will wait nearby,

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before it trades places with the other on the nest.

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They are fascinating to watch as they fly around the treetops to and from the nest. They’ve been bringing sticks and stringy things to the nest. One of them seems to be more particular than the other about how the sticks are arranged in the nest. She picks them up, moves them around, presses them down, tugs them out of place, and generally fixes things up. I wish I could see up into the nest. For the first time I’ve wished I had a small camera drone, although I probably wouldn’t use it for fear of scaring the hawks away.

I’m shooting these pictures from my kitchen window, using a tri-pod with my Olympus Omd Em1 mirror-less camera and a 14-150mm 4.0-5.6 zoom lens. I have it fully extended. The lighting is challenging. I’m trying to spot-meter the birds, but they move around a lot so I’m not always successful.

I’m doing the 365Project photography challenge this year and am trying to devote this week to pictures of the hawks. I’m having fun watching them. I hope you’re enjoying the pictures.

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While we’re not watching

Christine M. Grote

The backyard drops away from where our house sits on the hill. Because of that, our view from our windows is at, if not treetop level, certainly a tree-house level. From the bay windows around our kitchen table, I can watch birds while I eat. Since I spend a fair amount of time doing that on a daily basis, I witness things in the woods I might miss were I not watching.

Like this little hummingbird, for example.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The little humming bird is perched on the sycamore tree in the center of this photo. 

“That little bird really likes to land at that spot,” I said to Mark. “I’ve seen it in that same exact spot several times in the past couple of days.”

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I wanted to get it’s picture so I zoomed in with my camera, but the little lady wasn’t there.

I didn’t realize it immediately, but you…

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