Swainson’s Hawk in the Centennial Valley of Montana

Adult Swainson's Hawk callingAdult Swainson’s Hawk calling – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1250, ISO 250, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Summer can be very busy for me because of camping trips to find and photograph birds and there are periods during that time where I don’t get back to edit images taken during the summer season until later. While August is traditionally the slowest month for birds in Utah that isn’t the case in the Centennial Valley of Montana which can be very birdy.

I photographed the calling adult Swainson’s Hawk in August in the Centennial Valley of Montana, it was a very cooperative hawk that stayed perched and it kept calling.

Swainson's Hawk in the Centennial Valley of MontanaSwainson’s Hawk in the Centennial Valley of Montana – Nikon D300, f9, 1/320, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

This adult Swainson’s had two juveniles nearby that were perched on the conifer tree that their natal nest was in and the sun was getting close to setting. Sometimes I wish I could “speak” raptor so I could know what they are saying.

Calling adult Swainson's HawkCalling adult Swainson’s Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/320, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

The Swainson’s Hawks have already made their long migration south, I wonder if next summer I will see this hawk and its young in the gorgeous setting of the Centennial Valley of Montana again.

Mia

19 Comments

  1. Carol Mattingly November 17, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Hawks. Such regal birds. Always stunning to see in a photo and you do them more than justice. Love these images Mia. Have a good weekend. Carol

    • Mia McPherson November 20, 2012 at 5:58 am

      Thank you Carol. Hawks are such regal birds.

  2. Dick Ashford November 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Hi Mia, Beautiful pictures, beautiful bird! I only get to visit Montana every three years, but the Centennial Valley is now on the itinerary for the next trip. Thanks!

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Dick, I think you will fall in love with the Centennial Valley, I know I did the first time I went there. You can see more about the valley and the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge here in my favorite locations. Thanks so much for your comment and visiting my blog!

  3. M. November 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Hope the Swainson’s Hawk is making a full recovery in population after the mexican field spraying in the 90’s. Lovely capture of the “dark bib” that makes identification of the Swainsons Hawk easy from the Red Tail’s “belly band”. Thanks for sharing…. -M. @PDogB

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting M. I thought the dark bib on this adult was lovely.

  4. Larry Jordan November 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Beautiful images of this majestic raptor Mia! Swainson’s Hawks are a threatened species in California, one of the reasons we used its image on our template for the proposed Wildlife Conservation Pass!

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Larry, I had no idea that Swainson’s Hawks were a threatened species in California! I hope the Wildlife Conservation Stamp goes through.

      • Larry Jordan November 18, 2012 at 7:47 am

        Thanks Mia! We are working on it!

  5. Azstu November 17, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Great Photos Mia. Of course that small white dot on the post ruins them ;). Hawks all seem to be steeped in personality to me. I am sure this guy is telling a bedtime story for the kids or telling jokes. Perfectly captured as always. Thanks.

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Yep, that bit of whitewash is a pain but birds gotta poop! 🙂 Thanks for your comment Stu, you almost always give me a chuckle with them.

  6. Julie Brown November 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Raptors are so captivating and majestic, and your images always do them justice!

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Julie, I do find some super subjects.

  7. Beverly Everson November 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Beautiful!

  8. Susan November 17, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Wonderful photos Mia, these are beautiful birds that I actually see quite often, I hope you see them again next year:)

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Thank you Susan, I hope we both get loads of great images of Swainson’s Hawks when they return in the spring.

  9. Bob Bushell November 17, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I learn a lot from you, Swainson’s Hawk is another new one, beautiful photos, cheers Mia.

    • Mia McPherson November 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Bob, I learn a lot from you too

Comments are closed.