I was out at a meeting today and when Non Birding Bill picked me up he said, "We had a visitor while yo were away today. Then she showed me pictures on his iTouch of...
...a Cooper's hawk. I asked how he got the photos and he said he used my digiscoping equipment. Which is pretty incredible since he's never used my camera, let alone my birding equipment. I've shown him birds through my scope and he's been around when I digiscope, but he's never put the equipment together, let alone got a bird in scope view--which can be challenging if you haven't used one before.
He had a dickens of a time with it when he started. First, my camera batteries were about dead, but fortunately I always have some charging so he was able to put some fresh ones in. His second challenge was trying to figure out how to put the adaptor for the camera on--which only took three tries (and a couple of zoom errors).
Once he had the camera and adaptor together, had it on the scope, and zoomed out the vignetting, he had the challenge of shooting through the window pane, the storm window pane, and heat shimmer coming off the windows from the radiator.
But he got a few good shots and with a little tweaking in iPhoto on my part he got some VERY blogable photos for a husband who claims to be uninterested in birding. I asked how he noticed it and he said he was on the futon and saw it fly right into the tree outside the apartment windows. A few crows flew into the tree but were not seriously mobbing it. He got a video of it too and when it moved, you could see that it had a full crop and must have eaten recently. Also, the bird is sitting on one foot, I think it was digesting. NBB also said it perched in the tree for a good ten minutes. He tried to open the windows to get even better shots, but as he was lifting the storm window, a screen slammed down and startled the Cooper's hawk.
I love this kind of confused look the hawk is giving the camera in this photo. I wonder if this is the same hawk who showed up as an immature bird last year and took a bathe on the apartment building roof across the way from our apartment? Since she's not banded, there's no way to know for sure, but it's fun to wonder.
So, with a little tweaking and a good stationary bird, even a non birder like NBB can use my digiscoping set up.