Farewell to the Swainson’s Hawks – I’m Looking Forward to Rough-legged Hawks

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Davis County, Rough-legged Hawks, Swainson's Hawks, Utah/Farewell to the Swainson’s Hawks – I’m Looking Forward to Rough-legged Hawks

Intermediate morph Swainson's Hawk perched on a budding treeIntermediate morph Swainson’s Hawk perched on a budding tree – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1000, ISO 250, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural  light, not baited

Cooler, unsettled weather was ushered in this past week with the advent of fall including a tornado north of where I live on the date of the fall equinox, the leaves are changing and now there is up to a foot of snow in the high country. There is a nip in the air and it won’t be long before I see frost on the ground.

This time of the year also brings about a change in two buteo species I see here in northern Utah. It is time to say a fond farewell to all the Swainson’s Hawks that have nested and raised their families here because they now are heading to South America on their fall migration. I am sure there are still a few Swainson’s Hawks around but they won’t be here for long.

Eye level Rough-legged Hawk in flightEye level Rough-legged Hawk in flight – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural  light, not baited

This time of the year also means I will be keeping my eagle eyes to the sky looking for my first of the year Rough-legged Hawks who migrate here to spend the winter from their arctic breeding grounds. It won’t be long before I will be seeing these elegant hawks perched, hunting and gliding by. I hope I have more opportunities to photograph them this year than I did last year.

Even though I am saying a fond farewell to the Swainson’s Hawks I’m also looking forward to Rough-legged Hawks gracing my life for another season.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover September 25, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Yes, change time is here. I really enjoyed all that rain and both of these images too!

  2. Elephant's Child September 25, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Both so very beautiful.

  3. Margot Rawlins September 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I am new to your work, Mia, and I was immediately smitten by the Swainson’s and, as Patty said, the elegance of the composition of the photo.

  4. Patty Chadwick September 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Two great shots…especially like the first. Beautiful shot of the bird and love the graceful arch of the perch…

  5. Bob McPherson September 25, 2016 at 5:47 am

    Beautiful images, Mia.

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