Red-tailed Hawk Delight

Lift off with a full wing spreadLift off with a full wing spread – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I had another great day with juvenile Red-tailed Hawks on Antelope Island State Park last week. This post is a continuation of More Raptor Rapture because it involves the same area that I photographed the previous immature hawks. At first this hawk was high up on some of the dark rocks from the area but it took off after prey to the south, missed the prey and then landed on a sign. In this image the hawk had just lifted off.

Red-tailed juvenile fly byRed-tailed juvenile fly by – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Two frames later the juvie flew by, I really like this flight pose because it shows the underside of one wing and the upper side of the other.

Gliding in for a landingGliding in for a landing – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 264mm, natural light, not baited

I spotted a second juvenile high up on a rock outcropping though not long after getting set up to photograph it the bird flew down the slope after prey but it also missed it. I hoped that the bird would fly back to the outcropping and it did. I loved how the bird seemed to apply “air brakes” as it came close to the rock, I could literally see its secondaries lift up like flaps on an airplanes wings.

Portrait of a young Red-tailedPortrait of a young Red-tailed – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640, +03 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I have wanted to get images of the darker juvenile Red-tailed and I finally did, it was super that it posed on the rock for this portrait shot.

I’m hoping these Red-tailed Hawks continue to stick around the area, they are loads of fun to photograph.

Mia

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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.

18 Comments

  1. Spectacular..I especially like the first shot and the symmetry in the wings. Excellent Mia.

  2. beautifull serie, and very nice blog too,
    i m very happy to dicover it ☺
    have a nice monday mia ☼

  3. This is such a beautiful bird-great look-back pose in the last image. I saw my first dark morph Red-tailed Hawks in Colorado.

  4. Incredible captures Mia! I love the wing spread in the first photo and the last shot is a perfect portrait!

  5. Wow! Perfect shots! I feel like I could reach out and touch him!

    • Thank you Beverly, the one hawk that flew right over the truck was only about 10 feet above us, it was amazing to see even if the bird was too close to get an image.

  6. Tack sharp, and that wingspread is a jewel.

  7. These are such great photos. I love that you put the camera/lens/setting info on your pictures. I always wonder about that and many bloggers don’t.

  8. They’re still one of my favorite birds. They were the first hawk I learned to identify as a kid living in California, and I still find them fun to see and photograph. Great juvenile photos!

  9. That is worth a double wow. The best I have seen, cheers Mia.

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