Yesterday morning I was able to photograph an immature Rough-legged Hawk lifting off, landing and lunching at Farmington Bay WMA in northern Utah. When I first started to photograph the young hawk I had my teleconverter on but when it looked like it might take flight I removed the teleconverter so that I would reduce the chances of clipping the bird’s wings when it did lift of from the kestrel nest box. I’m glad I did remove the teleconverter because I have a very nice series of this lift off.
I love how in this frame the Rough-legged Hawk’s talons are still just barely touching the nest box as well as the beautiful view of the underside of the hawk’s wings.
I have a lovely series of images after the lift off while this immature hawk was in flight that I will try to post later but after a thirteen image post yesterday I didn’t want to bog down too many devices again today.
I thought since I had a wonderful lift off photo where the bird’s talons were just about to leave the nest box that it might be neat to have a photo of the immature Rough-legged Hawk making a pin point landing on the same nest box where two talons were touching the nest box and a great landing pose with the other talons about to grasp the top of the nest box.
I attached my teleconverter to take more images of the bird as it perched on top of the nest box scanning the fields in search of prey, when it lifted again off I did clip the wings in many of the photos but since it wasn’t facing me I didn’t feel too bad about my choice. The Rough-legged Hawk found prey on this flight and turned towards the nest box with the vole firmly grasped in its talons. I didn’t have time to remove my teleconverter so I just hoped for the best as the bird flew directly towards the nest box again. I took several photos of it flying towards the nest box then quickly pre-focused on the nest box in anticipation of the hawk landing there to eat the prey it had captured.
I’m glad I left the teleconverter on and pre-focused on the nest box because I have another nice series of this immature Rough-legged Hawk landing with its prey and I didn’t clip a single wing tip at that. I believe the vole may have been alive at this point in time because at full resolution I can see a catch light in its eye even though hawk has a death grip on it.
It was great to observe this immature Rough-legged Hawk through my viewfinder yesterday and to photograph it while it went about it’s daily life. I really, really love what do.
Life is good.