Adult Red-tailed Hawk with an Ant

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Red-tailed Hawk and an antRed-tailed Hawk and an ant – Nikon D810, f9, 1/640, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

On my last trip up to Montana and Idaho I photographed a very cooperative adult Red-tailed Hawk in Beaverhead County, Montana who had a full crop and was perched on a fence post along the road.

I processed the image in the post I linked to above on my lap top while I was still in Montana. I don’t delete anything but the worst images while I am on camping trips because I don’t really trust the screen on my lap top as far as sharpness and detail go. Sometimes after processing an image to post while I am on a trip I send the processed image(s) to my phone and tablet by Bluetooth because they have higher resolutions and even though the screens are smaller I can see details and sharpness better. I can’t do that with all the images that I take on a trip because it would take too much time so I wait until I get home to go through them all.

Recently I finished going through the images from that last trip and deleted the bad ones plus I took a closer look at the ones I will keep and this photo made me laugh when I brought it up on my large monitor at home. At the time I created this image I didn’t realize that when I took this portrait of the adult Red-tailed Hawk that I also photographed an ant. Can you see it?

Life is good.



  1. Sharon Constant September 6, 2016 at 5:35 am

    That ant was almost invisible. i missed it entirely when I first looked at the image and even after you mentioned it, it took me several seconds to find it. Great eye Mia! (but we knew that already 😉

  2. Elephant's Child September 4, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    An intrepid mountaineering ant.

  3. Pepe Forte September 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Perfect shot Mia! Absolutely stunning detail!

  4. Patty Chadwick September 4, 2016 at 8:06 am

    A beautiful, beautiful portrait of one one of my favorite birds…you can so ckearlyvsee why this bird is called “little brother to the eagle”…I think I see the ant on the bird’s head, but not having the vision of ” Eagle eyes McPherson”, I’m not 100% sure…

    • Mia McPherson September 4, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Hint… look at the belly band 🙂

      • Patty Chadwick September 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

        Finally found it… But only because you said it was there. HOW THE HECK DID YOU EVER, EVER SEE THAT????????

  5. Dickson Smith September 4, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Great shot Mia! That is one small ant with high hopes!!!!!

  6. Bob McPherson September 4, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Thats a cool photoMia.

  7. Liz Cormack September 4, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Is that called “living dangerously”?? I love finding “extras” in photos when I get them up on my computer screen. Life IS good….but maybe not for the ant.

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