Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw (and tail)



These pictures are a about a year old but they are some of my favorites. I was thinking of them recently, because they are pretty much the only good raptor shots I've ever gotten (other than a Black Hawk in Costa Rica). And lately, I've been a little frustrated with getting raptor photos so I thought I'd reminisce about these. They were taken in Tennessee, a block from my parent's house. Zac and I were on our way to Warner Park and this Red-tailed Hawk was standing over what appeared to be very fresh roadkill (a rabbit). It's a good thing it's a quiet neighborhood, or else these pictures never would have happened.

I was freaking pumped about getting sharp, full frame shots of his head! I realize some of the shots are rather grotesque and perhaps bothersome (hey, I'm vegan and love rabbits, it kinda grosses me out) but the guy's gotta eat, and this rabbit probably kept him fed for up to a few days.
I can't believe he let us approach him this easily and seemingly carefree. A few years before this, there was a juvenile Red-tailed on the bridge in the backyard. I didn't have the fancy camera gear yet, so I went out with my old Nikon film camera. I got within 5 feet of the bird, which was pretty crazy. I'd like to have the romantic thought that he is the same bird...

15 comments:

Tom said...

beautiful shots. Most such closeups I`ve seen are of captive birds. Well done.

Patti said...

Fabulous photos.. but wouldn't want to be the lunch.

Carolyn Ford said...

Yuk! This lunch doesn't look like anything I would order! Fabulous photographs!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jill: What a great find, these are wonderful photos. I have captured a few on birds but never a rabbit. This was so nicely captured.

dutchbaby said...

Spectacular photos, especially the full-frame head shots. I vote that he's the same bird as the juvenile.

Clara said...

Great pictures! Some are a little gory, but amazing.

A home far away said...

Lovely photos!!

Hugs Gunilla in Singapore

NatureFootstep said...

I hope that one day I will be able to shoot photos like this. But these birds are so rare in my area. :(

Manang Kim said...

I agree all the shots are really good. Thanks for sharing!

ThursdayChallenge:Messy

NicoleB said...

Totally amazing that you could capture these.
He's one awesome fellow!
And yes, he gotta eat, no way around it :)

Mama Zen said...

These are fantastic!

jason said...

Fantastic shots! Raptors are a weakness of mine, I admit. And I'm especially fond of the natural history element of a meal in progress.

Rambling Woods said...

Those are wonderful photos..yes and gross, but it is the way it is for these birds. I am surprised that you got that close...It does seem that photographing these birds is a very special honor... in a strange way..

Natural Moments said...

These are a great series of shots showing the straight forward feelings that the raptor is having in the moment....uncensored.

holdingmoments said...

Really enjoyed catching up on your posts Jill; especially this one.
Excellent captures of nature in the raw.