15 years. A few posts back I started a thread with “5 years”, referring to the last time I’d seen a Virginia Rail. The 15 years? That’s about how long I’ve been birding and taking photos. In those 15 years, I’d never gotten a photo of a Broad-winged Hawk until yesterday.
That’s how bird photography seems to work. Just like in birding itself, people tend to have “nemesis birds”, birds that may not even be that rare, but simply due to luck-of-the-draw, they’re a bird you haven’t seen. It’s the same with photography. Broad-winged Hawks definitely aren’t rare, although South Dakota is at the fringe of their range. But until yesterday, I hadn’t seen them all that often around here, and when I had, they had always been at quite a distance.
Given the actions of this bird yesterday, I don’t even think it’s because they’re shy. This bird was extremely cooperative, continuing to scan around and hunt while I took photos of him from pretty close range.
One (relatively common!) nemesis bird down!!