Last week while searching for Golden Eagles to photograph in Box Elder County, Utah I spotted two Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) adults; my first of the year sightings, the first one perched on a power pole. Normally I prefer perches that are not so obviously man made but I was hoping for some lift off shots.
In this next frame the hawk did just that, it lifted off.
Taking off from the power pole it didn’t take long for the Swainson’s to spread out its magnificent wings. It was looking at something across the road to the east where a farmer was working in a field. The farmer may have been stirring up insects or causing small rodents to scurry across the soil in plain view of the raptor.
Instead of grabbing prey from the field the hawk wheeled over it and headed back towards the perch it had left only moments before.
This Swainson’s seemed to prefer perching on the thin wire attached to the power pole rather than on top of it, I imagine that it takes concentration to land on such a tiny perch.
Here the perch was just slightly above where the hawk was. I wish the angle of the light had lit up the underside of the bird better, but I am still happy with this pose, the sky/cloud background and the intense look of concentration in the eye of the Swainson’s.
Wow, I love this pose and wish I could have gotten it without the wires in the background.
Another Swainson’s Hawk came in and landed on top of one of the power poles nearby and although I took images of it, the angle was rather steep.
Then the Swainson’s that had landed on the wire took off and I was able to get this image as it flew past.
I’m hoping to have many more opportunities to photograph Swainson’s Hawks this year both in Utah and Montana, heck just about anywhere I can find them!
* I am away for a few days so I have scheduled this post ahead of time. Please feel free to share it.