The year is 2018. For the second year in a row, I have been observing a family of Swainson’s hawks in Calgary, Alberta. This is their story (and mine) through my lens.
Note: The accounts herein were written in 2023 – the photos, notes and email messages from the time helped me write the story.
NOTE: This is not a scientific journal. However, I am fully aware that once the birds have left the nest, they aren’t “babies” anymore. By the time we see them out and about, they would more accurately be called fledglings and juveniles. I will use baby/babies/young ones/littles/juveniles interchangeably when referring to the offspring of Mama and Papa hawks.
MARCH 9, 2018
On this day I officially released my first album of original instrumental music – inspired by my experiences with this family of Swainson’s hawks. The album is called “Hawkish 2.0”. There are 6 songs:
Look Up | Flight | Wings | Hawkish | Mother Earth | Freedom
AN IMPORTANT NOTE FROM MY FUTURE SELF:
September 2023… The entire album is getting an overhaul, including edits of the original songs PLUS the addition of AT LEAST 2 new songs! You can still buy the original album on my website and/or listen on SoundCloud – see links above.
AUGUST 7, 2018
Even with all of the excitement from last year’s surprise encounters with the young hawks, I admit that I didn’t know what to expect this time ’round. I saw the adults in the area back in May and early July but it wasn’t until August 7th that we saw the first baby – shot within bad lighting.
AUGUST 12, 2018
Every now and then you capture an image that puts a grin on your face.
One of the better shots I got with the PowerShot. Baby has feathers in their mouth and a feather sticking up on their head. We have dubbed them “Spike”, paying homage to the spiky feather.
AUGUST 15, 2018
Even after switching cameras to my Canon T2i with its 55-250mm kit lens, I hated the quality of the photos of these hawks. I needed something better. Not a new camera but a new lens:.
I was so delighted to see these majestic young raptors in such detail. Now I know just how mean Mama hawk looks, too.
AUGUST 17 2018
I’m starting to like this hawk-watching business, especially the littles.
AUGUST 20, 2018
Spike was out exploring in the grassy area. Oh neat, I’ll go over there and take some pictures. Well, both Mama and Papa lost their minds and they both chased me back home. They didn’t leave right away either. Papa on one pole, Mama on the other. OK fine, I’ll go inside, sheesh!
AUGUST 25, 2018
One of the last photos I got of a baby hawk in 2018. There were at least a dozen magpies in the grass hanging around with the hawk. No animosity, just walking around enjoying the day.