The Magic of Birds

Okay, I will warn you. There is a photograph in here that could make you throw up in your mouth a little. Honestly, you could retitle this post “When Animals Crap.” But let’s not spoil the surprise so early!

My two favorite subjects to photograph are birds and whales. They are wondrous creatures, moving with magic and grace through their environments. Sometimes you’ll even manage to find them together. Bonus!

But this isn’t about whales. It’s about birds: those magical creatures of flight.

They’re sweet, and pretty, and amazing to watch.

bird montage The challenge of photographing these wonders of flight can be great, but so is its reward. Of course, the more rare the species, the bigger the thrill. And then, there are the raptors.

There is just something about hawks and eagles that causes an adrenalin rush. Whether it’s their power, their ability to soar, or the fact that they are predators – I don’t know. Maybe it’s all those and more. Unfortunately, they have a habit of sitting high up on telephone poles – not exactly an ideal image for a “wild” animal.

And this morning, it seemed as if there was a hawk atop each pole – as many as six in a row.  They’d take flight as I’d approach, comically heading up to the next pole on my path, as if that would accomplish anything. This one, however, was content in just staring at me.

IMG_1429web 080413I’ve gotten plenty of photos of hawks in flight, in fields, in trees, etc. To me, those are all blase at this point. Now I enjoy photographing them in a display of power or grace. That means getting them as they land, fish, hunt, or take off from a perch, which has become an even bigger challenge with my now outdated and somewhat non-responsive camera equipment.

So when I came across this fellow (or girl), I thought I had a pretty good opportunity to get a take off that would actually be in focus.

IMG_1442 web 080413

But do you think this guy would fly? Well…no.IMG_1446 web 080413 He did a little stretch…

IMG_1452 web 080413

Then a little under wing preening…IMG_1458 web crop 080413

But then I saw him prepare for take off and I thought “Oh yeah, I’m gonna get this one!” And I got it all right!IMG_1459 web crop 080413It really doesn’t get too much grosser than that, does it? You realize I’m traumatized now, right? I would have been fine with it (animals always tend to poop when my big lens is pointed at them), except for that nasty chunky stuff. That just really crosses the line. I guess I now know what the hawk thought of my presence there. Well just too frikkin bad.

IMG_1460 web crop 080413And a little post poop stretch. Feel better? And then, the moment I’d been waiting for…

IMG_1465 web crop 080413Worth it? Hmmmm….I’ll let you know once I get the taste of bile out of my mouth.

All photos are copyright K. S. Brooks and may not be used without written permission. Any sharing of photos should reference K. S. Brooks, Photographer.


About ksbrooks

K.S. Brooks is an award-winning writer and photographer, author of more than thirty titles, and administrator of the multi-national, multi-author, award-winning site Indies Unlimited. Brooks’ feature articles, poetry, and photography have appeared in magazines, newspapers, books, and other publications both in the U.S. and abroad. For more about K.S. Brooks, visit
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11 Responses to The Magic of Birds

  1. acflory says:

    lmao – priceless Kat! I swear that hawk was messing with your mind. 😀

  2. For those of us who spent 15 years parking our cars under the seagulls, this is nothing.

  3. sometimes you really do have to wade through the crap to get to the good stuff : ) at least you hung around for what came after the crap!!! great take-off….they are my favorite photos too!

  4. I’ve heard of projectile vomiting, but projectile crapping?? Great pics.

  5. JD Mader says:

    Ha! 😉

    I’ve been obsessed with raptors since I was six. When I was a kid, I had no toys, but a lot of sports equipment and bird books. 😉

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