By Ted Grussing
… Coopers Hawks are a medium size hawk, but still on the small size relative to other raptors. Their primary diet consists of birds and small animals and they are incredible flyers and catch a lot of their prey in mid flight; then to the ground in a quiet place, pick the feathers off and enjoy a fine meal of dove or pigeon or? On this particular occasion he was headed down to the cart path and snatched about a foot and a half long king snake and I have photos of him with talons extended coming in for the kill about six inches above the snake … it is intense.
We used to have a gentleman in the area that did weddings at Red Rock Crossing and he had a flock of white homing pigeons that he would release at the weddings. He would frequntly exercise the birds, letting them loose to fly about a quarter mile from here … the flock was continually diminished by the Coopers Hawks as he was just setting up a free aerial buffet for them.
One of these pigeons ended up in our back yard with the Coopers Hawk plucking feathers before he ripped into his meal … they use the hooked end of their beak to tear their food into edible chunks … talons are for killing the prey. Humans have refined the whole system for ourselves so that we no longer have to kill and butcher our own food … down to the supermarket to pick up fresh packaged meat that others have killed, cleaned, processed and put into packages; neat and clean.
Into the weekend for me and I’ll be back Monday morning. Have a wonderful weekend and spend your days thinking about what you are doing in that day … it is the only one you have.
Smile and keep breathing.
The easiest way to reach Mr. Grussing is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to sales of photographs already taken Ted does special shoots for patrons on request and also does air-to-air photography for those who want photographs of their airplanes in flight. All special photographic sessions are billed on an hourly basis.
Ted also does one-on-one workshops for those interested in learning the techniques he uses. By special arrangement Ted will do one-on-one aerial photography workshops which will include actual photo sessions in the air.