A Swainson’s Hawk juvenile jumping to a new perch

/, Birds, Centennial Valley, Montana, Swainson's Hawks/A Swainson’s Hawk juvenile jumping to a new perch

A Swainson's Hawk juvenile jumping to a new perchA Swainson’s Hawk juvenile jumping to a new perch

I have returned from my trip to southwestern Montana and while it is good to be home I am going to miss Montana and the birds I photographed there.

I photographed a Swainson’s Hawk family for several mornings while I was in Montana and this is one of the juveniles I focused on. The two juveniles often perched on power poles, fence posts and at times they could be found on the ground. This juvenile was jumping from the center pole to land on the insulator when I captured this pose. I like the wing position, the fanned tail, the look of concentration and how well the alulae (bastard wing) stand out. I did digitally remove a very out of focus wire at the upper left hand corner of this frame.

I took  hundreds of images of the juvenile Swainson’s Hawks while they preened, perched and begged for food so it will take me some time to go through them all and the other bird images I took on this trip.

Life is good.


* The alula is a small structure located at the joint between the hand-wing and arm-wing of birds and is known to be used in slow flight with high angles of attack such as landing. See: The Function of the Alula in Avian Flight


  1. Utahbooklover September 16, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Wonderful image and another learning experience for some of us (re the alula). The agility in flight of raptors and many other birds never ceases to amaze me.

  2. Elephant's Child September 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    What a glorious shot – and sight.
    Thank you.

  3. Susan Stone September 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Beautiful capture!

  4. Patty Chadwick September 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

    That is one healthy looking bird! A pleasure seeing one looking so good….

  5. Chris Rohrer September 14, 2015 at 9:44 am

    That is one beautiful Swainson’s Hawk. They are getting ready or beginning to head down for the winter. Excellent hawks!

  6. Liz Cormack September 14, 2015 at 6:47 am

    I learn so much from you. I never knew about the alulae. Great shot.

  7. Bob Mcpherson September 14, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Beautiful images, Mia

Comments are closed.