Adult Swainson's Hawk calling near its youngAdult Swainson’s Hawk calling near its young – Nikon D300, f9, 1/250, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The dreary weather we have had lately in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah and the lack of birds has set my mind wandering back to warmer days and plentiful birds and has also made me wonder what I will see this upcoming summer.

Summer in Beaverhead County, Montana always seems to bring surprises and that is where I really appreciate my keen “hawk eye” vision and my awareness of my surroundings. Two years ago on the third trip to Montana while photographing this adult Swainson’s Hawk I noticed some movement out of my peripheral vision and because of that I was able to photograph an American Badger at eye level up close and personal.

Juvenile Swainson's Hawks and their nestJuvenile Swainson’s Hawks and their nest – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

I’d also seen that adult Swainson’s Hawk in the same area before and it always seemed to be calling so I took my eyes off of the adult bird and scanned the area carefully and was pleased when I noticed these two juvenile Swainson’s on and near the nest. I had also seen the two juvenile hawks in the area prior to this but hadn’t noticed the nest in the tree.

I can barely wait until spring when the Swainson’s Hawks will migrate back from South America to fill the skies here with their beauty.


PS: Last year some Common Ravens used this nest to rear their young and soon after they fledged someone removed the nest. Not nice, especially on public lands.