I probably photograph Swainson’s Hawks on the ground more than any other hawk species I aim my camera at but it isn’t all that often that I am able to photograph them as close as this adult hawk was to me. The bird had been hidden in the roadside grasses and was flushed when the vehicle went by but only flew over the fence onto the ground instead of flying further away.
It is hard to see in this image but the fence was between the hawk and my camera and the wire fencing material isn’t visible. The only explanation I have for the invisible wire fence is that I was close to both the bird and the fence and perhaps my depth of field and my lens smoothed the wires out so much that they visually disappeared.
I know they were there.
The Swainson’s Hawk had dropped its prey when it flushed and instead of flying over to it the hawk walked through a hole in the fence, through the grasses and into a shallow ditch where it grabbed a dead rodent (probably a vole) and flew off to finish its interrupted breakfast. The image above was taken just before the hawk went through a hole in the fence at ground level.
I thought the invisible fence made this roadside Swainson’s Hawk in rural Montana an interesting subject to share.
Life is good.