Hawk up close

I have a number of photos of Red-shouldered Hawks, the subject of my photo of the week, from our trips to southwest Florida.

But much of the credit for this one, my favorite, goes to my wife.

We were walking through Six Mile Cypress Slough, a park in Fort Myers, one morning when I saw a Little Blue Heron hunting in the wetlands. It was behind some plants so I kept my attention on that area waiting for it the move to a clear area so I could get a photo.

I heard my wife quietly call my name so I held up my hand to indicate “just a second,” and continued watching for the heron.

She said my name again and again I held up my hand.

Then she tapped me on the shoulder.

When I turned she pointed to a Red-shouldered Hawk that had landed on a cypress knee above the water, probably about 15 feet from where we were standing. The hawk ignored our presence while it looked for a potential meal.

The bird was so close that I had to back up a few steps, leaning against the rail on the opposite side of the boardwalk above the swamp, to be able to get a photo. I actually shot a series of photos at this location, then a few more when the hawk hopped to another cypress knee a few feet away.

I like how the hawk is so close that feather detail and features are clear. 

And I would have missed it had my wife not been with me that morning.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.


Date/time: Jan. 9, 2018, 10:17 a.m.  
Location: 26°34'31.704" N 81°49'21.233" W (Show in Google Maps)  
Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II  
Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm) 
Aperture: f/5.6  
Shutter: 1/1250th second  
ISO: 4000