photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Norman Rich | profile | all galleries >> Goshawk Strike tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Goshawk Strike

While I was photographing in the late afternoon of March 12th, 2009 in a marshland in southern B.C. Canada a juvenile Northern Goshawk swooped with speed low over a pond and made a strike on a widgeon. The first nine photographs show the hawk balancing using its wings having pinned the duck under water with its talons. The hawk then pulled the duck through the water to the open edge of the pond where the sequence continues. Considerable energy is exerted by the young hawk. In the later sequence the duck is taken into thicker brush where it becomes food for the hawk.

This is a rare event to see in the wild, rarer still to photograph. I prefer to pass no judgement on this event, as I see and feel the extraordinary beauty of both ducks and hawks. Usually I post one photograph in my galleries that is representative of a series. In this case I have chosen to share in depth a range within the series, including 100% portrait crops.

Recently I made a decision to purchase a used 1DsMKII, to complement the 1DMKIIN for landscape and some wildlife use. The 1DsMKII is the camera body used for this series. While its performance is 4 rather than 8 frames per second, there is a gain from 8 to 16.7 Megapixel for large prints on paper and canvas.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Northern Goshawk is a medium large bird of prey, the largest member of the genus Accipiter is found in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. Goshawks are thought of as an opportunistic predator primarily hunting birds such as pigeons, crows, starlings, squirrels, and small mammals. The goshawk has relatively short broad wings and a broad tail which assist in its extraordinary flight maneuverability.

The american Widgeon male duck is distinguished by its white forehead and a emerald green ear patch on either sides of its heads. The fine feather layering seen up close is quite beautiful, or so it appears to my eye. This series is all the more rare as widgeons can be a more difficult subject for a hawk to strike. Widgeons tends to be more alert and sense danger quicker, warning nearby diving ducks that it associates with in ponds and marshland.

I feel privileged to have been at the right place at the right time, and play a part in nature expressing itself, through the camera lens.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Your votes, and comments on the gallery, and votes on individual photographs is appreciated. *
1
1
2.
2.
3
3
4.100% crop
4.100% crop
5
5
6
6
 7
7
8.
8.
9.
9.
10.
10.
11.
11.
12.
12.
13.
13.
14.
14.
15.
15.
16.100% crop
16.100% crop
17.
17.
18.
18.
19.
19.
20.
20.
21.
21.
22.
22.
23.
23.
24.
24.
25.
25.
26.
26.
27.
27.
28.
28.
153
153
30.
30.
31.
31.
32
32
33.
33.
34.
34.
35.
35.
36.
36.
37.
37.
38.
38.
39.
39.
40.
40.