In January of 2009 I went to Myakka River State Park with three of my bird photography friends and the raptor highlight of the day was this Red-shouldered Hawk.
We had photographed at the Celery Fields and then headed to Myakka to look for a Ruff, a shorebird rarity in Florida. We looked for the Ruff in all the locations where other people had seen it without luck and were making a short hike to one last location when I spotted this Red-shouldered Hawk sitting high in a snag. Rachel went back on the trail to get Mac and Dave and so I stood quietly photographing the perched adult Red-shouldered Hawk waiting for them to come up the trail. I could hear movement on the trail behind me so I kept my lens trained on the hawk in case it lifted off and it did.
I wish the light had been a bit better because this was taken at mid day which is harsher than I prefer and I also wish my shutter speed had been a touch faster to freeze the motion of the wings but I like the blur of the wings because it gives a sense of motion.
Occasionally Red-shouldered Hawks show up in Utah and I hope to one day get more opportunities to photographed these handsome raptors on the wing.
Life is good.
PS: On my next trip to Myakka River State Park a few days later I did find the Ruff and photographed it.