Red-shouldered Hawk at Myakka River State Park, Florida

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Red-shouldered Hawk at Myakka River State ParkRed-shouldered Hawk at Myakka River State Park – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

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.


  1. Utahbooklover March 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Great capture Mia. I will be watching for this beauty. Thanks!

  2. Elephant's Child March 24, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Stunning. And how nice to see clearly where the name came from…

  3. Lori March 24, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Mia, That hawk is still a wonderful shot! I am learning from your “wishes” and that means you are a great teacher!

  4. Patty Chadwick March 24, 2015 at 9:23 am

    As I understand it, the Red Shouldered hawk numbers are down…

  5. Patty Chadwick March 24, 2015 at 8:13 am

    A beautiful image of one of my favorite raptors, “liitle brother to the eagle”. I especially like the position of the wings and the angle of flight. Great shot!!!

  6. Dave Sparks March 24, 2015 at 7:02 am

    The shot is taken at an unusual angle, which I like very much, showing the tail, both red shoulders and the head. Glad you got the Ruff too.

  7. Sharon Constant March 24, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Wonderful launch shot!

  8. Mark Amershek March 24, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Great hawk and nice flight pic. Thnx for sharing.

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