A few days ago I came across a hawk in the woods and posted his picture on Facebook. A friend said it might be a red shouldered hawk. But then another friend said it might be a rare sighting of a juvenile Northern Goshawk. This friend was very excited, so much so, that I went back to Valley Forge yesterday looking for the hawk. I got to a part deep in the woods full of little birds including lots of cardinals. I stopped, set up my tripod and started photographing when all of a sudden a hawk dropped right into my setting. I am not good at identifying hawks, but it was so beautiful and looked so much like the hawk from the day before, I was totally wowed. He stood there for a minute and then hopped behind some tall grasses to hide from me. He could not have been more than 15 to 20 feet away. I held my breath and didn't take my eye from the camera - just waiting for the hawk to fly. I couldn't see him, but I knew he was there. We did this little unmoving dance for about five minutes when I heard movement right behind me and in my peripheral vision, I could see a brown blur running past me. I knew instinctively that it was a fox, but I was NOT going to take my eyes off of the hidden hawk. The hawk heard the fox too and jumped up onto a little stump directly in front of me and posed beautifully for my camera. He was way too close for a really good shot as I was hemmed in by the bush behind me, but he still stayed for a few dozen photographs and then flew to a further branch. I took a video for a few seconds and then poof, he was gone. I showed the hawk's photograph to my friend and he said it was not the Northern Goshawk, but just the lowly Cooper's hawk. Be that as it may, it was a wonderful few minutes in the woods. Click on the photo to get the full effect of its beauty.
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