Ruthless killers living in my backyard.

I’ve know about them for awhile, but today was the first time I actually saw the nest. It’s at the top of a 50’ pine tree, and I was able to get some photos with my Nikon D90 and 400mm lens:

Beautiful photos.

Wow…look at the cold, hard eyes in the second picture…the cruel curvature of the beak…yup. Ruthless!

I get a Sign Up! We’re so much better! screen.

no thanks - were you so great, I probably have signed up already, you think?

Try these - should be direct links:




Yeah, but can that Nikon text, surf porn or play games?


Much better!


Now: figure out a way to get the lens ABOVE the nest and get shots of the young-uns!

I got this first time I clicked one, but the second time got me through to the pictures. The direct links work well too, of course.

Also, deeply jealous. Lovely photos.

Great photos of red shouldered hawks.

These guys woke me up the other day. There were actually 3 of them flying around and hopping from branch to branch. I assume 2 were males discussing breeding rights.

What great pictures, from both of you. I read the thread heading, and I could not pass it by, I am very nosey. I also usually do not click on links, but again, my curiosity got the best of me. Have a great day!

You don’t know that. For all we know, the fiercest of predators may silently weep tears of pathos and regret at the necessity of taking the life of another animal in order to sustain itself and its offspring. Naturalists can’t see everything, you know. :smiley:

Gorgeous photos. I love to watch hawks fly.

Do you manually focus your Nikon? I’ve had a real problem with my D40x and now my D3100 not focusing on things that are in the sky. I would have had some really nice shots of planes near the moon, but my cameras never take the photo. Push the button and it just sits there. Pisses me off every time.

Those are some nice shots.

Great pictures. I too have hawks (red-tailed) that buzz my backyard. We have a number of bird feeders up, so we get a variety of wildlife. Birds, of course, but also los of squirrels and chipmunks. It’s the chipmunks that I think are the big draw for the hawks. I have seen hawks take out a few pigeons as well.

Love seeing large birds. From my back deck, I overlook a fairly large pond that has a lot of open fields around it. Perfect hunting grounds for hawks, and have even seen one or two eagles.

I used autofocus.

The lens I was using is a Nikon 70-400mm VR zoom. It’s optical quality is excellent, but it uses the old “screw drive” focus system, so it’s very slow to focus. Once it’s focused though, the D90 does a good job of keeping the focus locked. So, I just took a lot of shots… The lens has a “focus limit” selector that can compensate for some of the slow-focus issues. This setting restricts the range the the focus system will try - when it’s on, the lens won’t try to focus closer than 6 meters, which speeds the focus up quite a bit.

I know some folks don’t like Ken, but it’s good place to start to learn your camera.
Here’s his manualon the D40. Scroll down to look at focus points.
I have an uncooperative D40 as well, so look at your settings. It may just be waiting to focus before releasing the shutter.

Nikon also has some resources for current bodies. Here is your 3100. Scroll down to “More on photography” for focus information.
Also note the difference between focus modes.

I would also recommend a great siteto join to learn everything about your camera, lenses, and how to build your skills in different ways. Many good forums and feedback from knowledgeable people.

Wonderful pictures of Harris Hawks! My sister ID’d them for me.

A few more photos from this afternoon:


and a couple of non-hawk photos I took while I was waiting…

Very nice photos!

I have a ruthless killer living in my backyard, too. Actually, right now she’s snoring on my couch. But yesterday, she left a dead squirrel on the back porch. Before that: a mole, a mouse, a few birds, a lizard, more squirrels, a chipmunk, and a small possum.