When our North American birds migrate south in the fall, they fly along well established flyways that give them advantages in conserving energy. And when a cold front moves in from the north, they surf the south bound winds and save even more.
This October, I got a call from my friend in Houston inviting me to come to Texas and photograph hawks, mainly Accipiters, the fast flying hawks of the woodlands. He has a secret location where the hawks are concentrated, and has built a special blind there.
A hawk's eyesight is second to none, and the blind is heavily camouflaged, as were we when photographing in it. There were occasions when these wild birds actually tried to land on us or our lenses.Since hawks of all kinds dislike owls, we used a fake owl on a pole to attract them down to camera range, then some meat on the ground that would catch their attention, and they would occasionally land and eat. Setting up took an hour, and that meant starting at 5:00a.m. each morning, working in the dark, then being all ready to shoot in the blind by first light. The sun brought hawks, one by one, past our setup, and although it was cold and boring between birds, all that was forgotten when a bird would come racing in, scream at the ow, and decide to land and feed thirty feet in front of us. Three days of morning and evening sessions produced some nice images of birds that are very difficult to photograph up close. We were visited by Coopers hawks, Sharp Shinned, Northern Harriers, and one Red Tail.
Except for the challenges of getting home after the hurricane, it was an amazing experience.
Barye has his work at the Dedham Guild. He will also be at the Dedham Junior Woman's Club Craft Fair next weekend
Saturday, November 17 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Dedham Middle School, 70 Whiting Ave. Over 80 juried crafters will be offering their works.
Admission is $3.00 per person/with children under 12 free.
All proceeds will be used to support local charities and organizations plus fund the two annual scholarships that are awarded each year to a Dedham High School senior and a woman returning to college.