Sunday afternoon turned out to be rain-free, despite forecasts that called for a wash out. So I ended up being able to spend about five hours with the fledglings. The birds provided a nice experience.
Once fledgling was mellow the whole afternoon spending most of the afternoon nodding off in a tree. The other begged for food once Pale Male was in sight, and continued to beg even after being fed. What a cry baby!
While eating this youngster had an encounter with a squirrel who ended up either trying to jump over the hawk or jump at the hawk. It was hard to tell. But it was fun to watch. The second video has the encounter in slow motion.
Sadly, there were a few photographers who got a little out of control during the afternoon. There are photographers who naturally respect nature and unfortunately there are those who will do anything to get a shot without any regard for a bird's welfare.
It doesn't make sense to be overly controlling in a public park, so I try to be relaxed. But it really bothers me when a bird has to stop eating to keep track of the individuals who have gotten too close. Today, that happened twice. I politely asked people to step back and allow the bird to eat. Thankfully, I got a positive response from all but two photographers.
One photographer has been stalking the fledglings for the last month. He has developed a reputation for trying to get as close as possible. This means four or five feet! This may acclimate the hawk to humans which could have bad results later in life. Buy a telephoto lens for god sakes!
The other individual had "mid-life crisis photographer syndrome". These are men who spend their lives discussing and collecting camera equipment rather than taking photographs. He took a few photographs and bothered the hawk by being too close, and then spent two hours loudly talking about camera equipment with his friends.
I'm tempted to get a sticker for my 500mm lens that says "Real men photographers don't talk about their equipment. They just shoot."