Hawk fighting snake

My theory was that all cool animals just get along. It hasn’t worked out.

Ok, so it seems Bernard and Hortense are not the best of buds. If you’re going to go to the corner store to buy a pet hawk and pet snake, make sure you get separate cages for them. I learned this fact by observing nature.

Since day 4 of this project, I’ve been clamouring to get a good picture of a hawk. I ran in to a few instances where they were flying around but I didn’t have my zoom lens. One day I was walking in the park, and one flew in and landed on a branch right above me, but I was on the phone and couldn’t get my camera out before it left. After getting my superzoom, they would only fly around when I had it put away. It seemed to be one long drawn out hawk tease.

I don’t feel like this is a great life lesson, but as is often the case, things seem to work out for you when you just don’t care. This instance was demonstrated when I woke up early to go get some shots of a Double Breasted Cormorant with nice sunrise lighting working in my favour. I was sitting on a stool for an hour and a half only worrying about animals on the water. It was only after I was satisfied and walking back towards home when I saw an eagle fly out of a tree and land on a hill very close by. I quickly pulled up my megazoom and got some initial shots to at least knock that off my list, but then I noticed it was acting really weird. Stomping around and posturing with its wings to look bigger. I started to hustle closer, and that’s when I noticed it was fighting with something. Bernard and Hortense were having a vitriolic argument over whether or not it would be ok for Hortense to be eaten. All parties were not in favour of the idea.

I plopped down my little tripod stool at the bottom of the hill, and watched Bernard chase Hortense, have a standoff, chase, standoff, etc. etc. as they made their way closer and closer to me. I was starting to get a bit nervous, as I was actually needing to zoom out to keep things in frame. It was shortly after this point that Bernard also realized the very immediate proximity to a humanbeast, and paused to reassess things (Yesterday’s photo). At this point, it was decided that Hortense just wasn’t worth it, and Bernard flew off. While we didn’t exchange any verbal confirmation on the matter, I’m pretty sure Hortense was thankful for my presence.

A captured this instance of their discussion with my 150-600mm lens, shooting at 1/640 and f6.3, with an ISO of 720. I’m glad they had their little talk, and I’m glad I was there for it.

One thought on “May 6 – Jamie

  1. Hope you realize how lucky you are to have captured this wildlife struggle. Well done, Dr. Patience.

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