Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hawk and Other Tales

Thank you all for your kind comments regarding Pride.  It will certainly make things different around here.  I'm just so glad that we were here, and not in Oliver when he colicked.  He did have a mild bout back in the Summer, the first ever in his life, and I did worry about the possibility of it happening again while we were away.  Today we talked about some of our fencing and gates.  Gates that we can leave open now, fencing we can put up to make things more coyote resistant.  As we could usually see him from the back of the house, unless he was stood in one of his shelters, I'm sure one of these times I'll see movement in the back field, through the trees, and think 'oh there's Pride'.

It was just me and the dogs this morning, going for our bush walk, as Larry had an appointment.  Luna is still going ahead, looking for Pride like usual I think, although there is no fresh scent, so she probably doesn't know quite what to think. (She did have the opportunity to sniff his body)  But he had been a part of her life, every day for the past five years, so old habits will die hard.

The last few mornings I have noticed a hawk hanging around in the same tree at the far (east) end of the back hayfield.  This morning I heard it's cry and was reminded that I had wanted to try and get pictures.  I ran back to the house to get the camera.

There it was in the usual tree. Now I don't know my hawks, but I Googled it and I think it's a Redtail

Jake and Luna had run off ahead of me, around this corner and past the base of the tree, and the hawk flew off and across the hay field. 

I always have such difficulty capturing birds in flight, especially when I am using the zoom.  I've zoomed in on a still bird, and then it starts flying and usually I can't get it in the view finder before it disappears.  This time I used my brain and zoomed out for a bigger field of view, found it, and then zoomed in again and moved the camera with it and managed to grab one shot. I also need to remember to just hold the shutter down to keep taking shots when something is moving like that, instead of just taking one.  Sometimes us old ladies are slow learners.

It flew across the hayfield and landed in the maple tree at the other (west) end


When I was coming back with the camera, I thought I saw another one, and eventually saw a dark blob at the top of a cottonwood at the east end, partway into the bush.
It was one mighty tree.  

It seemed smaller than the first hawk, so maybe it was a male.  Apparently they are 25% smaller than the females.

In the meantime, Calli has tired out.  The back left leg starts to drag first, and then when the right leg starts to drag too, it's time to give her some help.  The tail is a handy handle.  No, the end is not bent over at 90 degrees like it looks in the picture.   We just grasp the end to put enough of a pull on it to keep her rear end up.  We've tried the cart through the bush, but it's just too rough through there.  She doesn't mind at all, it just happy that she can now move along faster.

When we come out of the bush, the female? hawk is still at the west end in the maple tree.

As we get closer she flies off.

Heads across the hayfield, back to the east end

And ends up back in the same tree she started from, just higher up this time.

In the meantime, while I was attempting to take brilliant hawk photos and failing, Calli lost her rear end to a mud puddle. (Why do they NEVER look as mucky in the photos as they really are?)  Guess who got washed off with the hose before she went back in the house and hated every minute of it?

And I'm sure you could guess who invited herself to the water park and LOVED every minute of it.


  1. Pretty picture in flight. The mighty tree shot made me a bit dizzy :0) Yes, things do change and we all have to make adjustments. Some change is good and some is very hard, for sure.

  2. You got some really nice shots of your hawks, maybe you will have a nest before long and some baby hawks. That would be fun.
    Poor Cali, nice that she has a built in handle! I have a cat (Mort) that wiggles his long slender tail when he is happy to see you...now I shake the cats tails when I am happy to see them! I just grasp their tails and give them a wiggle shake. Poor Ryker has no tail : ( I understand that in some countries and now some states it is illegal to crop and dock. Maybe my next Aussie will have a tail.

  3. You did get some good shots. Mom looks nutty and gets dizzy when she tries to get birds in flight.

  4. You did great with the in flight shots..that is tough and I too have learned to just hold my camera button down.
    One day at a time...it probably hasn't clicked with Luna yet...but I bet it does in the next few days. Never can tell with animals what their reaction will be. Sending good thoughts you way because it cannot be easy for either you or Larry.


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