Monday, October 10, 2016

The hawk comes

By Dawn Burke

[Editor’s Note: “The hawk comes” is a line from Robert Penn Warren’s poem, “Evening Hawk.”]

On Saturday evening, October 1, about an hour and a half before sundown, I went out with my new camera, a Nikon D3200. My grandchildren Isaiah and Ale were already out there, playing, about 30 feet away from a tree close to our neighborhood playground. Suddenly they called to me loudly, pointing at the tree. When I realized that a hawk was perched on a low branch, I was amazed the kids hadn’t already scared it off. I immediately motioned to them to be quiet and not move!
    I eased up very slowly and carefully to within about ten feet of the branch. I was thrilled beyond measure to see a red-tailed hawk so close up. We have a hawk nest in our neighborhood, and we love to check it. My family have always loved seeing hawks, and on our walks and car trips we count how many we see, such as alongside the interstate going south to Russellville and Waldron (Arkansas). I dread the day developers start building houses near “our” nest.
    The hawk I was beholding from less than ten feet away was, I would say, about 17 inches tall. It moved its head quite a few times while I was taking pictures. I continued to be in awe that I was that close and it wasn’t flying away.


    It stayed there a very long time after we left and was even there when we arrived home. We could still make it out in the tree:

    Finally I saw it fly to the ground as though it may have caught some prey. I didn’t see it anymore after that. But the image remains.

Copyright © 2016 by Dawn Burke

8 comments:

  1. From Lynn Saeger, via Facebook:

    Beautiful! We saw a red tail released on a bluff overlooking Duluth a couple of years back. Just magnificent....Released from Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, high above Lake Superior, ground zero for hawk watchers during the fall raptor migration. Staff stretches a couple of nets near the brushy areas to ensnare a few unsuspecting birds, then asks tourists for a donation to release them. It's an educational money-maker but the hawks and eagles don't seem thrilled!

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    1. Thanks a bunch Lynn ! The event you saw sounds great ! I'd love to see something like that.

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  2. I still stand by my initial reaction to Dawn Burke's photos of a red-tailed hawk: "spectacular!"

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  3. Those were some great pictures. Thanks for shearing them with us.

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    1. Thanks so much Ed ! I was very thrilled to get them !

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  4. What a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Thanks so much Chuck ! I felt like it was a gift for sure for the hawk to pose for me !

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