A Rough-legged Hawk Preening

Rough-legged Hawk perched on a postPerched Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/400, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

After two winters with very few Rough-legged Hawk photographing opportunities the tide has turned and I’m seeing Rough-legged Hawks in a lot of places and I have had quite a few chances to photograph these handsome raptors. Rough-legged Hawks breed in the high Arctic and because they do they are not used to human presence and are a challenge to approach… most of the time. Last week though I had the opportunity to photograph a very cooperative Rough-legged Hawk preening.

I’m not sure the bird above is the same bird in the following images but both were in the same general location.

Normally I like to post an image then some text content, but in this case I’ll just post the images and their techs. Rough-legged Hawks are beautiful and as you will see in these images; they can even look quite comical.

A yawning Rough-legged HawkA yawning Rough-legged Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Rough-legged Hawk side viewSide view of a Rough-legged Hawk –  Nikon D300, f9, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 300mm, natural light, not baited or set up

A backward look from the Rough-legged HawkA backward look from the Rough-legged Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

A Regal looking Rough-legged HawkA Regal looking Rough-legged Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/800, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

The Funky Chicken PoseThe Funky Chicken Pose – Nikon D300, f9, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

A Rough-legged Hawk Looking PrettyA Rough-legged Hawk Looking Pretty – Nikon D300, f9, 1/640, +0.7 EV, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

What are you looking at?What are you looking at? – Nikon D300, f9, 1/640, +0.3 EV, Nikon 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Rough-legged preening with tip of tail in the billI’m so pretty… – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 360mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Rough-legged Hawk looking at its feetRough-legged Hawk looking at its feet – Nikon D300, f8, 1/640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

This is my best side...This is my best side… – Nikon D300, f8, 1/640, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 360mm, natural light, not baited or set up

I hope these photos told a story, if they did they are probably better than I could have written.

Mia

20 Comments

  1. Rohn December 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Mia,
    Every spring 100s of folks from all over America travel to Yellowstone to watch Harlequin duck during their breeding season. Its a wonderful treat. I cant imagine anyone killing one. Killing just for fun. there is something really wrong with that. Its one of the great sicknesses of our culture.

  2. Jim December 5, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    That is a beautiful looking hawk, wonderful series of excellent images, way to go.

  3. Nicole MacP December 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    GREAT series, love the neat poses – esp. the chicken pose!! I love the beautiful background color too!

    • Mia McPherson December 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Nicole, Great to hear from you! Thanks for you comments. Yeah, I love that funky chicken pose.

  4. Gabriela December 3, 2011 at 12:51 am

    This Lady Hawk looks like a PRINCESS! Well…a Princess in her boudoire, anyway, where she can behave not that lady-like by yawning and scratching and lift her tail! This is the story told by your photos and I enjoyedall of them so much! Not to say anything about the QUALITY of the shots….which is beyond comments, at least in my opinion…

    • Mia McPherson December 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Gabriela, Thank you for visiting my blog. She sure was a beautiful hawk. Thank you also for your very kind comments.

  5. Scott Simmons December 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    These are beautiful!

  6. Bill Senske December 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

    You are awsome kid. I am almost convinced that you are magic.

    • Mia McPherson December 2, 2011 at 5:37 am

      Thanks Bill, but I think it is the birds that are magic!!

  7. Julie Brown December 1, 2011 at 4:46 am

    What a treat for you to be able to watch this, and of course for us to see these great images. I love the clarity and feather detail, and the light in the bird’s eyes. The background colors are complementary to the tones of the bird. Was it the lake?

    • Mia McPherson December 1, 2011 at 2:59 am

      Julie, it really was a treat to see and photograph this hawk. The background has dried vegetation in it and there was a sandy road too

  8. janina December 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Such wonderful photos, Mia! After the now-departed fabulous bird photographer, Ronnie Gaubert, you are IT, girl! I came to you via Julie L Brown’s blog, juliebrown.aminus3.com. :OD

    • Mia McPherson December 1, 2011 at 7:01 am

      Janina, I really miss Ronnie and his gorgeous photography, he blessed this world for too short of a time. Thank you for your very kind comments, I am humbled by them. So very glad you found my site through Julie.

  9. Jane Chesebrough November 30, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    These are priceless, you got quite a show from this bird. Love the shots and the titles.

    • Mia McPherson December 1, 2011 at 6:44 am

      Jane, thanks so much for your kind words!

  10. Doug November 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    These are such spectacular images which I cannot stop looking at. Each pose has something special, and the one with beak open is something that I like in particular. If anyone told me to choose a favourite though…I could not. They all are.

    • Mia McPherson December 1, 2011 at 6:43 am

      Thank you Doug, I couldn’t pick a favorite image from this series either. Although the one where the bird is yawning I swear I could almost hear it singing an opera!

  11. Stu November 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Wonderful Mia.!. as always..

    • Mia McPherson December 1, 2011 at 7:06 am

      Stu, thank you! I have such wonderful subjects!

Comments are closed.