Cooper's Hawk Aerobics

January 29, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

In bird photography, when you encounter a bird that tolerates your presence letting you fire away with your camera without flying away, you call that a 'cooperative bird'. Well last January, I had a Cooper's Hawk visit my backyard to sun himself and preen. I happened to see him land in a tree and observed him for a few moments from inside my house. I was dying to take some pictures of him and after watching him for about 5 minutes, I decided that if I didn't grab my gear and at least try, I would kick myself.

So I grabbed my gear, set up the camera and lens, mounted it on the gimbal head on my tripod and then stepped into the backyard as non-chalantly as I could. I edged out to behind a post holding up my patio cover using that as my blind. I set the camera down and looked at the bird and he was hardly paying attention. The session photographing this bird lasted 10 or more minutes. He stayed so long that at one point, I quit taking pictures and grabbed a couple of minutes of video. I would call this one very cooperative bird.

I came across the two images here while continuing to re-organize my photographs into Lightroom.

 


 
Image particulars: Canon 5D MKII, 600mm/f4 lens at f9, 1/320th of a second, ISO 400 on a Wimberley WH200 Head and Gitzo 3541LS tripod.
 
This image and others are available at my website.

 


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