What is this beautiful creature doing on my fire escape? He’s just sitting there taking a break, probably on his way back to Prospect Park. I know that there are red-tailed hawks that live in our park, but I never thought I would see one of them land on my fire escape.
Larry saw the hawk first as it it soared past our living room window, spreading its wings as though it were about to land. And sure enough it did touch down–right on our fire escape! I grabbed my camera and quickly made some adjustments so that I could get a decent exposure before the hawk decided to proceed with his journey. A moment like this is one reason it is imperative to know your camera settings like the back of your hand.
After getting my camera all set and taking a photo to make sure I had the correct exposure, I slid down on my belly on the bedroom floor. (Did I mention yet that I’m naked? Because this all happened as I was about to get dressed for work.) I slowly slithered along the cold floor toward the hawk, moving only when the he turned his head away from the window. Once I got in place, I lifted the camera to my eye and waited for him to turn and face me. Once he did face the camera, it was as if he were posing for the photos. At times, he seemed to be looking right at me.
I eventually got brave and tried to get a little closer to the hawk in an attempt to get a different angle for the photo. But this time he saw me move and gave me a piercing stare as if to say, “I’m not signing a release for those photos.” A moment later the raptor spread his wings and flew away. And then came the disappointment that I didn’t get a photo of this beautiful winged creature in full flight as he leapt off the seventh-floor fire escape and silently disappeared through the falling snow. Oh well, maybe he will visit again someday.