The Look

_T6C1877, hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Saskatchewan, bale

This hawk almost appears regal, standing on a bale with perfect posture and a focused stare.

I can forget the most important item on a short grocery list before I even leave the house. I can forget the password I just entered into the computer or even the time when the game starts. But I won’t ever forget the look.

The odd thing is that I don’t recall the last time I was on the receiving end of one of them or who sent them my way.

I’m pretty sure I remember the gender of all the senders but it’s probably best if I don’t specify. I certainly do remember the eye-popping heat those women generated. But what has any of this got to do with wildlife?

This past week I stared into the eyes of a few hawks and got my own eyebrows raised. It seems they have mastered the look.

I know hawks can be pretty intense and I know it’s serious business because they are predators looking for a meal. Still it got a little more uncomfortable when the hawk focused on me. The look will do that.

After that experience, I am sure my grocery-list memory will improve. No use taking any chances.

_T6C1735, hawk, flight, Swainson's Hawk, Saskatchewan,

It got a lot more intense when this hawk’s attention seemed to be directed in my general direction.

_T6C8316, Swainson's Hawk, Saskatchewan, fence post

At some point I was pretty sure I was the centre of attention. I didn’t look behind me.

_T6C1690, hawk, flight, Swainson's Hawk, Saskatchewan,

Is it called buzzing the tower if the hawk circles by for another look? I was wearing a hat so it couldn’t have been my unkempt hair.

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Latest Comments

  1. doriswamyganesh says:

    Dear Lyle, Really and truly great Photographs of indeed a great bird.Keep them coming dear friend for an old man and his young friends to enjoy at leisure.Best wishes, Ganesh.

    Like

  2. elenacaravela says:

    Fantastic shots!

    Like

  3. artsifrtsy says:

    Great shots – it’s magic when they look back at you!

    Like

  4. parth893 says:

    Awesome Awesome Awesome . great shots ..

    Like

  5. dda53 says:

    Beautiful light, great captures!

    Like

  6. Mary Strong-Spaid says:

    Hawk eyes can stare a hole straight through to your soul, I know.
    It is awesome and unnerving at the same time!

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Their eyes are truly amazing – awesome and unnerving is exactly right. Just like your recent experience, they seem to know exactly what is happening.

      Like

  7. hannele says:

    Beautiful. 🙂

    Like

  8. mflahertyphoto says:

    That is a really intense look in the next to last shot especially. Like the color in that shot too.

    Like

  9. Mind Margins/Run Nature says:

    As a female, mother, and former teacher, I’ve been told I have perfected The Look.

    Like

  10. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    I received “the look” from a porcupine recently who was crawling backwards down a tree as I walked by. It was terrifying. I am haunted by it and the thought, er thot, of a thousand quills in me. Great photos. My favorite is the hawk on the post with the blurred background.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks – I really like that one too. It’s funny because the first time I tried to photograph a porcupine, I was trying to remember if they threw their quills. Needless to say that got my imagination going.

      Like

  11. Mike Powell says:

    It’s never a good thing when a predator seems to be sizing you up. I’m sure that hawks don’t usually attack humans, but is “usually” enough to reassure you? I especially like the last shot in which the hawk seems to be coming at you at full speed.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      Perhaps oddly, it is enough to reassure me. Then again, just like the message on right-side vehicle mirrors, objects appear closer than they really are with my lens. As the hawk was circling, I was hoping I would be a shot of it coming toward me and was pleased when that happened. Glad you like it.

      Like

  12. Erco Travels says:

    Excellent post! Nice clicks.

    Like

  13. vanbraman says:

    The third one is my favorite. It is definitely cool when you get a good look from a bird that you are trying to photograph. Unfortunately, it is also when they are often ready to fly away. My favorite look is probably this one from a Western Burrowing Owl. http://bramanswanderings.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/owls/

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I completely agree about the cool part though in the case of the third shot it just kept looking around after that which was special. I actually remembered your Burrowing Owl.

      Like

  14. Jonathan Caswell says:

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU…..KID!

    Like

  15. soonie2 says:

    WOW! Quite a stare down going on here…what intensity! I’d be a bit nervous! Spectacular images!

    Like

  16. Buzzwordz says:

    Come to Toronto, drive down the highway, as many Peregrine Falcons as you can count! Don’t forget the camera….and the milk!

    Like

  17. Phil Lanoue says:

    The “Look” indeed! You are correct, you will not soon forget this. Tremendous flight shots!
    I hear ya on the grocery list too I forget stuff. Well the OJ maybe but not the beer.

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      I was really fortunate to have the hawk circling a few times to give me a few chances. I love it when that happens as opposed to the usual quick pass and then disappear. Our memories can be quite selective based on the importance we give them.

      Like

  18. Ed says:

    Nice work 🙂

    Like

  19. melodylowes says:

    Speaking on behalf of all those who have perfected a look of their own, I can appreciate the intensity and the drive to put some nutritious food on the table for dinner. 🙂

    Like

  20. pouringmyartout says:

    I love hawks… wait… what were we talking about?

    Like

  21. adinparadise says:

    Wow, that look is very intense indeed. I might have been just a teensy bit worried. 🙂

    Like

    • lylekrahn says:

      At the time I’m so thrilled at the opportunity to be photographing this wonderful bird that i don’t think about it. Then I look at the photos and think ‘those are impressive weapons’ but of course the photo always makes it appear like it was much closer than I was.

      Like

  22. Deb W. Trotter says:

    Lovely photos. “The look” from the fence post reminds me of my cat when she is displeased with me (like when I refuse her my lap, even though I’m sitting down and it’s clearly available!).

    Like

  23. outdoorpictures says:

    Great pictures! What hawk species is it? Swainson’s Hawk?

    Like

  24. Victor Rakmil says:

    Incredible photographs!

    Like

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