Playing Favorites – Rough-legged Hawk

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Rough-legged Hawk Rough-legged Hawk – Nikon D300, f9, 1/640, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light, not baited

Rough-legged Hawks are on their way south from their Arctic breeding grounds and will soon be making their appearance here in Utah. Over the past week the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains above the valley have gone from sporting bits of fall color to having some snow at the top. I’ve enjoyed looking up at the mountains each evening and seeing the snow glow pink as the sun sets. Seeing that snow reminds me… the Roughies are coming!

My series of photos of this Rough-legged Hawk taken at Antelope Island State Park are some of my favorite images because the hawk was very cooperative and while I photographed it I was also able to observe its behavior and the fine details in its plumage for about 45 minutes. I took tons of images of the bird and can’t pick a favorite among them.



  1. Julie Brown October 3, 2013 at 5:02 am

    This one is a beauty, as all of your raptor images are!

  2. humming bird lover September 30, 2013 at 8:23 am


    What a beautiful hawk! outstanding photo! The colors and background are great. Have a wonderful day.

  3. Keith Nichols September 29, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    This is a beautiful photo. You are something else.

  4. Shyloh Monster September 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Wonderful photo Mia! I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of the roughies as well. The amazing buteo of the North.

  5. Elephant's Child September 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing the privilege of being able to see this stunning bird – as it should be. Wild, free and beautiful.

  6. Merrill Ann Gonzales September 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    So many thanks I can’t count them for your photography of so many kinds of hawks… The only ones we see here for the most part are the red-tails, (not that I’m complaining, red-tails never cease to amaze me!) But through your images I am treated to new perspectives and enjoyments of the variety and their seasons and needs. That’s a tall order to fill for one woman, so you really deserve all the praise you receive in your comments. In gratitude,

  7. Ilze Long September 29, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Hope you see a lot of the rough legged guys. I lived in Utah close to the Oquirrhs and quite within reach of the
    Wasatch. That was before I became a bird person. If I knew then what I know now. Love hearing about Antelope Island, Bear Lake etc. Oh well, life moves on.

  8. Bryce Robinson September 29, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I certainly can’t wait, Mia!

  9. Azstu September 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Really a great shot. the clarity, the color and the narrative make this a joy to see and read. thanks.

  10. Montanagirl September 29, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Outstanding photo (Al always). Such fine feather detail..and the eye is so sharp.

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