Red-tailed Hawk juvenile in flight in low light

Red-tailed Hawk juvenile in flight in low lightRed-tailed Hawk juvenile in flight in low light – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, +2.0, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light, not baited

I’m looking forward to snowy, wintery days but that can bring low light, fog and challenging conditions for bird photography here in Utah. As much as I love that “sweet light” bird photographers seek I also enjoy images created in less than ideal lighting conditions.

Just before Christmas last year this juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was a very cooperative subject as it stayed close to the road and hunted in the deep snow at Farmington Bay WMA. The only problem? Low light caused by fog, falling snow and clouds overhead.

I could not resist photographing the young Red-tailed Hawk though as it lifted off and flew in front of me after prey even though conditions were not ideal. As it turns out the series I took of this raptor were my favorites from that day.

Life is good. Life is even better with birds.



  1. Humming Bird Lover November 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm


    Love the photo! Have not seen our local one lately! It has helped with our overly amount of Nut gathers here in Va. Have a great day!

  2. Elephant's Child November 21, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Glorious. Thank you.

  3. Utahbooklover November 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Well said Lois. Winter can be beautiful and result in images so different from the warmer conditions, as in this example. However, as a senior citizen I admit I do prefer the warmer weather but Utah isn’t a bad place for retirement.

  4. SkyHawker4 November 21, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Red Tails just rock! My favorite for sure (difficult to say fav) Love all the Raptors but they are the ones who first captured my heart so so special to me.
    Thanks Mia!

  5. Lois Bryan November 21, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I love this light … mysterious and magical … a wonderful capture!!!

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