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Great Blue Heron’s Guest Bird of the Day – Beauteous Buteo (Not Art Nbr 13)

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Two Red Tailed Hawks – babsjeheron

What, you were maybe expecting Great Blue Herons today?

Just as I swung my camera into position, another flash of feathers. Two. TWO Red Tailed Hawks splashing into the lake.

Rounding the corner coming out of the channel, a flash of movement to the left caught my eye. Raising binoculars, I discovered it wasn’t the Canada Goose I had expected to see. It was a Red Tailed Hawk about to launch in to the lake for a cooling bath. Thrilling. Only once before – nine or ten years ago – had I seen a Hawk bathing, and here, at nearly the same spot along the shore, was another.

Just as I swung my camera into position, another flash of feathers. Two. There were TWO Red Tailed Hawks splashing into the lake together, bathing together while cacophonous Blue Jays and Grackles pestered from branches above.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Two Red Tailed Hawks Bathing – babsjeheron

File this one under once-in-a-lifetime Hawk encounter.

(We now return to the regularly scheduled Great Blue Heron program. Thanks for indulging my love for Hawks, too.)

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Thanks to Erica V and WordPress for this week’s WPC Challenge: Delta. Compare the mood of the two Red Tailed Hawks in the top photo with that at the bottom. Do you see the change, from excitedly animated when landing in the water to what might be called affectionate, as the hawks bathe together side-by-side, nearly touching beaks. The other, more surprising change, is the shift in this blog from the customary focus on Great Blue Herons to the interloping Red Tailed Hawks just for today.
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From now through July 13th, I am a Featured Artist at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

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From July 1 through July 30, 2016, I was the Featured Artist of the Month at the Summer Street Gallery. The Great Blue Heron photographs once again graced the walls of the lobby and theater in a one-woman show at The Center for Arts in Natick. In addition to the visual arts shown at the gallery, TCAN has a lively, dynamic lineup of upcoming performing artists.
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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2017 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Red Tailed Hawk, Kayaking, TCAN, Five Crows

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The Security Cam is Down – Who You Gonna Call for Backup?

Oh, the irony.

© Babsje (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

“Man your station, Hawkeye, incoming kayak at ten o’clock.”

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File this one under silly nonsense.

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UPDATE: Speaking of Red Tailed Hawks, two fellow bloggers have been following an ongoing story out of Ithaca, NY, this summer. One of the fledglings at Cornell University had been injured, requiring surgery. Read more at the blogs of circuitousjourney and dearkitty1.

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Thanks to Michelle W and WordPress for their Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts. Looks like this building has enlisted a pair of Red Tailed Hawks to augment their roof-top security cameras. I couldn’t resist the irony and the contrasts of new-technology and Nature’s original (and best) hawk-eye tech.

Thanks to Paula for her wonderful Thursday’s Special Non-Challenge challenge.

Thanks to Cee for her Odd Ball Photo challenge.

Thanks once again to Stewart Monckton for hosting the Wild Bird Wednesday challenge.

Thanks to Wordless Wednesday for the Wordless Wednesday challenge.
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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Five Crows is on FaceBook. To give the gallery a visit, please click here.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

© 2014 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Red Tail Hawk, Humor

Red Tailed Hawks’ Courtship Flight

The male Red Tailed Hawk suddenly dropped into a downward spiral, a kamikaze move designed to delight his intended beloved. She followed suit, and together they spiraled down and then back up, coming out of the dive flying in parallel as though they were pairs figure skaters and the sky their ice rink.

The video here is just 13 seconds long, if you sneeze, you will miss the death spiral.

Apologies in advance for the choppiness – it was filmed handheld with my Meade CaptureView binoculars back in the days when the video format was only 320×240 and image stabilization technology wasn’t available. If you click the icon to expand the viewing area, the clip will appear very very pixilated, so that’s not recommended.

This week, WordPress had challenged us with the word “unexpected.” The sight of these courting Red Tailed Hawks was very unexpected as I sat at the West Natick commuter train station that afternoon.

A flash of feathers caught my eye, and I happened to have the binocs handy, with the presence of mind to push the record button.

Raising the binocs, I noticed that there were three hawks interacting. Two were males vying for the female’s attention.

After chasing off the competition for her favors, the male engaged the female in this remarkable display of his prowess. It was the first courtship flight I had ever seen with the death spiral move, and also the last.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t post a clip with this much noise, but I am guessing that not many readers here have seen this sort of courtship display before, and hope you’ll be forgiving of the video quality.

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Thanks to Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected.

Thanks once more to Ese for her Ese’s Weekly Shoot & Quote Challenge – Direction. (Ese, I don’t have a catchy quote for this one, the beauty of their spiraling courtship dance leaves me wordless.)

Thanks once again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

Thanks to Debbie of Travel with Intent for her Look Up, Look Down Challenge. (The spiraling hawks definitely made me look up, then down.)

Thanks to the kind folks at NaBloPoMo for the National Blog Posting Month challenge this November.

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A selection of my heron and flower photos is now available at the Five Crows Gallery in Natick, MA. Drop in and see the work of the many wonderfully creative artists who show there when you’re in the area.

Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.™

The Tao of Feathers™

(This photo was taken August 21, 2010.)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Red Tailed Hawk

The Red Tailed Hawk’s Guide to Hitchhikers

The red tailed hawk perched less than 20 feet from the adult great blue heron and stared at the nest, thinking no doubt about tasty eggs for dinner.

Red tailed hawk being mobbed, with a bird perched on the back of his head.

Red tailed hawk being mobbed, with a bird perched on his head.

I wrote the above lines in a post about the symbiotic relationship between cormorants and great blue herons, and how cormorants seemed to stand sentry over the nest. (If you missed that post, you can click here to catch up.)

Other birds also had a presence on the nesting island while the eggs and then chicks were growing that summer, and blue jays in particular created a noisy ruckus when a red tailed hawk ventured too near.

Red tailed hawk being mobbed, with a amaller bird perched on the back of his head.

Smaller bird perching on a red tailed hawk.

On many occasions, smaller birds would mob a hawk that had circled close to the island. That’s not surprising at all.

What was surprising, though, was that one of the small mobbing birds landed on the much larger hawk’s head or shoulder, and hung on to the hawk while the hawk flew on, trying to escape the mob.

The mob consisted of several different kinds of birds, including blue jays and grackles. On this day, the bird on the hawk’s head is a blue jay. On a different day when I was lucky enough to witness a red tailed hawk with a hitchhiker, it was a grackle on the hawk’s shoulder.

This is one of those occasions when a 600mm lens would have been great, except that I photograph from a moving kayak on often-rolling waters. It wouldn’t be prudent, as someone famous used to say.

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Thanks to the kind folks at Skywatch Friday.

Thanks once more to Prairiebirder Charlotte for her Feathers on Friday prompt.

Thanks again to Stewart Moncton for the Wild Bird Wednesday prompt.

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(The photos here were taken July 4, 2012)

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

Being Now, Here

The kayak drifts in the deserted channel, weathercocking in a stiff breeze as I compose this post.

Alone. Just me and a great blue heron foraging under the maples on the far shore, 200 yards away.

Red tailed hawk silhouetted against a bruised sky.

Red tailed hawk silhouetted against a bruised sky.

Today, WordPress asked about the strangest place from where we have posted. That’s a no-brainer for me: as I write these words today, I’m floating along in a kayak on a moderate current, composing on the tiny keypad of a smart phone. I’m able to do almost anything from here that can be done on my laptop at home thanks to the wonders of android and WordPress.

It even let me insert the silhouetted red tailed hawk photo here as my entry for Sue’s “Silhouette” challenge this week.

WordPress, what a platform!

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Thanks to Michelle W. for the Daily Prompt: Blogger in a Strange Land.

Thanks also to Sue for the Word a Week Challenge: Silhouette.

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Remember: Walk softly and carry a long lens.

© 2013 Babsje. (https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com)

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