Thursday, August 11, 2011

Close encounters of the hawk kind.

Recently I had the extraordinary experience of spending well over half an hour sitting between two low slung trees at the Montreal Botanical Gardens while surrounded by four young Cooper's Hawks.

These hawks (along with the two parents) have been drawing dozens of photographers to the Gardens and sometimes there seem to be more tripods than trees!

That being said, I was extremely lucky to have had such a long time alone with the foursome. I was able to squat down and waddle slowly (such an elegant gait) up to each bird until I was within 3 to 4 feet.

The reason I could do this was based on a few factors: the birds have been raised in a place that brings them in close contact with humans; they are young and more trusting than the wiser adults; and one was eating its prey which meant the others were waiting for their opportunity to get a share and I was the least of their concerns.

I took hundreds of photos constantly changing settings, angles, flash versus no flash, etc. and here are some of the best results.

Here is a 28 second video. I get a chill each time the hawk seems to look directly at me!



  1. Wonderful,lucky you and thanks for sharing! Flighty xx

  2. Just seeing these photographs makes me want to visit the Botanical Gardens. The detail in each photo is an artists dream.

  3. What an awesome experience for you! Thanks for sharing it with me on an early Friday morning. Have a great weekend -- Hawkeye.

  4. Thsnks for all your comments! Have a great week-end to you all! Doris

  5. Oh yeah, and "thanks" too ...

  6. I'm so happy for you, Do! What great shots. I've also got the wonderful image in my mind of your squatty waddle. :-)

  7. Hi Didee: Luckily there was no one else around with a video camera! Ha, ha.