Hawks on the Prairie

Evening perch - 2013 © Christopher Martin

This summer has been very good for hawk watchers on the prairies around Calgary.  To the west around the Springbank area I have spent a number of afternoons watching mostly Swainson’s Hawks scouting over the fields.

Arond the phone line - 2013 © Christopher Martin

This is a small set from a few of these encounters.  I looking forward to a few more before fall comes and these fair-weather friends head south.

2013 © Christopher Martin

This hawk above was staring me down from her nest while I stopped briefly to see if her chick was looking out yet.  On a separate visit, I saw the young one’s stare was equal to its mother’s.

2013 © Christopher Martin

Earlier in the summer, on the same day as my running fox encounter, I was watching a female hawk on this ranch entrance when its mate swooped down.  When I saw the bird descending, as below, I thought it was attacking but it was getting closer for other reasons.

Could you be loved? 2013 © Christopher Martin

2013 © Christopher Martin

The hawk above had just finished a meal when I came by its perch on a fence near the airport.  It preened for a while before launching for a higher viewing point.  It stayed in the skeleton tree below before flying through the bare branches and gliding over the fields.

2013 © Christopher Martin

On one of the rainy mornings that I was out, this hawk flew alongside me for a few seconds which was really cool.  When it crossed over to the driver’s side and banked back, I caught the nice image of the downstroke of his wings below.

2013 © Christopher Martin

I will be trading the opportunity to photograph these wonderful raptors for the wild residents of Prince Rupert’s coastal rainforest next week.  I’m always excited about a return to the province I grew up in and especially when it is to visit a part of British Columbia that is new to me.  We will see what opportunities present themselves starting tomorrow.

5 responses

  1. Enjoyed being on the field trip, thank you.

    August 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm

  2. lisalday111711

    fantastic shots…wow…breath taking animals

    August 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

  3. verenacave

    Wow your photos are just amazing! I love the colours and the composition of the pictures especially in the first and fifth one. The fifth shows so much action and you can nearly hear them fight. Really really great!

    August 17, 2013 at 3:04 am

  4. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Fantastic photos.
    I especially like the fourth one down where it looks like the hawk is attacking. Must be amazing to see these magnificent birds in the wild and capture such well-focuse images.

    (I’m afraid I’m too slow to capture good shots of flying birds. I can’t pan and twist my lower back quickly enough. Or, maybe I just don’t get the practice living in the inner city).

    August 17, 2013 at 1:10 am

  5. Spending time with hawks just reminds me why I like them. Great photos.

    August 17, 2013 at 12:35 am

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