Northern Harrier chasing a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Northern Harrier chasing a juvenile Red-tailed HawkNorthern Harrier chasing a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This image of a Northern Harrier and a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in an aerial dogfight over Antelope Island State Park was taken the day before the recent snow storm started that we had here in the Salt Lake Valley over the weekend. I wish the raptors had been a bit closer than they were but I might have clipped the wing tips of the Harrier in this image if they had been closer. It seemed more like they were playing than actually fighting.

The “fight” only lasted a few seconds and no birds were harmed.


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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.


  1. Great interaction and in great light…hard to get both in one shot!

  2. Very cool interaction you captured here, Mia!

  3. Great action shot!

  4. I love this photo! Getting interspecies interactions in photo is challenging, and so rewarding. Couldn’t even count on one hand the amount of times it has happened for me. Too jealous. BTW I found another dark Roughie near Snowville, UT. I came away with a few good photos. It was a remarkable bird. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Bryce, it was a challenge to track these raptors with my lens, they flew so fast!

      I hope that you will share your dark morph Roughie images on your blog. I’m still trying for decent images of them, they are so gorgeous.

  5. I bet it was exciting to watch the interaction of these two raptors! Excellent capture Mia!!

  6. Humming Bird Lover

    Hi! Great shot! Love looking at your Blog every day!

  7. Two wonderful raptors in one outstanding image. I am SOOO jealous! Very nice work. –Wally

  8. Fantastic capture Mia:)

  9. This is a great action shot, Mia!

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