A Northern Harrier searching for prey along the Antelope Island Causeway

/, Birds, Davis County, Northern Harriers, Utah/A Northern Harrier searching for prey along the Antelope Island Causeway

Northern Harrier in flightNorthern Harrier in flight – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Three days ago I had fun photographing a Northern Harrier searching for prey along the Antelope Island Causeway. The harrier coursed over the vegetation close to the road next to the ice and mudflats.  In this frame the background is ice and snow and at the very top a row of phragmites in the distance. All Northern Harriers have white rumps, even in juveniles, and that rump can make ID easier even from a distance.

Northern Harrier looking for volesNorthern Harrier looking for voles – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Northern Harriers spend a great deal of time looking down when they are hunting prey which can make it a challenge to get direct eye contact from them but I don’t mind that so much because it is typical behavior for this species, mostly I like to be able to see the yellow of their eyes. This is the same harrier in the photograph at the top but it has the mudflats in the background with a bit of sky above.

Because of the oddly warm winter we have had here in northern Utah I haven’t had as many opportunities to photograph Northern Harriers as I have in previous years because without the heavy snow cover the harriers can hunt way out in the marshes more easily and they don’t come in as close as I would like.

Still, any time I can photograph a Northern Harrier is great.

Life is good.

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Humming Bird Lover January 26, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Hi! great photo’s love the eye contact and the colors! Keep up your special talents!

  2. Utahbooklover January 25, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Great inflight images and agree with Lois about the special appeal of the second one.

  3. Lois Bryan January 24, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Love that capture of birdie looking straight down … look out mousies!!!! Here comes trouble!!!

  4. Elephant's Child January 24, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Such a stylish white rump – and a majestic bird. Thank you. Again.

  5. Patty Chadwick January 24, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Interesting image….if it wasn’t for your wonderful captures and comments, I’d miss so many, many interesting images and behaviors…so very glad to be back in the loop!

Comments are closed.