Yes, I'm an obsessive "grandparent" with "our" baby hawk. Photos are forthcoming as soon as the film gets developed tomorrow. Our standard camera takes great pictures and has a much stronger zoom.

Went out back around 2pm for the scheduled "Nest Watch," and Momma Hawk was there with the baby. Grabbed the camera and after a few shots decided to grab the ladder. By that time my husband had joined me and took the heavy ladder to set up. I was going to use it for a higher vantage point from the backyard. But he decided to get on the roof and used a whole roll of film.

After reloading film and returning, two mockingbirds began pestering Momma Hawk. Chasing them off, she flew right over my husband's head, so close he heard the swoosh of air from her wings. He was so excited with picture taking, he didn't "take" the hint. A few moments later he saw the shadow and looked up from the view finder with only an instant for his brain to register "This is going to hurt!"

I was standing in the mud room and heard, "Alright, Alright, I'm done, I'm done!" from the roof. I stuck my head out the backdoor and asked if he was OK. He's coming down the ladder and exclaims "I just got touched by a hawk!" Momma Hawk flew so close over his head her tail feathers brushed his hair. It wasn't just air that time. The photo shoot was over!

The nest is high in a tree at the very front of our yard. Even on the roof, my husband was several hundred feet away. One should never venture closer than that to a hawk. They can be very dangerous, especially when injured or threatened. Their talons can rip right through your skin. They aren't small, with wing spans averaging one meter. Hawks are also protected by Federal law. The fines for disturbing or harming them are steep and another reason to always maintain a safe distance.

When a hawk is flying straight at your head, their wing span looks more like 3 meters! For the next photo shoot from safe distance, I think my husband will be crouching. Standing on the roof, he was too tempting a target.

Jane Winkler, Editor
Native American Site
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