Swainson’s Hawk Landing on the Rocks in Box Elder County

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Male Swainson's Hawk landing with talons reaching outMale Swainson’s Hawk landing with talons reaching out – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Five days ago I photographed this male Swainson’s Hawk landing with his talons reaching out for the lichen covered rocks he was going to perch on. I love the setting even though the background is a bit messy with the out of focus sagebrush because of the lichen on the rocks and the spiky grasses growing there.

While I that wish the hawk was facing a bit more towards me I appreciate the intense look of concentration he appears to have in his eye. And I don’t think I have ever seen the feathers on a Swainson’s legs look so much like bloomers in my life!

Life is good.



  1. Bill Richmond May 18, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Very Nice !!

  2. Elephant's Child May 17, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I became aware of bird britches some time ago – and love these.

  3. Utahbooklover May 17, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Love it — I assume this was in Box Elder county, probably Antelope Island?

    • Mia McPherson May 18, 2016 at 4:39 am

      Utahbooklover, no, this was north of Antelope Island. I haven’t seen but one or two Swainson’s Hawks on the island this year.

  4. M. Bruce May 17, 2016 at 10:53 am


  5. Catherine May 17, 2016 at 10:45 am

    This is my new favorite Mia photo. The colors, the light, the moment caught – fabulous.

  6. Patty Chadwick May 17, 2016 at 8:35 am

    This has got to be one of the best “coming in for a landing” shots I’ve ever jseen…love the detail, the bird’s intensity of focus…and the background.

  7. Liz Cormack May 17, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I’ve said before that you are your own worst critic. I think the photo is absolutely wonderful. And, yes, the hawk does look like he’s wearing bloomers.

  8. Roger Burnard May 17, 2016 at 7:24 am

    NICE, NICE, NICE….. ;-)))

  9. Bob McPherson May 17, 2016 at 6:20 am

    Superb photo, Mia. Please take a bow.

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