I seem to be quite lucky lately with catching glimpses of one of the juvenile coopers hawks that was raised in a nest in my yard. I just had another close-up but brief encounter with what I think is a female juvenile coopers hawk due to it’s larger size than the other juvenile.
As I was pulling a hose around the front of the yard one of the juvenile coopers hawks buzzed me and landed in the tree in front of me and started squawking as if it wanted me to feed it. It was only 10 feet away when it flew by me and landed in the tree. I am certain the parents have left and now the two juveniles are on their own and are very hungry. I wondered if for some reason since I have had many encounters with this bird it has gotten so accustomed to seeing me in the yard this particular encounter was in a way it hoping for some kind of help or something. It was peculiar how it flew right to me and landed just in front of me and immediately started screaming. I actually felt bad for it as I knew this is the hardest part of nature, when the juveniles leave the nest and are forced to fend for themselves.
I quickly went inside and grabbed my camera, hoping it would still be there when I came back because it isn’t everyday one gets to be 10 feet away from a wild hawk like this, especially in ones own yard.
The images aren’t tack sharp as this encounter was like all the rest, late in the day and in the shadows so the light was very poor. I didn’t have time to try and set up a tripod so I shot it hand held and at 800 ISO and the shutter speed was only 1/200 of a second, not the ideal settings for a handheld shot but I had to do what I could do under the circumstances.
As I sit here typing I can hear both juveniles calling back and forth, flying from tree to tree chattering in hopes their parents return with food. I haven’t seen either parent for more than a week now so I am sure this is their first life lesson on survival. I hope they pass and can survive to adulthood. I am grateful I get these close encounters with such a grand bird in my own yard. It strengthens my resolve to keep photographing and loving what nature has to offer no matter where I am.