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19 Jan 2010 321 views
 
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photoblog image Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

I believe this is a Cooper's Hawk. I saw him while trekking down the hillside to photograph the surfers below the Golden Gate Bridge near Fort Point.

I assume he was looking for dinner - rodents. He was hovering in the same spot for about 15-20 minutes. I took some shots of him and he became very interested in me and came down and hovered about 15 meters above me. He was so still and was able to hold the same location. It was amazing. Only his head moved around.

Unfortunately the sun was behind him so the shot was mostly silhouette but still managed to work out a decent image using Adobe Camera RAW.

Notice his leg is tagged-banded.

Cooper's Hawk

I believe this is a Cooper's Hawk. I saw him while trekking down the hillside to photograph the surfers below the Golden Gate Bridge near Fort Point.

I assume he was looking for dinner - rodents. He was hovering in the same spot for about 15-20 minutes. I took some shots of him and he became very interested in me and came down and hovered about 15 meters above me. He was so still and was able to hold the same location. It was amazing. Only his head moved around.

Unfortunately the sun was behind him so the shot was mostly silhouette but still managed to work out a decent image using Adobe Camera RAW.

Notice his leg is tagged-banded.

comments (5)

What a fabulous shot!! I've seen them hovering like this for the longest time then take the big dive. Fascinating!
John Eagle: Thanks. He hardly moved except for his head which would turn side to side probably searching for prey.
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 19 Jan 2010, 11:15
Unbelievable, John. You are one lucky guy!
John Eagle: Thanks. I do feel lucky. It helps to go out on a regular basis. Eventually shots like this seem to appear out of now where. Made my Week, maybe even month.
wow i like much, very original point of view and the composition is perfect !
John Eagle: Thanks. I got lucky. He (the hawk) did all the work. wink
Even with the sun behind him, John, the detail is amazingly clear. The tilting head, the wing span, the whole image is wonderful.
John Eagle: Thanks. Couldn't believe he got as close as he did. Was a little afraid he was going to pounce on me. May go back and see if he returns to the same spot.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 20 Jan 2010, 06:02
What an opportunity and a great decision to use RAW at the time.

Excellent birdy - can become jealous smile
John Eagle: Kinda lucky really. How often does a bird of prey hover just 15 meters above you? I was going to use RAW for the surfers to get the beast possible image and fortunately it worked for this bird and the post editing. I am afraid jpeg would have given me lots of unwanted red and green halos or edges.

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for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera Canon EOS 50D
exposure mode shutter priority
shutterspeed 1/800s
aperture f/7.1
sensitivity ISO400
focal length 200.0mm
Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate Brid...
Fort Point SurfFort Point Surf
BirdieBirdie

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