Autumn Swainson’s Hawk

/, Box Elder County, Swainson's Hawks, Utah/Autumn Swainson’s Hawk

Intermediate morph Swainson's Hawk staring at meIntermediate morph Swainson’s Hawk staring at me – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Yesterday I wrote that fall is the time of the year that I say a fond farewell to Swainson’s Hawks and that I look forward to seeing Rough-legged Hawks and not long after I posted I was out the door to go out into the field for the first time in more than a week.

Mid-morning I found a perched intermediate morph Swainson’s Hawk in Box Elder County and was delighted when it didn’t fly off immediately.

However, the mosquitoes in that particular area made it very difficult to photograph the hawk, there must have been a horde of 300 of them waiting for just the right time to bite me. I even had to spit one out because somehow the horrible thing had gotten into my mouth.  Nasty bugs! I will be glad to see colder weather just to get rid of those blood-suckers.

Maybe I’ll photograph another Swainson’s Hawk before they all leave for South America and maybe I won’t but I am glad this one gave me the chance to photograph it.

Life is good.


By the way, some of my subscribers are not getting their email notification when I post, I know for a few days I didn’t and it has been sporadic. I apologize for that but those emails are generated by a WordPress Plugin and with the last update it messed things up. The staff who create that plugin have been on a retreat of sorts but are scheduled to return today. I hope they apply a fix soon.


  1. Mia McPherson September 27, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Thanks for your comments and Linda for the idea about the beekeeping suit. I’ve considered buying a scuba suit to keep the mosquitoes at bay. They got me yesterday too but not as bad because I was able to douse myself with bug juice before I got to the south end of the road.

  2. Utahbooklover September 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Wonderful image. I just killed a mosquito in my kitchen after she tried to bite me. Yes they are pretty bad here in Box Elder County, and they present a danger to old timers like me (West Nile).

  3. Elephant's Child September 26, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    You might have been happy to see the Swainson’s hawk but he/she looks less impressed at you.
    Love the shot.

  4. Patty Chadwick September 26, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Welcome back to your ” normal” posting format!!! You were “findable” but it was a little tricky…one of the things I like about this image is that it demonstrates how it can blend into the foliage even though the colors are different. It almost looks like a dark spot or shadowed area of foliage. You’re getting some beautiful crisp detaill…

  5. Linda Laugen September 26, 2016 at 8:10 am

    How about a bee-keeper’s outfit? I’m serious! I adore MN – but only in the winter. Minnesotans say that the mosquito is the State Bird – sadly – but good food for some birds! Thanks also for the explanation about the days without Mia and Friends!

  6. Liz Cormack September 26, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Love this shot.

  7. Roger Burnard September 26, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Mia… I see you’ve picked up a Nikon D500 which will give you about 50% more “reach.”
    I have two, and love them. Have you relegated your D810 to other duties? Your are
    getting great shots, so I can see that you are having fun.. keep your great images coming. ;-)))

  8. Bob mcpherson September 26, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia. Hope those nasty bugs go dormant soon. They are bad on the Gulf coast also.

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