I was very fortunate to have a hawk’s nest with a baby hawk in a cell tower across the street from my picture frame business (Picture Frame Destination Inc.). We brought a pair of binoculars up to work and our employee’s enjoyed watching the baby grow up. Myself and Walt, an amateur photographer that works for us, took many pictures. Some were with my Canon 100-300mm but the last weekend before the baby hawk started flying I rented a 600mm. Unfortunately the entire weekend was overcast and rainy but I was still able to get some interesting shots.
I own a Manfrotto 3021 tripod with 468 Proball head which served me well until I put that massive Canon 600mmL on it. I still had to shoot at high shutter speed and use cable release. Every time I touched the camera it would take several seconds before it would stop vibrating. I have a lot more respect for bird photographers now! I had it easy since I just left the camera setup in our front lobby and every now and then I would go and click off a few shots. I was also wishing I had upgraded to a 12 megapixel camera since I still had to take advantage of digital zoon.
I have more shots on my pbase account here:
It was fascinating to watch the two parent hawks feed and take care of the baby. For many weeks the baby just sat in the nest but in the last few days it actually started venturing into other parts of the cell tower. Most of the shots just show the baby flexing its wings or pulling out its baby feathers but the shot with baby actually in the air (CRW_4173.jpg) was him or her actually hoping down from the upper part of the tower. The day after I took that shot was the day we first started seeing the young hawk fly. The first couple days he appeared to be out of the nest for progressively longer periods of time. On the third day it was kind of depressing for all of us because all the hawks would be gone most of the day so my entire company ended up suffering from “empty nest syndrome”. Now it is rare that we actually see or hear them. Some times I might see one of them circling high over highway on my way into work.