This Year’s Hawk

cooper's hawk in bare tree branches
This Year's Hawk

Every year when bird feeding season begins in earnest, a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk claims my yard as its territory. Those myriads of sparrows, chickadees, titmice, cardinals, wrens, jays and more play their own avian game of Russian Roulette, coming to the feeders and water bowl every day, not knowing when the hawk’s silent shadow will fall on one of them. Usually the hawk captures a larger bird, a slow-moving mourning dove or a daring starling, but every day, at least one bird becomes a meal.

I intentionally overexposed this so that the background would flash out the smaller branches and leaves and create this monochromatic, almost abstract pattern along with the zoom lens on 300mm focusing on the bird. The photo is more about the birds’ stark reality than the hawk itself.

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