At the end of January there was a nice, clear morning at Farmington Bay WMA and I spotted a juvenile female Northern Harrier in a field of snow next to the road who was a cooperative subject. That means she hung around long enough to get quite a few images of her resting on the ground before she took off. Some of these harriers don’t give you the time to lift your lens and focus on them before they take off.
I liked the combination of her colors against the white of the snow and the darker colors of the downed vegetation.
After a bit of time I could tell that she was going to lift off so I locked my focus on her and hoped she wouldn’t turn and fly away with her back to me as harriers often do. She squatted…
And with a thrust of her legs and her wings lifted high she started lifting off from the snowy field even before her talons left the ground.
And as quick as that this beautiful juvenile Northern Harrier was in flight over the field of snow.
Winter here in Northern Utah is hard on juvenile birds of prey especially when there is plenty of snow on the ground and the temperatures are very low. The tough survive.
Life is good.