Two days after publishing Kitchen Window Raptor, it was my turn at the kitchen window when the Cooper’s hawk returned.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
After my wife had success capturing some reasonably close-up images of a raptor from our kitchen window, I decided to leave my E-M1X fitted with my M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 mm IS on the kitchen counter ‘at the ready’. Just in case Mother Nature might smile down upon me.
Two days later… by sheer luck… I caught a glimpse of a good sized bird landing on our fence. Low and behold our Cooper’s hawk had returned! I grabbed my camera and quickly fired off a few frames through the kitchen window.
The Cooper’s hawk wasn’t perched very long before it noticed something further along our fence line. It moved down to investigate.
The raptor was watching something intensely and at one point took a slow, measured step. The intensity of its gaze and the very deliberate nature of its movement indicated to me that something interesting may be about to happen. I quickly changed my camera’s mode setting from C4 to C3. This allowed me to quickly go from my standard Bird Detection AI camera settings to Pro Capture H.
I quickly focused on the shoulder of the Cooper’s hawk as it lowered its head and leaned forward. Then began capturing Pro Capture H frames in the temporary memory of my E-M1X.
Suddenly the Cooper’s hawk leaned way forward, looking down at something next to my fence.
Then it dropped straight down behind a stand of dried, ornamental grass and disappeared from sight. I captured my Pro Capture H image run, then quickly changed my camera mode back to C4 and waited to see what would happen next.
After a minute or so, It fluttered up to the top of my fence, then sauntered down the top rail towards the end of my backyard. The Cooper’s hawk’s hunting attempt had obviously failed as it had no bird or other animal in its beak.
It perched at the back of my yard for a few minutes, then flew off, likely in search of its next meal. I was thrilled to capture some close-up photographs of the Cooper’s hawk, and observe hunting behaviour I had not witnessed before. Thank you Mother Nature!
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear and technology as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process. Crops are noted as appropriate.
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