Red-tailed Hawks on Cliff Faces

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Red-tailed Hawk on a lichen covered cliff faceRed-tailed Hawk on a lichen covered cliff face – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This Red-tailed Hawk landed on a lichen-covered cliff face in northern Utah near the end of last month and although the setting was rather busy I still liked this photo. This probably isn’t the kind of photo that I’d see on the glossy pages of a magazine or in a field guide but to me this shows the hawk in its natural habitat and it blends right in to the cliff face.

Red-tailed Hawk on a cliff face nestRed-tailed Hawk on a cliff face nest – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This hawk and its mate chose a cliff face to build their nest and if you didn’t already know where the nest was you could drive past it and never know it was there. I stopped and took only a few photos of this Red-tailed Hawk on this nest before heading down the road.

Even though this pair of hawks is used to traffic rumbling down the road I want to keep my part of any disturbance to this nest and pair of hawks to a minimum. The photos are never as important as the well being of the subject or subjects.

I liked how the Red-tailed Hawk stood out from the cliff in this photo, how the shadow of the hawk fell on the cliff face and that the fine details and textures in the rock stood out well.

I appreciate it when I can photograph Red-tailed Hawks on Cliff faces well away from the man made objects including power poles and wires, fence posts and barbed wire because the hawks seem much more at home and at ease in their natural environment.

Life is good.



  1. Elephants Child April 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    You really do have eagle eyes. I am pretty certain that if any distance was involved that camoflague would defeat me.
    Thank you.

  2. Utahbooklover April 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I agree with Mia and Patty, the first image demonstrates its camouflage well, while the other is outstanding!

  3. Patty Chadwick April 4, 2017 at 9:30 am

    While I really enjoyed the close-up of bird and nest in the second image, the first showed how beautifully the bird blends in with its surroundings…the colors of the bird harmonize so well with the colors and patterns in the rocks and lichens.

  4. Bob mcpherson April 4, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Beautiful photos, MiA.

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