Roughie perched on a mile marker postRough-legged Hawk perched on a mile marker post – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 1000, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 321mm, natural light, not baited

The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing color, mornings are getting frosty and snow is starting to fall in the high country. These things remind me that old Man Winter is about to arrive and along with him the Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) will soon appear.

Last winter was awesome for seeing Rough-legged Hawks and I am hoping they had another great breeding season and that they will show up here in large numbers to over winter. Most of the Rough-legged Hawks I saw and photographed last year were juveniles, I’d sure like to see more adults this winter.

The juvenile above was perched on a mile marker along the causeway to Antelope Island State Park, I sure wish the post had been a natural perch.

Rough-legged Hawk juvenileRough-legged Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/800, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light, not baited

Photographing Rough-legged Hawks last winter was so much fun because they were so numerous, some mornings I would see more than 25 in just a couple of hours.

Will this year bring us as many Rough-legged Hawks to the Salt Lake Valley? That remains to be seen of course but I’ve been hearing reports of them getting closer to arrival.

I can’t wait!