I am always happy to photograph Swainson’s Hawks no matter where I find them so I was pleased to find this one perched on a lichen covered rock yesterday in Box Elder County, Utah. Quite often I find them perched on power poles so any natural perch is great in my opinion. The hawk looked handsome, even regal on that perch.
I wasn’t photographing the hawk for very long when a Bullock’s Oriole flew in to harass it and shortly after that a Northern Mockingbird started to harass the hawk too. I was able to get all three birds in the frame at the same time but I like the pose seen here of the mockingbird. The hawk stood its ground for a little while but…
When it had enough of the mockingbird it lifted off. It wasn’t until I reviewed the images of the Swainson’s Hawk on my LCD screen that I realized the hawk was molting and that some of the primary feathers were missing.
This image doesn’t show it but in another blurry frame as the hawk flew overhead I could see that it was also missing a few tail feathers and some of the secondaries were messed up too. Regardless of the condition of the primary feathers this Swainson’s Hawk in Box Elder County was a real treat.
I see and photograph such interesting things as a bird photographer and I am grateful for it all.
Life is good.