Dorsal view of a Rough-legged Hawk in flight

Dorsal view of a Rough-legged Hawk in flightDorsal view of a Rough-legged Hawk in flight – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/5000, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

I woke up to a fine layer of snow on the ground this morning and silly as it may sound that gets me excited for the birds that over winter in the Salt Lake Valley such as this Rough-legged Hawk.

Rough-legged Hawks that breed high on the Arctic tundra are a raptor that I only see during the winter months in Utah, the Roughie above was photographed during the winter of 2012 as it hunted over a field at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area. The light had been variable that day which is why my ISO and shutter speed were so high.


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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. wonderfull picture, the move and the sharps details are a pleasure to watch
    thanks a lot for this =))

  2. Lovely image, and I remember the excitement of first snow, so enjoy it while the feeling lasts. It does make for some beautiful images too.

  3. Even with poor light you manage to get the most amazing in flight shots, awesome bird, awesome capture.

  4. Love Roughies, can’t wait to get up north to see them again

  5. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    Your photo almost looks like 3D!!! Stunning!

  6. I do like those in-flight shots — beautiful arctic migrant for us to enjoy.

  7. A case of double envy here this morning. Snow AND hawks. Bliss.

  8. How clever of you to be in the right place at the right time to catch his turn just right! Super photograph of a really gorgeous raptor, Mia!

    Snow on the ground? What a concept…. :)

  9. Great shot of a beautiful hawk.

  10. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  11. Wonderful photo, Mia. I always look forward to checking your blog every morning!

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