Image used as the cover for the Red-tailed Babies Calendar
Taken in Marana, Arizona using a Canon Powershot Sx10IS
Well I have followed the progress of these babies for 1 month to the day. Those of you that have followed, I appreciate it so very much. Though I have many shots of these babies, this collage is the final in this series. Today I realized how my presence (and other photographers who stop) have affected these babies. I feel that the right thing to do is to stop appearing to them at close range. My excitement over watching them has clouded my common sense & Judgment about there own protection. Nothing has happened to them, they are healthy and strong and flying farther from the nest each day. However today on the way home I stopped like I have for the past month. Walked right up to the tree (a cars length) and took the final pictures at such a distance. They showed no sign of fear. They watched me but didn’t move or flinch. Those of us that watch raptors know the signs that they are about to take flight. Bobbing of the head, side to side scanning for a safer & further place to go. None of those signs. It didn’t occur to me that my presence since there hatching may have caused a less than fear sense. Now, I am not saying that they are tame in any way shape or form, I am just saying that if they are not going to bolt upon my arrival, that tells me that humans are not that big of a threat to them. Many of you that follow me also follow Marvin Collins whom I have had the pleasure of meeting once at Silverbell Lake. He posted an image "Newly Captured Red Tail ":http://www.redbubble.com/people/mcollins/art/39... about a Red-tail being captured for falconry. I then starting thinking about that poor raptor taken from its home. Well all of this hit me at once and I feel that if I continue to stop then they may not develop that auto-fear for vehicles and/or people. I know it may sound silly, but the sheer thought that I could be responsible for “my” babies being taken from the wild just tears me apart.
I do have many shots that I will probably post at times, but this is the last of the series. I thank you for your supportive comments and not getting bored with this series. I love these guys and because I am a big baby myself have squeezed a tear or two watching and knowing that there time to leave the nest has come.