Adult Red-tailed Hawk in a Montana Sky

Adult Red-tailed Hawk in a Montana SkyAdult Red-tailed Hawk in a Montana Sky

There are issues with this image which I will cover shortly but I really liked the pose of this Red-tailed Hawk, the spread of the wings, the flared tail and the great eye contact I was able to capture as the Red-tail looked down towards me as it flew in a bright blue Montana sky.

The issues I spoke about? Well I wish that the sun had been lower so that the underside of the bird was completely lit up instead of just a portion of the bird’s right wing and a sliver of the hawk’s tail. I also wish there had been a few fluffy, white clouds in the sky to break up the expanse of blue.

You might notice also that the Red-tailed Hawk is going through a molt, there are two shorter secondaries on the right wing and one that is visible on the left.  I won’t hold that against this handsome raptor though!


*I am away again, please feel free to share this post with your family and friends, I would appreciate it if you did!


  1. Sheila June 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Gosh, I agree 100% with Merrill. It is a beautiful shot. Nature isn’t perfect and neither are we. Love the “eye”!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thanks Sheila, I know I am not perfect! LOL.

  2. Merrill Ann Gonzales June 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I guess to do nature photography well, one must take nature on its own terms… I’ve always felt that an honest reporter of “the way it was” and trusts in the integrity of the moment… is far superior to the one who would cast nature in it’s own vision of perfection. It seems to me that all the little things that seem imperfect in this photo only give it so much more power for being real. Congratulations!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thank you Merrill for your insights and thoughts on this image!

  3. Jane Chesebrough June 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I knew the lighting was going to be your issue! It is a handsome bird and still a beautiful photo none-the-less.And you have helped me know what to look for in a well-taken photo although it is sadly lacking for me lately.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Jane, we do have to chase the light as well as locating our subjects, part of the trill and frustrations of being a bird or nature photographer! Thanks for your comment.

  4. Stefan June 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Hi Mia,

    I wish I could shoot these kind of pictures….will be practicing in Montana in a few weeks 🙂


    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:21 am


      I hope you get fantastic opportunities in Montana! It never hurts to have more practice because it makes us better photographers! Thank you for your kind comment.

  5. patty chadwick June 17, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Perfection! Fantastic photo. Dream pose…congratulations and thanks for capturing it and sharing. Patty

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Patty, I do love dynamic poses.

  6. eric c11 June 17, 2013 at 6:19 am

    what a beautifull move captured, wow !!
    well done mia =)))
    have a nice day

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Thanks Eric, I do like to capture dynamic poses!

  7. Bob Bushell June 17, 2013 at 5:11 am

    That’s worth watching, nice photo Mia.

Comments are closed.