Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: A steely stare

Today's Wednesday Vignette was a lucky catch.  I was sitting at my desk late yesterday afternoon and looked up to see a hawk gliding gracefully over the harbor.  He surprised me by landing at the top of the neighbor's tall pine tree.  I grabbed my camera and headed for the backyard, even though I expected that he'd fly off before I could get out the door.  He hung around for just one shot, although I did manage a second as he flew off into the distance.

Something, presumably another bird (or a squirrel committing suicide), showed up as a blurry image in the corner of my shot on the lower right but, at the time, all my attention was focused on the hawk

The hawk moved quickly and my second shot was only a blur but this one shows him headed out toward Angel's Gate, the entrance to the Los Angeles Harbor.  You can see a cargo ship and a small sailboat just beyond the breakwater.


While on the bird theme, I'll also share a few photos of finches enjoying a pool party in the fountain.  The still photos are a poor substitute for a live view but you can get some sense of the birds' enjoyment of their bath.  Birds splashing in the fountain always puts a smile on my face and a song in my heart.



For other Wednesday Vignettes visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2016 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

20 comments:

  1. Oh, that poor squirrel... I can't even imagine how terrifying it would be to have a hawk land just above you. What do you do? Freeze and stop breathing, or jump? Hope he made it down and out of the hawk's view safely. Your little ones are so cute in their fountain - I would be watching them constantly! :)

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    1. Although the fuzzy image in the lower right-hand corner of the photo brings to mind a squirrel's tail, I found it hard to believe a squirrel would jump from that height (or survive if it did). Hopefully, it was another bird fleeing the hawk or, if it was a squirrel, that it leaped from one branch of the pine to another

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  2. Such fun shots of the bathing birds! They would put a smile on my face too.

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    1. They seem so happy when they're shimmying in the water - it looks like pure joy to me.

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  3. Great catch! I find birds very hard to photograph.

    Do hawks eat squirrels? I assume so. Just wondering what I can do to attract hawks to my garden (evil laugh).

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    1. My guess is that it was a red-tailed hawk. Although I couldn't identify it from that distance, they're the most common hawks in the immediate area and they can definitely take out squirrels - and, reportedly, even small pets.

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  4. Great capture! What a menacing looking beast...

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    1. The hawks are impressive in flight but, yes, a bit intimidating when they're intensively focused on something. If my cat had been out, I'd have skipped the picture to scoop her up.

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  5. What a shot! It would unnerve me, let alone its prey.

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    1. He doesn't look like he'd be put off by a camera but he was.

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  6. Great capture Kris, and I think you're right it looks like a squirrel trying to escape.

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    1. I tried blowing up that portion of the photo but still couldn't manage a definitive ID of the fleeing creature. That tree, which sits well below the level of our backyard, has to be at least 50 feet (15 meters) tall so I'd expect that a drop to the ground would be life-threatening but maybe he jumped from one pine tree to the other nearby.

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  7. Good for you, Kris - great shot! And it's wonderful to see the finches enjoying themselves :)

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    1. The finches enjoy a good life here. It's a short hop from the feeders to the pool.

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  8. What a great shot. Squirrels are amazingly acrobat. I have watched them leaping from tree to tree and I am always astonished at how far they can jump. I love your little finches.

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    1. I hope this squirrel made a safe landing!

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  9. From relative size my guess is that's another red-tailed hawk. They are generally monogamous and usually mate for life. I frequently see them soaring and landing in tall trees together. A squirrel would typically go into the tree and not leap (self-destructive animal behavior is, at best, rare) and red-tailed hawks attack them at ground level. While I've seen them lift a squirrel it's a short hop at very low altitudes.

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    1. Well, he didn't get this squirrel but I can't say for certain whether or not the squirrel (if it was one) landed safely.

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  10. Majestic and sweet. Your bird antic pictures always make me smile.

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    1. That fountain is worth every drop of water in it given how the birds enjoy it.

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