Red-tailed Hawks Near The Promontory Mountains

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A Red-tailed Hawk perched on a lichen covered boulderA Red-tailed Hawk perched on a lichen covered boulder – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Yesterday I spent the morning in Box Elder County driving along the Promontory Mountain Range and Red-tailed Hawks were the most numerous raptors I saw. I was very pleased to come across this Red-tailed Hawk perched on a huge lichen covered boulder in a breeze.

A Red-tailed Hawk near the Promontory MountainsA Red-tailed Hawk near the Promontory Mountains – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Just before the Red-tailed Hawk took flight I switched to full frame (FX) mode on my D810 because I wanted a wider view of the bird in its habitat than I was getting by using cropped sensor (DX) mode. With a bird in flight or a bird with a background that appears all silky because of the bokeh it is hard to get the feeling of the habitat but in this frame that habitat is very apparent.

Portrait of a Red-tailed Hawk in Box Elder CountyPortrait of a Red-tailed Hawk in Box Elder County – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

As I was heading north I came across this Red-tailed Hawk on a power pole that was very cooperative. The road was close to the pole  and even when I pulled way off the shoulder I could not fit the whole bird in the frame so I decided to take portraits of it. If I had stayed further south or north of this hawk to allow for room to capture the hawk in flight I would have had crappy light on the bird and I would have come home with images I just would have deleted. I have no doubt that I made the right choice. I enjoyed seeing and photography the Red-tailed Hawks near the Promontory Mountains.

Life is good.

Mia

4 Comments

  1. Patty Chadwick August 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Another great Portrait by McPherson….I LOVE the close ups!!! I wonder what his mother thinks about his flat top hairdo…

  2. Susan Stone August 12, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Love the facial expression in the first shot. It looks like the bird is horrified by what it has just seen…

    • Elephant's Child August 12, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      You are so right. I love the focus in the portrait too. And the benefits we receive from Mia’s ‘good life’.

  3. Stu Megan August 12, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Great Series of Photos Mia. Hawks always look so busy and focused, and you capture that well.

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