A Juvenile Female Northern Harrier in a Field of Snow

/, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Northern Harriers, Utah/A Juvenile Female Northern Harrier in a Field of Snow

A juvenile female Northern Harrier in a field of snowA juvenile female Northern Harrier in a field of snow – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

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.

A juvenile female Northern Harrier about to lift off from the snowA juvenile female Northern Harrier about to lift off from the snow – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

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…

A juvenile female Northern Harrier lifting off from a snowy fieldA juvenile female Northern Harrier lifting off from a snowy field – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

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.

A juvenile female Northern Harrier flying over a field of snowA juvenile female Northern Harrier flying over a field of snow – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 320, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

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.

Mia

7 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child February 15, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Such a beautiful and heart stirring thing to see.
    Thank you.

  2. Utahbooklover February 15, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Nice images! Always amazed at the survival of the winter birds. They will appreciate the forecast which calls for the temperature warming up to the 50s this week.

  3. dave sparks February 15, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Wow! Life is definitely good when you have the opportunity to photography Harriers with a snow background! Beautiful images.

  4. Patty Chadwick February 15, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I especially Like the third shot showing the powerful downstroke and the white edging of the wings.

  5. Liz Cormack February 15, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia.

  6. Bob McPherson February 15, 2016 at 6:19 am

    Beautiful images, Mia.

  7. Ian Holland February 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Great captures!

Comments are closed.