At my 1000 yard rifle range, there was a family of crows that made a nest atop a big powerline last summer. The nest is only about 100 yards from the firing line but it is up 50 or more feet in the air. Well, someone with a dead rest and quickly depleting patience for the noise of the mother crow decided to do something about it.
Well, this year, the nest was taken over by two red tailed hawks. I have been watching them since about March and they have been watching me-very closely. Every time I would fire a shot for two months, the hawk would scream at me and fly off the nest. But after two months of seeing my truck and hearing the shots (this is a fairly remote area) the hawks finally realized I wasn't going to shoot them and treated me to a cool opportunity to snap some pictures yesterday. These are taken through my spotter in heavy mirage from about 100 yards away and with my 3 meg camera.
As you can see, there are now more hawks than two! As best as I could tell, there are two chicks in the nest. Both are still just white fluff balls but are eating like horses. During the day yesterday, momma brought two snakes, one mouse, and some part of some other thing she had killed into the nest. I watched her rip apart the snakes and feed them bit by bit to the chicks. It was pretty cool. All the while, she kept an eye on me just to make sure I wasn't paying too much attention. The look of a hawk's eye staring straight into your 60x lens from 100 yards away is awesome. Those eyes are keen and seem to be staring right through you!