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Cooper's Hawk ??

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Thanks Guys.

Charlie, for birds in flight your camera, lens and card can make a difference, but if you are shooting in full auto you are probably not going to have good results.  I usually set the aperture and shutter speed manually to something reasonable for the conditions and bird's quickness in maneuvering and wingbeats.  And put the ISO in auto (with max ISO preferably 6400 or more).  Autofocus should be either center-weighted or spot.  Then its up to how steady you can be and how good you are at acquiring the focus before shooting.  I'm sure there are plenty of different methods, but I get more good shots doing that.

The Cooper's Hawk caught me by surprise and I just started shooting.  I was taking photos of a yellow-rumped warbler sitting in a tree and the settings were f11 and 1/200, so the COHA photos didn't turn out so good.


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Yes, it's not easy.  A couple things that might help -- depending on how much time you have before the bird is gone.  Try keeping both eyes open and follow the bird with your non-camera eye while you zero-in on the bird through the viewfinder.  Also, if you are using a zoom lens, start with it zoomed out to get the bird in the frame, then zoom in once you've focused on the bird.  And try to keep your camera, arms and shoulders fixed while following the bird, rotating your torso at the waist.  Good luck.

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