Red-tailed Hawk fluttering its wings

/, Box Elder County, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah/Red-tailed Hawk fluttering its wings

Red-tailed Hawk fluttering its wings on a poleRed-tailed Hawk fluttering its wings on a pole – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When I took this image of a Red-tailed Hawk fluttering its wings on a pole in Box Elder County earlier this month I didn’t think I’d like it and I am still not sure if I do.

The pole isn’t visually appealing to me, it lacks the character and patina I like to see in wooden objects in my photos but I do find the fluttering wings of the hawk interesting in that they show the patterns under the wings of the Red-tailed Hawk quite clearly. I wish this hawk had been perched on a natural object like a tree, stump or a rocky cliff because I feel the image would be more compelling or stronger.

Then I looked at the image again and was reminded of how many times I have seen a brass eagle on top of flag poles and chuckled a bit because this Red-tailed Hawk looks far better to me than those fake eagles on a flag pole and anything that makes me laugh these past two days is a good thing.

Life is good.


I’m having internet connection issues again so I am keeping this short.


  1. Pepe Forte October 29, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I may be an echo in the hallway…but Glen Fox nailed it. Your images and expert observations are terrific. As I may have said before, through your eyes we get to see wildlife in a whole new way. And it is beautiful.

    By the way…wonderful pic of the red-tailed hawk. Thanks Mia.

  2. Patty Chadwick October 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    I got a big chuckle out of your eagle on a pole comment because that was exactly my reaction before I even read your comment! Must be something to it….

  3. Elephant's Child October 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    The bird is a great deal less picky about the pole than you are (or Ron would be).
    Love those patterns – which most of us will never see.
    Thank you.

  4. Bill Lindner October 29, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Thanks Mia for your blog. Enjoy it every day. I’ve noticed you have been using your D500 a bit more recently and wonder how you like it? I want to upgrade my D7000 and thought about the D7200 but with the recent price drop, I’m thinking of stretching a bit and going for the D500.

    • Mia McPherson October 29, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Hi Bill,

      I’m happy to hear you enjoy my blog posts, thanks for letting me know.

      I am loving the D500, the frames per second burst rate is terrific for bird photography, it focuses very quickly and by using the XQD card I do not have to worry about filling my buffer. It is a great camera and I would recommend it.

      I think the price drop on the D500 is up very soon!

  5. Liz Cormack October 29, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I know where you are coming from about the pole but I think this image is wonderful. The hawk is doing what comes naturally & you’ve caught the pattern under the wings perfectly.

  6. Bob McPherson October 29, 2016 at 7:21 am

    A Grand image, Mia. Something we may have never had the opportunity to see. Thanks for your work and please take a bow.

  7. Glen Fox October 29, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Not every image has to be compositionally perfect Mia. As you say, “this image reveals the patterns under the wings quite clearly”. Worth having in your collection. Your skills are great, and as a lover of birds and as a trained ornithologist, I appreciate your efforts to document what you observe and to share those observations. You are a great educator. Your digital camera captures details and fleeting moments we never see. I am very grateful to you for that.

    • Mia McPherson October 29, 2016 at 7:18 am

      Thank you so much Glen, you have no idea how much I needed to hear what you wrote this morning.

Comments are closed.