Hawk trickery

I remember going to friends’ houses when I was a kid. One of the side benefits was getting an inside look at how other families functioned. I felt a little like that last Friday evening with hawks.

Technically, I may not have been invited to that large hay field with round bales scattered in every direction, but I was quickly part of a hawk domain.

It all seemed pretty peaceful under a warm evening sun.  Hawks lounged on bales, drifted over to different bales and occasionally floated overhead. As the only visitor, I got some sideways glances but felt mostly accepted on that glorious prairie evening.

As time passed, some cracks appeared in hawk paradise. The hawks began beaking off to each other from different bales and then it got louder and more awkward. Even as they circled above me, they didn’t seem to mind that I not only heard their entire argument but photographed it. One of the hawks left in a huff.

I started to get a few more sideways looks thrown in my direction and I wondered if something was up.

Then it got personal. I carefully set up my equipment so I could catch a hawk in the air when it left a closer bale. I knew from experience it would fly left. While other bale visits were relatively short, this one lasted forever – I could tell it was mocking me. I resigned myself to missing the shot since it’s hard to stay concentrated for that long.

Then the hawk took a step to the left and I was ready. It shot me a sly look, then wheeled around and unexpectedly flew right – almost immediately out of my lens. Missed it. I hadn’t received that kind of rude treatment since dealing with camera-shy relatives!

With time marching to sunset, I had to leave. Despite the brushoff, I thoroughly enjoyed my inside look at the hawks world – just like when I stayed at my friends’ houses. I probably told my parents what went on there too.

Latest Comments

  1. 2ndhalfolife says:

    Fabulous photos!


  2. photographybycalliec says:

    great shots,what lens are you using? Quality plus.
    Cheers Callie


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. After a decade or so of thinking it was just too ridiculous to buy (and at the same time never getting quite close enough to wildlife), I finally broke down and bought the Canon 500 F4 lens. My pursuit of better photos never seems to end but then that’s what keeps me going as well.


      • photographybycalliec says:

        Yes, there not cheap but the quality shows in your images. I use 20-300 canon lens which is a great all rounder but to have a better zoom would be great. I will lash out soon, I would also like a macro lens but I refuse to buy cheap lenses.Our addiction is expensive but gives great joy and that’s what life’s about.


        • lylekrahn says:

          Expensive addiction to be sure (an understanding wife helps a lot) but quality gear brings a unique joy. Good luck with your “lashing out.” I haven’t heard that term before but I like it.


  3. vanbraman says:

    Great sequence and a nice story behind the pictures.


  4. Carol and Noel says:

    Beautiful pictures Lyle and come back anytime to photograph our beautiful Game Preserve.


  5. Mike Powell says:

    I really enjoy your storytelling and the photos are wonderful. Catching the hawks in mid-flight is so tough and the birds have to be cooperative (or at least predictable).


    • lylekrahn says:

      I appreciate that. I was fortunate enough to have the hawks circling above me which gave me a few more chances. No matter what happens there’s lots of out-takes but its fun to keep trying.


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