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My Backyard Hawk, National Geographic on a Budget

I must tell you this citizen media stuff is a blast. I have been shooting a Red shouldered hawk with her three eyas — until yesterday I thought there were only two. Last night the mom flew off the nest and I do believe raided a blackbird nest. This did not make the blackbirds very happy; it was like a scene from the Hitchcock movie “The Birds.” See for yourself:

By the way, all this is shot with my point and shoot Canon PowerShot SD 1100 attached to a low end Orion GoScope 350 spotting scope. It is great fun.

5 Responses to “My Backyard Hawk, National Geographic on a Budget”

  1. vickie Says:

    What a delight to see your video. I must say I’m envious of the open view! And I was surprised to see how the black birds actually struck the hawk.

    The nest of the hawk family I’ve been observing has been almost completely covered by leaves from every view, so I’ve been relying on my ears as much as eyes to follow activity. The nestlings I first viewed April 26, are near fledging, with one at least flying from branch to branch now and the other, I believe, still in the nest.

    Enjoy this unique opportunity!

  2. Leonard Witt Says:

    Hi Vickie:

    As I said a on a post today, things have taken a turn for the worse for our hawks. At least for one of them. Inspired by you, I am putting together a multi-part series trying to capture some of the drama. Of course, I am kicking myself for not trading up on my equipment. Maybe they will be back next year. On the other hand, this is the era of the amateur and I am sure it will spawn more pros in time.

  3. Mary Howell Cromer Says:

    Great video captures the mobbing that takes place by both Black Birds, and Blue Jays. It could be that one of their own was taken, or possibly even a Chipmunk. Once the hunt begins and the prey is taken, who knows for certain, when there is this many mobbing. I watched last year as large Crows kept after a young Juvie eyas, after an adult had taken it a meal. The poor Juvie was only receiving to partake, and the silly Crows wanted that feast for themselves. I am just learning how to use my camera and may work in a short video next year. The missing one may have fallen from nest, did anyone look around tree base, when it was safe to? Your nest seemed small for 3 growing eyas, as was ours. Adults sometimes accidentally knock one to the ground when feeding. All 3 looked to be thriving, so that is best possibilty. Great seeing your site~

  4. Leonard Witt Says:

    Hi Mary:

    I have more about the fate of the three baby hawks and I have it on video, but just have not had the time to post it all. I keep promising myself to find the time. But alas….I am not sure when.

  5. Larry Jordan Says:

    Great video of the Red-shouldered Hawk feeding the chicks. It seems impossible to see what she brought into the nest but the mobbing she encountered is the roughest I have seen.

    I had the pleasure as you and Vickie have to watch these gorgeous birds breed and raise a family to fledging. As Vickie replied, you have an excellent, unobstructed view, of which I am also envious.

    I am very curious now as to what has happened to your Red-shouldered Hawk family.