Juvenile Red-tailed, Rough-legged, Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks

Red-tailed Hawk juvenileRed-tailed Hawk juvenile – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, called in or set up

Today I thought I would post images of the juvenile Buteos that I see most often in Utah and Montana, they are Red-tailed, Rough-legged, Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks.  The Red-tailed, Ferruginous and Swainson’s Hawks all breed in my area, the Rough-legged Hawks breed in the Arctic.

I photographed the young Red-tailed Hawk above during the summer in the Centennial Valley of Beaverhead County, Montana. It was a very cooperative bird and I was able to take quite a few images of it, I liked this image because of the way the raptor appeared to be staring intensely at something on the ground.

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

This juvenile Rough-legged Hawk was also very cooperative as it preened and fluffed on Antelope Island State Park in Davis County, Utah. This bird was photographed during the winter which is the only time I see Rough-legged Hawks in Utah and Montana.

Ferruginous Hawk juvenileFerruginous Hawk juvenile – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light, not baited, called in or set up

This young Ferruginous Hawk was photographed the same morning as the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk shown above in the Centennial Valley of Beaverhead County, Montana. The Ferruginous Hawk hasn’t gotten the rufous coloration to its feathered legs yet. I wish I had been closer to this juvenile as it appeared that some of the radiant heat rising from the road may have interfered with this image being as sharp as I wanted it or it may have been the pickup idling, I am not sure.

Swainson's Hawk juvenileSwainson’s Hawk juvenile – Nikon D300, f8, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, called in or set up

This juvenile Swainson’s Hawk was photographed in the Centennial Valley of Beaverhead County Montana too, nearby there was another juvenile and adult Swainson’s but they weren’t in good light like this young bird was.

I always, and I do mean always, feel privileged when I am in the presence of these magnificent raptors where I can observe them and their behaviors and photograph these amazing hawks.

Mia

20 Comments

  1. Bryce Robinson January 29, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I love this post Mia. Great photos. And I just love the birds.

    • Mia McPherson January 30, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Bryce, I love these birds too!

  2. Tami Vogel January 28, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I agree – it’s so fabulous to see these bird all grouped together. It’s hard to find collected photos like this to help with key ID points. They’re really beautiful, Mia.

    • Mia McPherson January 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks Tami, they are all so beautiful!

  3. Wally January 27, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    This is great continuing education, again! Wonderful images and fantastic information. I totally agree with you about being privileged to be in the presence of such magnificent raptors.

    • Mia McPherson January 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      Wally, I feel so lucky to have so many amazing subjects and to be in their world. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Beverly Everson January 27, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Magnificent birds and images, Mia!

  5. Tammy Karr January 27, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Incredible photos, Mia! All such striking raptors!

  6. M. Firpi January 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I love these wildlife portraits, they show one the beauty of professional portraiture of wild animals.

    • Mia McPherson January 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you Maria, these animals are incredible!

  7. Sherry in MT January 27, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Me too and your images are amazing as always, all the rough legs here are not fond of cooperating and love to set wayyyy up at the tippy top of the power poles, not conducive for good shots even though we have scads of them.

    • Mia McPherson January 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Sherry, there aren’t many power poles where I photograph the Roughies or they be on poles too! Thanks for commenting.

  8. Eileen January 27, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Just amazing raptor captures, Mia! Well done!

  9. Bob Bushell January 27, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Beautiful bird of prey.

    • Mia McPherson January 27, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you Bob, I think they are beautiful birds too.

  10. Matt Giovanni January 27, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Awesome series, Mia! First-year buteos are easy to confuse and this is a great side-by-side comparison. If only it was this easy to distinguish them in the field!

    • Mia McPherson January 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks Matt, I do have some trouble in the field with ID if the Buteos are far away or if the sun is shining right in my eyes. Thank you for commenting.

Comments are closed.