Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Up Close and Personal

Among all birds, I particularly enjoy raptors, as I’ve written about earlierTheir flight, their wildness, their imperious grandeur – all these speak to me in some deep-seated primal manner.

Once in a while I’m lucky enough to get quite close to the birds of prey I love.

For many reasons, I tend to do most of my birding from the car. An advantage of “car birding” is that the vehicle functions as a blind, enabling close approaches that do not threaten or disturb the birds. It seems that if the bird cannot see the person inside the car, then the person is not perceived as a threat. In any case, I never approach too closely; I’d rather observe from afar, knowing that I have not affected the bird’s life in any way.

A few days ago I had stopped in the little parking area in my beloved meadow to play “Duck, Duck, Goose” with the large flock of Canada Geese.

As I looked around, I saw one of the resident Red-tailed Hawks perched on top of a utility pole about three poles away from where I was parked. That was nice! But as soon as I got ready to take a few photos, the hawk launched itself into the air, flew right toward me and perched on the utility pole right next to the parking area. 

Even nicer!

Perhaps the bird was curious about my car. Or perhaps it didn’t even regard me or the car, and was intent on seeking prey, or just finding a comfortable place for an afternoon snooze. In any case, here was an “up close and personal” moment that I could really enjoy, knowing that I was not causing any stress to the bird.

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