Fun with a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

While I was away in Montana for eight days starting last week I had a fantastic time photographing this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. I posted one image of it while on the road which can be seen here and I could barely wait to share more photos of it.

Perched juvenile Red-tailed HawkPerched juvenile Red-tailed Hawk – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 1000, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

When I first spotted the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) it was on a post eating prey, I will do a separate post about that later but for now I wanted to share these images.  I liked the pose in this frame with the young hawk slightly fluffed up, standing on one leg with the other leg bent and the talons clenched.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile shakingRed-tailed Hawk juvenile shaking – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 1000, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This image shows the juvenile shaking its feathers and lifting its wings. It sure shows off the gorgeous plumage patterns of the breast.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk regaining its balanceJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk regaining its balance – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 1000, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

A little while later it looked like the Red-tailed juvenile lost its balance and tried to get it back. It lifted its wings and tilted forward in this frame.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile in actionRed-tailed Hawk juvenile in action – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 1000, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 321mm, natural light, not baited

I backed up my zoom a bit because I thought the hawk might take off if it couldn’t get its balance and captured this pose where it fanned out its tail and dropped one wing down while lifting the other up. The young Red-tailed did regain its balance.

Juvie Red-tailed Hawk right after lift offJuvie Red-tailed Hawk right after lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 1000, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 321mm, natural light, not baited

It wasn’t long after the Red-tailed regained its balance before it lifted off from the fencepost, I caught this pose soon after it got into the air. Those legs look so very long in this photo.

Red-tailed Hawk looking at something in the distanceRed-tailed Hawk looking at something in the distance – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 1000, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The juvenile flew to another fencepost nearby and just looked around. I am not sure what it was looking at when I created this image but the pose reminds me of juvenile Burrowing Owls parallaxing.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk at the moment of lift offJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk at the moment of lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 1000, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

When the hawk took off the final time it did not give me the best eye contact with this pose but I like that I can see the eye and a catchlight plus the intensity of the look the bird has. I also like the position of the wings and the outstretched talons.

Red-tailed Hawk juvie glidingRed-tailed Hawk juvie gliding – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 1000, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Normally I wouldn’t keep an image like this with so little eye contact from my subject but again there were things I liked about this frame, I like the fanned tail, the dropped legs and the nice view across the back and wings of the bird. I still can see the eye and the catchlight and I am pleased with that.

I’m sorry I haven’t had much time to look at and comment on all of your blogs, it will take me awhile to catch up with commenting, culling, resting and getting used to being back home. Stay tuned for more photos from my trip to Montana!

Mia

Additional posts you might enjoy:

About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.

26 Comments

  1. Wonderful series on the Red-tailed juveniles, excellent shots Mia, well done.

  2. Nice series of this handsome young raptor. The plumage is beautiful.

  3. Pingback: Juvenile Swainson’s Hawk in Beaverhead County, Montana | on the wing photography

  4. What a blast..love all of the photos..thanks so much for sharing..

  5. Marvelous shots, Mia, each pose so unique and expressive!

  6. WOW.
    These are fantastic. i do love your work and have been eager to get back to visiting after being too busy and traveling, myself.

  7. Amazing captures! A beautiful, inquisitive looking hawk!

  8. Awesome series of photos Mia!!!

  9. great series of shots mia!

  10. Like these images a lot Mia. Carol

  11. Mia – just wonderful. My fav is ‘regaining balance’ – great range of body postures and perfect illumination of the raptor! Nice!

  12. Beautiful Mia! Fun for you and us too. Thanks for sharing.

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