A Red-tailed Hawk in Utah County

Red-tailed Hawk with its eye on preyRed-tailed Hawk with its eye on prey – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

Today I have just a few images of a Red-tailed Hawk I spotted yesterday on a power pole in Utah County near the southern part of the Oquirrh Mountain Range. The Red-tailed Hawk was actively hunting using the power poles as lookout perches and a good many of my shots had the power lines in them unfortunately.

Red-tailed Hawk in Utah CountyRed-tailed Hawk in Utah County – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

While observing and photographing the Red-tailed Hawk I saw it catch and eat several rodents but always on the top of the poles. There aren’t any natural perches in the area but I sure wish there were.

Red-tailed Hawk in a diveRed-tailed Hawk in a dive – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 500mm, natural light, not baited

The Red-tailed Hawk would watch for prey in the grasses and then dive down from the power poles when it spotted something. It did miss a few times and would come up from the ground with empty talons.

It was nice to get out and actually have a bird of prey in my viewfinder for a change plus we ran into a good friend and had a great time catching up with each other over lunch.


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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. hello mia
    it s simply beautifull, it s always a pleasure to come there, thanks a lot :)))

  2. I really like these flight shots with the wings open. The head turn really makes the first one very balanced.

  3. Pingback: Red-tailed Hawk in flight near the Oquirrh Mountains

  4. Mia these are magnificent … the … well, for want of a better word: “underlighting” that the angle of the sun gave you give US the most amazing view of a part of birdie that would normally be in shadow. Well done, girlie!!!!

  5. These are really great pics for IDs. Now I am thinking what I saw a week ago could have been a Red-tailed, not a Rough-legged. Super shots, Mia!

  6. Raptor in action!

    Superb technical quality photographs, great composition, handsome model – all the elements of a successful photo shoot, Mia!

  7. Nice shots, Mia. Is it common to see these hawks at this location this time of year?

  8. Wonderful captures (yours and the hawks) – glad that you had a great day.

  9. Very good Mia. The first one is my favorite but I also really like the last one too. Thanks!

  10. Just beautiful!

  11. Great images…especially like the third. Those poles are visually obnoxious, but sound like good prey spotting posts for hungry hawks. I sure hope your lunch tasted better than his!

  12. Brilliant photos as always.

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