Beaverhead County Red-tailed Hawks

/, Birds, Centennial Valley, Montana, Red-tailed Hawks/Beaverhead County Red-tailed Hawks

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk along the South Valley RoadJuvenile Red-tailed Hawk in flight along the South Valley Road – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

These are a few of the Beaverhead County Red-tailed Hawks that I have photographed while on this trip to Montana and Idaho. This first image is a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in flight along the South Valley Road. The blue sky and sagebrush below it made for a silky smooth background behind the young raptor flying along side the road.

Sub-adult Red-tailed Hawk RousingSub-adult Red-tailed Hawk Rousing – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This second image is of a sub-adult Red-tailed Hawk rousing next to the road. The hawk looks a bit scruffy but as usual I couldn’t resist photographing it, I don’t really care what plumage phase the birds I photograph are in. It is hard to see in this frame but some of its tail feathers are red like an adults and some are retained juvenile tail feathers. Once again I have sagebrush in the background plus some shadows of conifers in the distance.

Red-tailed Hawk near Lima, MontanaRed-tailed Hawk near Lima, Montana – Nikon D810, f9, 1/250, ISO 250, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This final image is an Red-tailed Hawk taken east of Lima, Montana and it was one of the most cooperative adult Red-tails that I have ever run across. That may have been because the hawk’s crop was full and it didn’t really want to take flight while digesting its most recent meal or maybe it simply didn’t feel threatened. At any rate I am glad it allowed me to take a nice series of images of it. The background here isn’t sage, it is out of focus willows along the Red Rock River’s banks. This bird looks a little scruffy too.

That is okay with me, I am pretty sure after several days of camping I look scruffy too. Oh well, comme ci, comme ça.

Life is good.



  1. Sterling Sanders July 15, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    Great shots Mia! Love em all. Well worth the trip if you didn’t capture anything else.

  2. Jane Chesebrough July 15, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Great shots do like the one showing the red tail but also the others . I saw a pair on Monday and took lots of photos but none were as nice as these though it was a pleasure to watch and listen!

  3. Elephant's Child July 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Just glorious. Even when having a ‘bad feather’ day.

  4. Christine July 15, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Fabulous shots Mia – love the one in the middle!

  5. Linda Laugen July 15, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Oh, the EYE – that BEADY EYE – in the top photo!! Someone beat me to a comment about it – transfixing – the purposeful, convicting Eye of God!! Interestingly, not focused on us but on his own pursuits.

  6. Bob McPherson July 15, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Drop dead gorgeous images, Mia. Love the eye contact.

  7. Patty Chadwick July 15, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Three great images, but the last is by far my favorite…this is an incredible capture! Love the close up detail of the bird and especially like the soft mottling of harmonious colors in the background….

  8. Roger Burnard July 15, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Damn Mia, but you are one lucky lady to find this bird so close,
    and a great photographer to get the shots… Well done, yes, well done. ;-))

  9. Kim July 15, 2016 at 5:47 am


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