Photos By Shawn Weigelt
January 18, 2010
Old Town (Sequim), Washington
While photographing some Eurasian Collared Doves in the tops of some firs along Marine Dr., I noticed the bird nerd divert his attention to something closer and at eye level. I had been holding down the fort in the car while he was outside with his camera. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to get out and see who his subject was. You can imagine my surprise to find a young Sharp-shinned Hawk less than fifteen yards away! I quickly began taking frames of my own and these two shots are my best results. I was astonished that it allowed us to approach so closely as I’ve found most raptors to be quite shy and wary. I cannot tell from the photos if the bird has a full crop, but that could explain its reluctance to fly off. This bird looks as though it is just starting to molt into adult feathers, with the reddish barring starting to appear on the breast. Judging mostly by its fairly large size (for a sharpie) I am pretty confident in calling it a female. Eventually it wouldn’t let us get any closer and slowly left the area.
Nikon D80 70-300mm VR at 300mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, hand held
1) at 1/800sec
2) at 1/1000sec
Notice what appears to be blood on the yellow cere of the beak…perhaps she just finished her lunch?!?