A Pair of Swainson’s Hawks in Beaverhead County, Montana

/, Birds, Montana, Swainson's Hawks/A Pair of Swainson’s Hawks in Beaverhead County, Montana

Resting female Swainson's HawkResting female Swainson’s Hawk – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I am itching to get back out in the field with Swainson’s Hawks partly because they are handsome raptors and partly because by now there might be some young that have fledged. I don’t know if the pair of hawks in these photographs had success raising young but I know I sure hope they did. This female sure is a beauty!

Female Swainson's Hawk scratching her headFemale Swainson’s Hawk scratching her head – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Swainson’s Hawks are only in the area to breed and raise their young and they spend the rest of the year in South America so there are times when I am photographing them that I almost feel a sense of urgency where with Red-tailed Hawks that are in Utah year round I don’t have that urgent feeling.

Swainson's Hawk male on an old fence postSwainson’s Hawk male on an old fence post – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I enjoyed photographing this pair of Swainson’s Hawks in Beaverhead County but I really love photographing the juveniles because they appear to be very interested in the world around them.

Life is good.

Happy Independence Day!

Mia

3 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child July 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Just beautiful. That first shot, with the weathered post and the spangled plumage is breathtaking.

  2. Patty Chadwick July 4, 2015 at 8:45 am

    WOW! Love these images, especially the first…with the turned back pose and that wonderful weathered wood perch…Beautiful!!!

  3. Eileen July 4, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Hello mia, Awesome looking hawk Great photos and post. Have a happy 4th of July weekend!

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