I saw her before the little birds did. Rapidly she dived from the tree to catch a Titmouse at the birdfeeder. She missed her target and was unable to pull up before she crashed into the side of our house. My husband was startled by the loud thud as the hawk (we think it was a female Sharpshinned) hit. The dogs were very surprised to see a very large bird lying on the deck not a foot from their bed.
We all stared mesmerized by the beauty of this magnificent bird. I grabbed the camera to catch a few snaps through the window.
This was just before she took flight.
Not quite ready to go but fully alert.
Immediately after the strike. Note how she is already looking right at us.
(I didn't want to put this photograph first.)
Dazed, she got on her feet right away.
I stood by the window breathlessly waiting to get my first picture of a hawk taking to flight. Alas, I was distracted for only an instant...the very instant she decided to fly. Despite missing the photo op, I was nonetheless thrilled to see that this wondrous bird was not seriously injured. And thankful for the opportunity to see her so close.