It’s been called The Big Empty – an immense sea of sagebrush that once stretched 500,000 square miles across North America, exasperating thousands of westward-bound travelers as an endless place through which they had to pass to reach their destinations. Yet it’s far from empty, as those who look closely will discover. In this ecosystem anchored by the sage, eagles and antelope, badgers and lizards, rabbits, wrens, owls, prairie dogs, songbirds, hawks and migrating birds of all description make their homes.
Six-foot-eight-inch Cinematographer, Gerrit Vyn, shares his insights about this Ferruginous Hawk family and what it took to film them for The Sagebrush Sea documentary on PBS Nature. Watch as these cute little hawkies fight with each other to devour the bloody carcass of a little groundhog before they nestle closely together to stay warm. It’s Mother Nature in action, close-cropped!