Red-tailed Hawk adult lifting off from a Russian OliveRed-tailed Hawk lifting off from a Russian Olive – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

Two days ago there was light in the morning and even a few birds that were close enough to photograph. When I spotted this Red-tailed Hawk in the top of a Russian Olive tree partially hidden by the branches I hoped that it would lift off after awhile.

Clearing the upper branchesClearing the upper branches – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

And it did… I just didn’t think it would take off and fly close to me. Even when you think you know how birds might react they can surprise you. I recall a Golden Eagle flying so close to me that I could hear its wings and I could not focus on it because it was simply too close.

Full wing spreadFull wing spread – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

I love to be able to observe and photograph the movements of birds when they take flight, some times gracefully… sometimes not.

Red-tailed Hawk adultRed-tailed Hawk  – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

Raptors appear; to me, to have great concentration when they first lift off and take flight or maybe that is because their eyes always look fierce to me.

Red-tailed Hawk fly byRed-tailed Hawk fly by – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

I was happy that I found this adult Red-tailed Hawk at Farmington Bay WMA and that it did lift off after a bit because as handsome as they can be perched they are even more beautiful On The Wing.

Mia