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Cooper's Hawk in Flight

Image # 1D2_02128

Cape May NWR


Canon 600L/f4 IS with 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 400, f/8, 1/1000 second

Manual Metering

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick


One of the reasons we made this trip when we did, to the locations we chose, was to try and be at Cape May for the Hawk Migration. This is apparently a unique location, where natural forces tend to "funnel" a large number of the migrating raptors, and many, many birders are attracted there for this reason. The observation platform often had 75 to 100 people looking for raptors, most of which had a wide variety of birding scopes. Only an occasional photographer was there, which surprised me a little. But I saw that many of the birds could be seen with binoculars, or spotting scopes, but it was relatively rare for them to come close enough for photographic purposes. During the several hours I spent at my "usual" shooting location at the edge of the pond, there were a few raptors that came within shooting distance. The image above is probably less than 50% of the area of the original shot, so you can get some feel for how far away they were. Special thanks to Donna Eaton of the Carolina Raptor Center for the i.d.