January 19, 2014
Beautiful Hawk, No People (well, hardly any)
On Saturday January 18th, I went out birding for the afternoon with a friend of mine. Our destination was eventually going to be States side, late afternoon, somewhere in the Buffalo, New York area for Short-eared Owls but we made a few stops along the way. One being where I met this Hawk a few weeks earlier.
It wasn't our intention to see this bird. Snowy Owls were on the brain for the spot and I completely forgot about this bird until I saw him.
The bird was roadside up a ways, and being large and dark, snow blowing around, my friend for a brief moment thought it was a wild Turkey. I did too and then it clicked... it's that Hawk.
A number of people in cars were about the area scoping out the Snowy Owls. And one guy was photographing the Hawk. Such a different scenario than my last encounter.
The Hawk, being quite accustomed to people showed little fear of us, and put on quite a flight show about the field and over the roadway, always returning to the ground somewhere in front of us. Click on the photos to enlarge them for better viewing.
It was cool to see the bird do his thing right in front of us; but I couldn't stop the feeling this was all an act for us present. One could easily turn this into a cat or dog prancing around while a person dangles a treat in front of them. But without the crowd of papparazzi around him like last time, that feeling was pushed away from my mind, and I enjoyed the flight show of this big beautiful bird for another minute or two before the bird realized he wasn't getting anything in return from us and I swear he gave us a look of discontent...
and flew off...
The Hawk is a bit of anomaly. And if anyone were to experience him/her as what we did this day, without the crowds and stories from some others, they'd think they just had the most amazing experience. I envy a person like that right now but this experience certainly did make things better for me about the bird. I see him as clever, an opportunist and of course still wild.
My friend and I had a great day out and about even if we did not see any Short-eared Owls like we were hoping. But there's more to my bird outings than just seeing birds and taking photos, there are memorable moments with friends and stories to tell at a later date. We had some good discussions and laughs on our road trip and we saw a number of birds and got teased by countless Deer and one large Red Fox at dusk.
If you missed my last blog about this Hawk titled "Beautiful Hawk, Ugly People" please check it out by clicking on the highlighted title.