Red-tailed Hawk perched in a treeJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk perched in a tree – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, Nikkor 200-400mm VR w/1.4 TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Yesterday I headed west of Salt Lake City to see what birds could be found to photograph because the day before when it was gorgeous weather and great light I was stuck indoors all day long. The temperature reached 52 degrees and it felt like spring is about to arrive.

During the winter many of the raptors in the Wasatch Range that prefer higher country come down into the Salt Lake Valley and in the spring they begin to return to higher elevations. Yesterday Ron and I saw a red-tailed hawk up higher in the Stansbury Mountains than we have seen all winter so I thought I’d post these two juvenile red-tailed hawks.

Red-tailed Hawks are North America’s most variable hawk and can show great geographic variation. They can be spotted in every state of the continental U.S. perching on power poles, fence posts or at the top of trees.

red-tailed-hawk-perched-mia-mcpherson-3408Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk perched on an old, weathered  fence post – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

When I think of the calls of raptors the red-tailed hawks call is the one I think of first, it is distinctive and I can identify the sound without seeing the hawk.

I’m looking forward to seeing red-tailed hawks in the high country of Utah and Montana this summer and hopefully getting some more images of both the juveniles and adult.



  1. Birding is Fun! March 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Great photos! Just this week I heard a European Starling imitating the cry of a Red-tailed Hawk. It was amazing. It’s funny how on movies they play the sound of a Red-tailed Hawk for every bird of prey.

  2. Harry Harris March 2, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Again, great captures. I like the poses. You have such a talent for capturing a birds essence.

Comments are closed.