© Bryan D. Hix
January 17, 2011
A Cooper’s Hawk chases a rabbit at Montrose Beach, one of Chicago’s most popular birding destinations. Subscriber and forum member Bryan D. Hix captured the shot on December 26, 2010, after he had spent the morning photographing waterfowl from a pier overlooking Lake Michigan.
“I made my way back to my car and started putting my primary camera and large 600mm lens away, when I noticed the rabbit acting strangely in the snow,” he tells us. “I finished putting my gear away and walked over to see what was wrong with the rabbit because it kept running in circles and then would lean to one side. I was able to get within a couple of feet and then it ran away and slipped under a fence in the direction of my car. At that point I decided to leave it alone and walked back to my car.
“As a glanced back at the rabbit, I saw the Cooper’s Hawk fly through the woods and try to grab it. The hawk sat in a bush about four feet above the rabbit, just watching it. At this point I quickly grabbed my second camera and lens from the car and walked over to the action. Over a period of about 10 minutes, the hawk would watch the rabbit and then swoop in for an attack. The problem was that the rabbit clearly was larger than the bird’s normal prey items, but I think it couldn’t resist the easy target.
“In the end, the rabbit wedged itself at the base of a bush and the hawk perched about 10 feet above it in a tree. The struggle fetched the attention of six crows that watched from even higher in the trees like an audience. I decided that I didn’t want my presence to throw off any natural process, so I backed off and left the scene. Of course, that leaves me wondering: Who won?”
Bryan shot a series of photos of the hawk and rabbit with his Canon 50D and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens handheld. He posted this photo
and one other
to our U.S. and Canada Gallery. You can see more of his bird photos on his Flickr page
.Read about birding at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, Hotspot Near You No. 74
See more photos of hawks: • Cooper’s Hawk in New Jersey
• Three Harris’s Hawk nestlings
• Northern Goshawk in Minnesota
• Red-shouldered Hawk lifting off
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