Friday, July 23, 2010

What an Exhilarating Experience!

On my way home from Willcox yesterday I thought I'd pull off on the side of the road and check out the hawks nest again. I was pretty sure I had missed my chance of seeing any babies since the last time I stopped (I blogged about it) and saw the mom on the nest was on June 18th. A little over a month ago. But just as I was pulling off the side of the road I could see a small head in the nest! I couldn't believe it! The dead tree that the nest is on is about about 20 yards from the road and behind a barb-wired fence. Depending on your stride that's about 20 or 25 steps away, Just far enough away to not get the good clear pictures I would like to have. As I was taking pictures of the baby I saw the momma hawk fly in from the corner of my eye. I'm sure she had me pegged the minute I pulled the truck off the road. I took pictures of her and the baby both .. wishing like heck I had a better telephoto lens. Or a boom on the back of my truck with a bucket on it to lift me up closer to the nest! Seriously Pat, how much will that set us back?

After about 10 minutes I pulled the truck up a little to get more pictures of the momma from her front side. She allowed me to continue taking pictures for just a few seconds more and then decided I over-stayed my welcome. As she flew off her perch I didn't think anything of it until I realized she was headed straight for me! First picture below. She let out a loud screech and a split second later I almost tumbled to the ground trying to get the hell out of her way! I could literally feel the wind from her wings! I kept firing the camera. She dive-bombed me 3 times. All of the pictures of her in the air are just after her dive-bombs. After the third time my nerves were pretty rattled and I knew she was stressing about the safety of her baby .. so I left. But oh man! What an exhilarating experience that was!

Click on photos to BIGIFY.

Dive Bomb2




*Side Note – I only saw the one chick and the one adult hawk. I don’t know if there were other chicks or not, or if perhaps the others had already fledged? I’ve read that the mother stays at the nest even after the chicks arrive and that the dad is the one that brings food to all of them. I only saw the one adult hawk and thank gawd! Two of them may have very well taking my butt down!