Do what you do best

The difference between seeing someone’s normal state and their best one is actually quite substantial. I think that’s another reason my fascination with hawks continues.


It’s quite unusual to find a hawk on the ground beside a road – they are usually on fence posts or bales. I was glad this one chose to stand on the side of a hill to make the photo so much more interesting.

On many occasions I find myself wandering down a grid road trying my best to mind the business of every wild creature I can find. There’s often the usual cast of characters in every slough, starting with coots and a surprising number of duck species. They are nice and all but that’s not why I go out.

At the top of my list there is always the same creature – hawks. Until bears start wandering near my home, the hawks have that spot all to themselves. My fondness for these predators may have a lot to do with the fact that they are not after me.

It occurred to me the other day that hawks have something else going for them. Last fall I found a hawk at the edge of the road and was quite excited, as is my custom. But looking at the resulting photo objectively, it’s well … nice, only nice. Hardly the stuff of inspiration!

I waited for the hawk to fly off as is their custom. This usually happens when I stop looking for a second to scratch my nose, but this time was different. I caught the hawk flying low over the road. Now there was some excitement!

Unfurl those wings and the hawk is transformed. The difference is what keeps me coming back.

DT6C3489 (1)

There are many aspects of this photo that appeal to me but the outstretched wings make an usual shadow on the road.

Now if I could just figure out a joke for a hawk crossing a road …

Latest Comments

  1. Ullis Instamoments says:

    You have a mazing gallery here!


  2. emeraldwake says:

    brilliant catch


  3. Garden Walk Garden Talk says:

    Hawks are at the top of my list too, but if I lived where you do, bears would be my quarry. I would quickly learn to invest in a longer lens too. No cuddly teddys there. I just love, love, love your bear photos.


  4. Scott Marshall says:

    stunning – perfectly tuned assassins


  5. Sue says:

    Why did the hawk cross the road? Because it was the chicken’s day off. 🙂
    Shortage of power poles out there on the prairie?


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I knew there was a chicken in there somewhere.
      Order was quickly restored in the hawk world since it flew off to a fence post which is much more normal. Though I think catching it in a different spot than usual was an attraction for me.


  6. toughlittlebirds says:

    This is one reason why I like raptor nest cams too – you see a completely aspect of the bird when it’s trying to be tender around delicate babies, being careful with that rending bill and walking on fists to sheathe the sharp talons.
    Birds flying really low are so striking, great photo!


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Thanks. It is fascinating that these raptors are capable of different kinds of behaviour just like humans. I didn’t know about walking on fists – that’s fascinating. They obviously have some self awareness.


  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    Ah yes, the jump off! Well captured!
    As Yogi Berra once said… “You can observe a lot just by watching.”


  8. krikitarts says:

    This is a terrific shot, Lyle, and your preparedness really paid off–yet again. You even got a few talons in perfect focus. They always look so concentrated when in low flight, but I’d not like to be the object of this one’s interest!


  9. Mandy says:

    Our Wedge-tail Eagles are usually one of my favourite birds, except when the two resident on our hill swooped down over the foxies yesterday. Tend to lose their appeal when they do that.


  10. Mike Powell says:

    I can’t think of a clever quip to respond to your amazing photo. Catching any wild creature in action is wonderful, but it’s even more incredible when you can an unusual perspective, as you did in this shot. You can never really plan for a shot like this, but your well-honed skills allowed you to take advantage of the opportunity.


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      It’s surprising what a person finds when you spend the time to look around and recognize the opportunities that open up before you. Planning becomes preparing to see the unexpected as you suggest. I’m glad you enjoyed the shot. It was fun to be there and take it.


  11. Honie Briggs says:

    I have discovered some significant bird action at my new home. Geese, blue jays, cranes, garden variety cardinals, finches, and yes, even a hawk. I caught my breath when it alighted on the fence in my backyard and ran to get my camera. Of course he didn’t stick around for paparazzi. I share your fascination. Amazing creatures!


  12. Lavinia Ross says:

    Lyle – beautiful action photo of the hawk. I can picture you wandering down a road looking for subjects! Glad you are willing to share these wonderful photos with the rest of us.


    • Lyle Krahn says:

      It’s a pleasure to share with people who enjoy it. I appreciate the comments. The hawks have given me a lot of fun times photographing over time.


  13. Gunta says:

    One of the few times you’ll catch those unfurled wings from above. I’m still mostly catching the underside of the butt…. Perhaps I ought to give up and just enjoy the sight.


  14. whichwaynow101 says:

    We all know why the hawk crossed the road. He saw Lyle sneaking up on him!


  15. Steve Gingold says:

    Our best work come when we are working with something we love. Add to that the patience to wait for something to happen and you’ve got yourself something memorable with a story.. 🙂


  16. midtownmobilevet says:

    Perhaps one day we will live in a world where a hawk can cross the road without having his motives questioned!


  17. coolperson1 says:

    Why did the hawk cross the road?
    Because it was so high


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