Red-Tail Hawk Feeding | Arnold Arboretum | Jamaica Plain, MA

On Friday I felt like heading out and photographing the beautiful spring flowers in the Arnold Arboretum, which I did, but this post is not about the flowers. That will be in a separate blog post... this post is about the amazing Red-Tail Hawk that swooped into sight that day and allowed me to photograph it feeding. This was an incredible experience. I was not more than 5 feet from the beautiful bird and had my 70-200mm lens on me. I have to say, I felt like a NatGeo photographer for the first time!Β  Ha. A dream come true!

I will warn you that if you are a bit squeamish, there is squirrel guts in the photos that follow... otherwise enjoy this gorgeous predatory bird.

Moments before the Hawk flew in, I was under that branch where the squirrel was left. I'm sure the Hawk was waiting for me to leave.... I was shocked to see "her" swoop in. Here I had my 105 macro lens on, snapping away... as she flew away, I was convinced that was my only opportunity and was grateful, but then "she" landed on a branch 10 feet from me...

For awhile I continued with the 105, but when I saw that she was going to stay for a bit, I switched lenses...and I'm so glad I did and I'm so glad she allowed me to get closer...

I respect wildlife so much and the guilt was rising in me for snooping... but I couldn't resist... She was aware of me at all times but for the most part just fed and went about her business...

I moved around to the other side and was convinced she was fed up, but nope... she just flipped the body... Look at those Talons! Wowzer!

At this point, she did squawk at me and I knew my time had come... I walked away and went back to my flowers... and moments later I turned around and she was gone, without a sound. Amazing creatures!

I don't know if I'll ever get this kind of opportunity again... but it really was incredible and has energized me.

I hope that all of you get something as special in your own lives!