Red-tailed Hawk adult at Farmington Bay WMA

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

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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 photographing birds. My approach is to photograph the birds without disturbing their natural behavior. I don't bait, use set ups or call them in. I use Nikon gear and has multiple camera bodies and lenses.

13 Comments

  1. Outstanding!

  2. Great shots…love implied power of first in series

  3. hoo it s a beautifull take off, the tree make a nice composition for the picture, well done mia =))

  4. Outstanding work Mia! No doubt you heard the good news from BLM state director Juan Palma Friday who is withholding most of the federal acreage in Emery County that had been proposed to lease for oil and gas development, including parcels in and around the San Rafael Swell, to provide for additional review and consideration of the potential impacts leasing poses to natural and cultural resources — to quote today’s SLTribune.

  5. great photos! love the eyes and their laser focus on some target..I was just thinking would’nt it be cool to have wings

  6. Wow! You outdid yourself on this series, Mia!

  7. Oh. Oh. Oh.
    What an experience, what a sequence.

  8. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    What a great series of fabulous photos! After a week of troublesome events, just sitting here and enjoying the power of that hawk rise into the sky … makes me feel like I could fly though everything. In gratitude, Merrill

  9. Superb captures of this beautiful bird.

  10. What a bird! Great photos Mia. I agree, they can be most handsome on the wing.

  11. Mia, superb photographs! Yes, they are really special anytime, but even more so “On The Wing”!

    So far, I have only encountered the Red-tailed Hawk sub-species which has that annoying allergy to cameras! :)

  12. Mia, awesome captures of the Hawk! Happy weekend to you!

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