Red-tailed Hawk on a nest box at Farmington Bay – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Almost three years ago today I spent time photographing a Red-tailed Hawk at Farmington Bay that was hunting in a snowy field while using a nest box as a perch to watch for prey. The Red-tailed Hawk wasn’t quite fully grown, even though it had the red tail of an adult it still had the light colored eyes of a juvenile instead of the dark eyes of an adult.
Red-tailed Hawk on a snowy field – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
The Red-tailed Hawk perched on top of the nest box over the snowy field and when it located prey it would lift off and fly towards the prey. While I photographed this hawk I see it successfully catch prey once. The heavy cover of snow on the ground may have been an obstacle, it is for many birds of prey at this time of the year.
Red-tailed Hawk drying its feathers – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
One time when the hawk returned to its perch on the nest box it shook and then spread its tail out to dry and by doing so it gave me a great view of the dark bands of its red tail. The out of focus snow-covered Wasatch Mountain Range behind the hawk made for a nice background.
Red-tailed Hawk yawning on a nest box – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited
Then the Red-tailed Hawk yawned a couple of times while basking in the bright morning sun before it flew north and I left the hawk to head home. Some times I wonder if this same hawk shows up at Farmington Bay during the winter, who knows, maybe it does.
Life is good.