Living in the past XXIX

Things are still slow on the nature photography end, and even I won’t post about hashing out designs for the 3D printer (there – we found a limit to what I’ll post; happy now?) So I’m bringing up one of the entries I had in reserve, if needed, to bring the count up last year and make a meaningless anniversary, while we wait for more current items of interest.

red-shouldered hawk Buteo lineatus finishing off a captured black rat snake
2016 was the year that a family of red-shouldered hawks were raised in a nest that, though a little distant, was in plain view off of the back of the property. Regrettably, I didn’t have a quality long lens nor the ability to do video at that time, both remedied now, though the hawks have not deigned to return. But as I was out there photographing the young squabbling in the nest, one of the parents (I tend to think it was the dad) returned with a medium-sized eastern rat snake, though he alighted on a branch a short distance from the nest to ensure that the snake was dead before it was introduced to the sprogs. I had to pick up the tripod and move it forward about a meter, turning the camera about 90°, but it gave me a nice view that was much closer than the nest itself.

Man, video capability would have been great to have at that point! I did create an animated gif (pronounced “JAW-fee-joe-fur“) from a long sequence of stills of the nestlings having a tug-of-war with a smaller snake, but this experience, among others, prompted me to obtain a video-capable camera body (because a camcorder wouldn’t have the reach of a 500 or 600mm lens) as well as a halfway-decent shotgun microphone. Those came in handy with the beavers and the woodpeckers so, improvements are being made.

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