Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2002/05/08

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Subject: [Leica] Close Leica encounter of the hawk kind
From: Roy Zartarian <>
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 13:33:09 -0400


Ordinarily, the sighting of a red-tailed hawk is not very exciting.  It is 
one of the most common hawks in the country and has adapted itself to a 
variety of habitats, even an urban environment.  Last year I saw one building 
a nest on a ledge of a city hospital building.

However, when such a  bird remains perched about 50 feet away, unbothered by 
human presence, it's a different story. In the course of last Sunday's bird 
walk, I had the opportunity to observe and photograph a juvenile red-tailed 
for about 20 minutes. It was perched in a small tree in a clearing and stayed 
in place as I set up the tripod and related paraphernalia.  Smaller birds - 
orioles, jays, mockingbirds - began mobbing it as they generally do when a 
predator appears.  Then it flew to the ground behind a small bush where it 
caught a small meal. The upper portion of the bird remained visibile through 
the grass as it killed its prey and ate. 

I've posted three photos of the bird - two while perched, one on the ground 
with prey. The last was shot through intervening brush.   They are at:

All were taken on Provia 100 with a tripod-mounted  R8, 280/2.8 and stacked 
1.4 and 2x extenders. For the shots against the sky, I switched to  manual 
operation in the spot metering mode, taking the measurement on the bird's 

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