A Feast for the Eyes: Capturing a Hawk’s Meal
As a wildlife photographer living in Arkansas, I’m used to coming across incredible scenes of nature right in my own backyard. But the sight I witnessed that morning made me slam on the brakes.
The Hawk’s Unexpected Prey
I was driving down the road near my home when I spotted a hawk in an open field, perched on the ground with something large and furry in its talons – an opossum! I pulled over and watched, fascinated, as the hawk tore into its prey right there on the ground, clearly savoring this substantial meal.
Seizing the Photography Opportunity
Not wanting to miss this rare photo opportunity, I raced back to the house and grabbed my camera. Thankfully when I returned to the field, the hawk was still there on the ground, continuing to dine on the opossum. I slowly approached, camera ready, taking care not to startle the raptor.
The Hawk’s Savage Feast
As I drew nearer, the details of the scene came into focus through my lens. The hawk kept a tight grip on the opossum with its sharp talons as it used its curved beak to rip apart the fur and flesh. Tufts of gray fur drifted on the breeze as the hawk continued voraciously consuming its prey.
A Stunning Photographic Triumph
I was able to capture some stunning, graphic shots of the hawk feeding right there on the ground – some of the most remarkable wildlife photos I’ve taken yet! The setting sun bathed the scene in a golden light, bringing out the russet tones in the hawk’s feathers. I was amazed by the sheer power and command of this apex predator.
Documenting Nature’s Realities
Although nature can often be cruel, as a wildlife photographer I feel privileged to document these moments. This chance encounter was a feast for the hawk, and for my eyes behind the lens. I’m thrilled to have been able to capture this dramatic scene right in my own backyard in Arkansas!
More Hawk Encounters
Note: Here in another blog post and photos of a Hawk eating on the ground: Red-Tailed Hawk Feeding On Animal Carcass
Gear Used (First Image):
- Camera: Canon EOS-1D Mark III
- Lens: Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM
- Location: Lavaca (Arkansas)
- Date & Time Taken: November 26, 2013 (1:44:38 P.M.)
- Aperture Priority
- Aperture: f8.0
- Shutter speed: 1/1600 sec. (as determined by the camera)
- ISO: 320
- Focal Length: 500 mm