Houdini the Hawk

hawk rob paineOur home is enveloped by nature. You name it, it has visited us. Deer, foxes, raccoons, chipmunks, woodpeckers and a plethora of other bird species. Turtles and frogs have also made their way into our yard. We love it, our dogs go nuts.

This is the honest to God’s truth : one of our dogs has become so aware of my wildlife photography that when he sees me pick up a camera he goes nuts because he assumes there is either a deer, fox or big bird dropping in for a visit. He is usually right.

My wife and I have worked out a code so if we see an interesting creature in our backyard, I can sneak away and get my camera without the dogs being any the wiser. Sometimes it works sometimes it does not. We cannot use the word “look” any more. If our dogs hear either of us say the word “look” they go berserk. I wish they understood the words “sit” and “stay” as well.
We love them both. There are no better dogs on the planet, as far as were are concerned!

A few years ago though we had a special visit from a hawk. The same hawk perched on our bird feeder so many times we named it, Houdini the Hawk. It would sit on the birdhouse’s rooftop
for minutes at a time, we think scouting out ingredients for a chipmunk sandwich. It was a fun time for photos and probably a challenging time for the chipmunks.

As time went by (and it usually does, too quickly) we saw Houdini less and less. We have seen hawks drop by now and then since, but none had quite the extensive visit as Houdini did.

If you look closely at Houdini, you really can begin to appreciate the the tools this bird possess. His talons are very sharp and his beak looks like it could open a can of soup.
Quite a beautiful bird.


  1. Houdini the Hawk is beautiful, good shot. But I do understand about the dogs, they seem to pick up on the things you would least expect and the ones you would like them to obey instantly seem to miss out. As you said, “sit” and “stay” just don’t seem relevant to a dog when there is wildlife about. Love how you are trying to get around it.


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