Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk about to lift offJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk about to lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

I went out into the west desert of Utah this morning hoping to take images of the raptors I thought I would find there to do a post on but some days though the birds are few and those that you find just aren’t cooperative. It was that kind of day so I will post a series of images of a young Red-tailed hawk that I created in September.

This handsome juvenile Red-tailed Hawk had landed on these dark rocks before I started this series, in the frame above I could tell by the bird’s posture that lift off would most likely happen soon so I got ready. I have mentioned before that it pays to study and learn a subject’s behavior and because I do this series of images worked well because I had anticipated the bird’s next movements.

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile crouching before lift offRed-tailed Hawk juvenile crouching before lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

This frame shows the immature hawk crouching down prior to lifting off.

Juvenile Red-tailed right after lift offJuvenile Red-tailed right after lift off – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.3, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

This image shows the Red-tailed juvie right after it leapt into the air.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk gaining altitudeJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk gaining altitude – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

This frame shows the young hawk gaining altitude.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in flightJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk in flight – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.3, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

I lost focus for two frames as the hawk started flying past the darks rocky outcropping in the background and then with this frame I locked on again.

I haven’t been seeing this juvenile Red-tailed in the same location of late and I hope that it decides to hunt in the area again, those dark rocks can make for dramatic backgrounds.

Have a great Saturday!

Mia