Two galleries featuring a few more photos of a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) spotted during a photowalk along the Mount Vernon Trail, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.
The preceding gallery shows the hawk stalking a small rodent hidden in the ground cover below the bird’s perch. The hawk looked at me (see Photo 2 of 2) moments before it pounced on its prey. The hawk spread its wings, dropped to the ground, and grabbed the rodent with either its talons or beak. The attack was sudden and nearly silent. I shot some photos of the strike; regrettably all of them are poor quality.
The hawk flew to a nearby tree with the rodent in its beak. The bird used its talons to pin the rodent to a tree branch and used its beak to eviscerate the animal. I used “burst mode” to shoot photos of the hawk eating the rodent, some of which are quite graphic. Relax, the photos in the following gallery are “G-rated.” The title of Photo 1 of 2 is, “Finger Lickin’ Good!” Yep, that’s blood on the hawk’s beak. ‘Nuff said about that photo. The fierce look on the hawk’s face in Photo 2 of 2 is frightening! Can you say, “Velociraptor?”
Tech Tips: The photos in both galleries were shot using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150. All of the photos were cropped and adjusted using Apple “Aperture,” a professional-grade tool for organizing and adjusting photos.
Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com