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In more hawk news...

So, I wasn't actually going to go try to stalk the hawks again the very next day. But as it happened, on Friday, as I was working a little late, I heard the very loud and distinctive cries of the juveniles from close by. So I grabbed my camera and ran outside, to find them in the big tree in the courtyard between my building and the Barker Center.


I've posted some larger-resolution sizes this time around, so in some cases, it's very much worth clicking through to see the bigger versions. (When on the Flickr page, click on "All Sizes" above the pic to get the option to see the largest size.)


So yeah, I ran outside, and both juveniles were in the big tree (I'm trying to figure out what kind it is; a preliminary search suggests it might be a thornless honey locust, or a black locust). They were calling for their parents pretty insistently (who never showed up), because they were being mobbed by mockingbirds (at least one), and taunted by squirrels. (Who clung to the trunk of the tree, taunting, and then would run around the trunk to keep the tree between themselves and the hawks, who *really* wanted to catch a squirrel.)

Due to the mockingbird mobbing (unlike the robins, which just sit nearby and yell, mockingbirds will actually fly at the hawks to harass them), the two juveniles kept hopping from branch to branch, and occasionally taking flight:


(The wrought-iron structure is one half of the gate into the courtyard.)

Then one of them flew over to one of the chimneys of Dana Palmer House. I love this following pair of photos, because -- if I may anthropomorphize for a moment -- the first one feels to me like the juvenile posing all "yeah, I'm a big bad raptor!", and the second feels a lot more like "... what was that???" ("That" being more mockingbird harassing.) Really worth going to see the second one at the largest size.



This particular juvenile then flew into the next tree, also a giant (black walnut, I think).


Where he then had a GROOMING EMERGENCY:



... Which was interrupted by MORE mockingbird harassing, which resulted in this great (if slightly blurry) shot of him caught mid-ruffling (and suddenly looking up and back, trying to spot the strafing mockingbird):


Meanwhile, the juvenile still in the locust tree was posing more conventionally:


Resulting in this, my favorite photo of the batch -- the hawk looking at me taking pictures of him. This one is very much worth clicking through to see the largest size:


Finally, the two had Had Enough of the mockingbirds, and they flew off in quick succession, coming to rest on the roof of Widener Library, where they sat together and cried for their parents:


The above photo was taken at 10x, the limit of the optical zoom. The following two are examples of what the camera does when you push it to the limit of the digital zoom, which results in 40x:



(All of the three above can be viewed at the larger sizes, for comparison, although the bottom two just aren't that great; though, some detail can still be seen.)

And then both of them flew off, and I called it quits for the day.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 27th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
Those are GREAT pics! My icon is one of my favorites I took of the bats.
Aug. 3rd, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
I remember the bats! They were great. :) (I don't recall that I got any good pics of them, though.)
Jul. 27th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
goddamn, man! those are gorgeous!
Jul. 27th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
I saw one of the juveniels (I presume it was a juvenile) sitting on the weathervane of the fire station at 8:30 this morning. Actually I heard it first, calling calling, and looked around till I found where it had perched.

(No wind, so the vane was a cromulent place to stand around and kibbitz the commuters.)
Aug. 3rd, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
I think that the multi-note repeated call is always the juveniles. The "kreeeee-kreeet-kreeet" sound, I mean. A longer, single descending note, more of a classic hawk cry, is the adults. I've heard them a few times, and they don't seem to repeat as much.

I keep looking at the fire station to figure out which bit is the weathervane...

Today, while out around lunch-time, I heard one crying, and fortunately it kept up the crying until I triangulated on it. It was on the weathervane at the very top of the First Church of Cambridge, on the corner of Church St. and Mass. Ave. Stupidly backlit...
Jul. 27th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
These are just wonderful and crisp crisp crisp. How many feet away are you? Seriously dude, pupil of the eye and all! *hugs*
Jul. 27th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
Fabulous pictures!
Jul. 28th, 2009 12:51 am (UTC)
Cool pictures!
Jul. 28th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
AMAZING pictures! And what beautiful birds! I just love the one where he's looking at you.

It's amazing how brazen smaller nesting birds are with those strafing runs. I once saw a robin take on an eagle at a zoo, and the poor eagle was like, "Dude, WTF, I'm just sitting here waiting for the handler to give me a treat!"
Jul. 28th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Heeeee. Your story was great, but the pictures are even better. Poof! Poor "little" guys.
Jul. 29th, 2009 01:26 pm (UTC)
SO FREAKING AWESOME. I love each and every one of these photos beyond measure.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )