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23-JUL-2005 Daniella T.


Northern Harrier male attacking and screaming.

The story behind:

I hapened to find harriers babies by luck and hapened upon them by accident. They were not in a nest but rather just laying in the tall grass waiting to be fed by the parents. They were already adult and very well capable of flying. I took some photos of the babies at about 20 to 25 feet distance, which are in this gallery as well and they did not fly away. They bobed their little heads in curiosity but did not seem afraid of me.

Sudendly the parents arrived out of nowhere and attacked me with dives. Then babies flew away, alarmed by the parents behavoir probably? (3 of them in total, as one that I had not seen was hiding in the grass just about 10 feet of me!) As I started to walk away and going back to the car, as I did not wanted to upset them more, they followed me and continued to dive on my head. I took a few shots while walking back and watching the birds to make sure my head was safe..quite impressive display.

This photo is one of the male diving on me, while making eye contact. They sometimes came to as close as 2 to 3 feet, but never touched me. The male escorted me all the way to the car, about 1/2 mile away, making sure that I was leaving, but at this point he was not attacking any longer, he simply escorted me to make sure that I had left. Good parents :)

An interesting fact, this male is not an adult male but a sub-adult. He still has his sub-adult plumage so he is probably a baby from last year and not older than a year probably, yet he is reproducing. So these birds can breed even though they are not adult yet. That is more to his credit due to his young age, to be able to raise 3 babies.

I am glad that they could raise 3 healthy babies. I wish them a happy life.

Canon EOS 350D ,Canon 400mm F5.6 L
1/1000s f/5.6 at 400.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
Guest 03-Dec-2011 23:16

My name is Blessing
i am a young lady with a kind and open heart,
I enjoy my life,but life can't be complete if you don't have a person to share it

Hoping To Hear From You
Yours Blessing
brenda paish 09-Feb-2008 18:59
You never ceased to impress me (and everybody else, for that matter!)
Shelly- VA Beach17-Jan-2007 02:54
What a story & what a pic! Super eye contact. Surprised you were able to hold the camera steady!!
Santiago 14-Oct-2006 21:43
Quite amazing photos. You are a García Márquez of photography.
Jay Levin30-Mar-2006 23:14
This is one of the most amazing photos I have ever seen!
SB 30-Nov-2005 19:40
What a terrific shot. Great story to go with it. Thanks for sharing.
Guest 22-Sep-2005 05:49
Hi Daniella,
Thats an amazing photo!!!!
Can you tell me what lens you used?
I am going to buy the Rebel XT and trying to research lenses is quite a task ;)


PS. I love all your photos, fantastic...
Daniella T.25-Jul-2005 21:58
Subatra, the only way to go is to use M mode (manual) and you can try 1/1000s F8 ISO 400. that usualy does it. sometimes that is not enough though and they were a tad dark (but not too much) and I should have used a flash as they birds were quite close. That would have been harder exposure to control though with the flahs and I could have risked to loose interesting shots while putting the flash on.
Subrata Basu23-Jul-2005 19:36
Daniella: Your bird photography is beautiful. I noticed that you do not use flash especially for birds in flight, but you get a lot of good details on the underside of the wings especially on a bright contrast setting. Any advise?
Garrett Lau23-Jul-2005 07:35
I love the eyes in this shot.
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