It was slow photographing this morning, the light wasn’t the best due to clouds coming in and there were very few birds close enough to photograph but you just never know when you’ll spot one cooperative bird and that is what happened today when I was on the way home.
Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) male ~ Davis County, Utah
Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light, not baited
This bird displayed interesting behavior, it didn’t appear to be hunting but it would dive into the vegetation where it would make a sound that reminded me of parrots chattering. Then it would lift up, fly a few feet and drop back down into the vegetation where it would chatter again. It repeated this for at least thirty minutes. At one point a female flew close and this male chased her for about half a mile, they did interact by diving towards each other and at one point I saw the female flying upside down with her legs extended towards the male. The male then flew back to the general location that it had been when I was photographing it.
This male is transitioning into adult plumage, the primaries and secondaries have begun to attain the gray color of an adult male but the shoulders, head and back are still the brown color I expect to see in a juvenile.
Because of the light I didn’t come home with as many acceptable (by my standards) images as I would have liked but I’m pleased with this one.
More Northern Harrier images