Fighting Red-tailed Hawk juveniles

Fighting Red-tailed Hawk juvenilesFighting Red-tailed Hawk juveniles – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

While photographing a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk that was perched on a post yesterday I could hear an American Kestrel calling above so when my subject looked up and started acting defensive I thought the kestrel was flying in but instead another juvenile red-tailed flew in to fight over the perch. The action came as a surprise and though I wish the light had been a bit better but I still like the interaction between the two fighting Red-tailed Hawk juveniles. It is possible that these two juveniles are siblings but it is just as possible that they aren’t so I won’t speculate on that.

The skirmish only lasted a few seconds, the perched red-tailed hawk juvenile flew off and the attacking juvenile landed on the ground below the perch and promptly flew off to chase the other juvenile. Their “fight” actually seemed to be less fight and more play.

I wonder if these two juvenile Red-tailed Hawks will hang around for the winter, I sure hope so.



  1. Sherry in Mt September 2, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Wowsa that is a spectacular shot!!!

  2. Jane Chesebrough August 31, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    it is neat to see both of your photos and like both as well. Great balancing gestures.

  3. Mary McAvoy August 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Great shot! Love red-tailed hawks!

  4. Montanagirl August 30, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    This is a first prize winner!

  5. Elephant's Child August 30, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Oh my.
    Gob and smacked.
    Flabber and ghasted.
    Any superlatives you can think of.

  6. M. Bruce August 30, 2014 at 11:01 am

    The mark of a great photographer is being ready and able to handle the unexpected. Congratulations Mia!

  7. judy watson August 30, 2014 at 8:24 am

    One word: WoW!

  8. Patty Chadwick August 30, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Mia, Mia, Mia! This has just got to be a prize winner in ANY competition!!! it’s such a great shot! Love the “Hands up, or else!” pose…so much action!!! This has got to be one of your best ever!!!! The glimpse of a sunflower in the bottom right is like the cherry on the top….

  9. John Randall August 30, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Amazing action photo Mia !

  10. steven kessel August 30, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Mia, I love all of your raptor photos but this one is spectacular. I think that the light is perfect for this subject because the highlights and shadows model the birds and increase the dynamic qualities of the shot. If the light had been more even the photo would have been flatter. You might have gotten some more detail but the effect would have been far less dramatic than what you achieved here. Congratulations on a great photo!

    • Mia McPherson August 30, 2014 at 6:51 am

      Thank you Steven. It was fun seeing this action.

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