Read how hawk pictures can become lessons from nature. Hawk pictures, photo opportunity and education, what more could you ask for?
This is the story of a photo opportunity that turned into a lesson from nature. "Grandma, can I use your camera? There is a bird on the ground, I want to show you."
This was a common request from my granddaughter, Jessica. I love the way she is always quick to back up her request with a good reason. I must admit I feel honored that she wants to share in my picture taking adventures.
Even at my busiest moments I find it hard to resist a photo opportunity when it is presented to me. And so we set off together to see this bird on the ground.
It turned out to be a fledgling dove that was knocked from its nest during routine tree trimming.
Little did I know at the time that I would get the opportunity to add to my hawk pictures collection as well.
This baby dove was on the ground. And he was not very happy about it. As we moved around him taking pictures from different angles he would turn to face us. He wasn't making much noise, but you could tell he was scared.
This photo opportunity was about to turn into a real adventure and a lesson from nature for the children. Jessica wanted to rescue the bird since it couldn't fly and no longer had a nest to be put back into.
So I told her if she could find a box to bring it home in, she could take on the job. At the time I really thought it would be better off with us than being trampled under foot where it had fallen.
And so began our journey in bird rescue on the back patio.
Jessica gathered leaves to create a bed in a box and carried the dove home. I was very proud of 10-year-old Jessica as I watched her take on this new project. She and her best friend, Sarah, asked questions of all the right people.
Jessica and her best friend took turns caring for the bird. So his home was a mobile one between our patio and theirs.
One day when I went to check on the bird, I heard the mother dove talking to her baby. She was actually guiding her baby from a distance. Each time she chirped the baby dove would turn its head to one side.
I felt like I was listening to a private conversation. Of course I didn't understand the language, but I was able to report to the children that our little friend had not been abandoned after all.
I secretly wanted them to be prepared for the day this new "pet" would get enough strength to fly off on its own.
The fledgling was flying from his temporary box home out onto the patio several times a day now. I think the kids were having as much fun chasing him down as they were taking care of him. I was enjoying the wonderful photo opportunity in our own back yard.
Then just a couple weeks later, this picture session came to an end as quickly as it had begun.
The young dove became brave enough and strong enough to fly into a nearby tree. The children tried to get it to come back to them. They just knew that it wasn't strong enough to survive in the wild on it's own.
Then suddenly out of nowhere, a hawk swooped down and grabbed the unsuspecting baby right in front of their eyes. I saw the hawk from inside our home and knew instinctively what would happen.
I grabbed my camera and ran outside. Sure enough the hawk was perched on a nearby tree with his prize still hanging from his feet.
This was one hawk picture I took with a heavy heart. Though it is only a silhouette, you can make out that it is a hawk holding the lifeless body of our precious baby dove.
The children learned a lesson in survival that day. And we explained the best we could how this is the way the Hawk feeds its young. They did a ritual to honor the baby they had tried to save.
This was their way of bringing closure. You never know what lessons you will learn when you are looking for photo opportunities in nature.
The hawk is a bird of prey. Getting hawk pictures can sometimes be a fascinating process. This picture is of a hawk that came back for his meal to our house.
That day when we got back from a walk in the park we found a mallard duck dead in our yard. We had been feeding them and it was sad to see one obviously killed by something and left on our front lawn.
Another lesson learned that day. It is not a good idea to feed wild animals if you are not prepared for what may happen.
It was when the hawk came back later that we realized what happened. I missed the first shot but I was able to add the chimney pose to our collection of hawk pictures.
I didn't think you would enjoy a picture of the dead bird. If you are a fan of Mallard Ducks, as we are, you may enjoy a visit to this page.
These last three hawk pictures are not quite so intimidating. Although you can be certain if you see a hawk in a tree, there is probably a small critter in the brush below them. These guys all look as if they are on the hunt.
When you click on these smaller images, they will open in a gallery. You can download the larger size image with a right click on any one of the images here. Here are download instructions for your convenience.
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