Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in Beaverhead County, Montana

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Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with wings spreadJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk with wings spread – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

These images of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in Beaverhead County were taken on Sunday morning, June 22nd while leaving southwestern Montana to head back to Utah. Normally I don’t want to leave Montana but this time I really hated to go.

This very cooperative juvenile Red-tailed posed for 20 minutes on two different perches along the side of a gravel road on weather worn fence posts strung with barbed wire with a sagebrush and grass-covered hill in the background.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk diving for preyJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk diving for prey – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light, not baited

At one point the juvenile dove towards the ground after prey but it didn’t capture it. I could have used a touch more shutter speed to freeze the motion of the wings though I like how the bit of blur adds to the feeling of movement.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenileRed-tailed Hawk juvenile – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

After missing the prey on the ground this young Red-tailed Hawk landed on another fence post nearby and it appeared to be scanning the area for more prey. The raptor didn’t seem to be bothered at all by my long lens poking out of the pickup window and spent a little over a minute on this post before it lifted off in search for food.

Perched juvenile Red-tailed HawkPerched juvenile Red-tailed Hawk – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The beauty of this hawk and the lovely setting is etched forever into my mind, actually the whole trip is! More to come about that soon.

Life is good.

Mia

20 Comments

  1. M. Firpi July 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

    The second one is great. It’s the first time a barbed wire rustic fence does not bother me. I guess it’s because it’s so old and weathered, it really looks like part of the landscape. The hawk is amazing, and it’s tack sharp. You also framed it right in the middle of the two posts. The whole series is a great story!

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Maria, I don’t mind rustic manmade items in a photo but if the barbed wire had been new & shiny and if the posts had been less weathered I probably would not post the image. I like the old stuff because it has character. Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. Jim Braswell July 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Wonderful images, Mia!

  3. Beverly Everson July 25, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Fabulous!!! #2 is my favorite! Excellent work and beautiful bird!

  4. Tammy Karr July 25, 2012 at 6:04 am

    Beautiful photos Mia! The Red-tailed Hawk is a tremendous bird, especially when in action!

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for commenting Tammy!

  5. Susan July 24, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Wow, what awesome photos, Red-Tailed Hawks are my personal favorite. I wouldn’t forget a minute of that photo shoot either if it were me:)

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      Susan, I hope I never forget a minute with this hawk and the trip this time to Montana! Thanks for commenting.

  6. Carol Mattingly July 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    These images are gorgeous Mia. I do mean gorgeous. Carol

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you Carol, birds like this one make it easy to show them in the best light!

  7. Katie LaSalle-Lowery July 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    I’m glad you and Ron had a tree trip and look forward to more posts!

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks Katie, it was an awesome trip!

  8. threecollie July 24, 2012 at 11:20 am

    That second shot of the hawk in flight is one of the best I have ever seen. Wow!

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Thank you very much threecolie!

  9. Stu July 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Yep. I know I am using the same word as Bob ;).. but truly Gorgeous shots! Welcome back 😉

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Thanks Stu, I really hated to leave Montana, I always do, but it is great to be home.

  10. Bob Zeller July 24, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Gorgeous photos, Mia, of a majestic bird.

    • Mia McPherson July 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Thank you Bob, they are majestic!

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