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Charlotte? Is that you?

By UrbanAnthropod, February 20, 2011 11:48 am

I was striking out in the park for most of the morning. All along Fifth Avenue, there wasn’t a raptor in sight. The temperature had just plunged overnight and there were very strong wind gusts. In fact, on my way out, I saw a flurry or two. Dismissing them, I ventured on until there was legitimate flurrying that was undismissible. I made my way through the ramble. Through the feeders. Around the azalea pond. I just didn’t see anything! Well, I didn’t see any hawks. I did see a pair of Red-bellied woodpeckers chasing each other. There was also a female downy woodpecker tapping away at some stumps. But no hawks anywhere.

Walking over to the oven, I watched as northern cardinals and sparrows fed on some seeds people had dropped for them. Eventually heading back to the area, I noticed a strange bird flying about. A woman with 2 dogs asked me if that was a swallow. I replied “I don’t think so. It’s flying like a bat.” At this point, it was 1P.M. and the clouds had parted. It was broad daylight! The creature came closer and flew about. As it passed slightly overhead, I could catch the sun highlighting the structures of the membranous wings. It was surely a bat. Probably rabid, if it was out like that. Or maybe it was out of sorts from the recent warm weather in combination with that white-nose fungus that’s been decimating the bat populations.

Feeling slightly dejected at my lack of hawk spottings, I walked down to Columbus Circle where I knew a friend was having lunch and working in a cafe. After having a lunch, we parted ways and I started back through the park. As soon as I entered, I noticed many bags caught in trees from the strong winds. As I was about to ignore one of these bags, I decided to train my new Sigma 150-500mm lens on it. It was a large red-tail. My battery soon drained and I scrambled to replace it. I pulled out the tripod and walked around to the interior of the park to capture the hawk’s frontside. I ended up being right in the line of carriages, but the carriage drivers steered around me politely and smiled. As I stood there shooting the hawk, I noticed that I was being integrated into the carriage drivers’ stories. They would point to the lump in the tree to their tourists and then point at me, “See the gentleman with the camera. He’s taking pictures of the red-tailed hawk.” Her crop was rather stuffed, so there was little chance she’d go off and hunt. As I began shivering intensely, a runner came by and asked if it was a hawk. It happened to be Chris from last weekend with the owls. As we conversed, the hawk vanished from our sight which was quite fortuitous since my teeth were chattering from the cold.

Full!

**Shot with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a Sigma 150-500mm lens stabilized by a Manfrotto 190CX3Tripod

Related posts:

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  2. Nesting at the Cathedral
  3. Chopped
  4. I am not a birder, but…
  5. Riverside Park Hawks

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