Even though it started off cloudy yesterday morning here in Salt Lake City the radar/satellite indicated that there might be some cloud free skies further north and with high hopes that is where I wanted to be. The radar/satellite was mostly right and I did have some sunshine along with Swainson’s Hawks, plenty of Swainson’s Hawks. I think I saw more Swainson’s Hawks yesterday than I have ever seen other than a very large kettle of them I saw in Montana several years ago during migration.
I had beautiful views of this light morph Swainson’s Hawk from the north side of the road.
The background in these first two photos was mostly high dried grasses (lower portion of the frame) and distant mountains that the sun was shining on which gave me a lot of tans, browns and a touch of green in the background.
By moving further west and closer to the Swainson’s Hawk the background behind the bird changed dramatically because instead of the sun shining on the distant mountains there was a cloud that cast shadows on them which gave me a more blue toned background behind the hawk. Because I was closer to the hawk the nearby dried grasses were not visible in this image or the one below and the angle of my lens was also slightly different.
The Swainson’s had a loose feather that was stuck in its gape and touched the lower edge of its eyes in this frame.
The Swainson’s Hawk scratched that loose feather several times but didn’t dislodge it while I was with the bird. In this frame at least the feather didn’t obstruct my view of the hawk’s dark brown eye.
I always try to pay attention to what is going on in the background of my photos because by changing distance or angles the same bird, like this Swainson’s Hawk, can look very different in my images. The sunshine and shadows also helped to created different backgrounds in these Swainson’s Hawk photos.
Bird photography is fun and life is good.
The differences in angles and backgrounds can also be seen in these two posts: