Rousing leap from a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
As a bird photographer who spends enormous amounts of time in the field with my feathered subjects I am able to see avian behaviors that other people don’t see who aren’t focused on birds. Of course they probably see things I don’t because my mind is so often zeroed in on birds.
Two years ago today I went up north not quite to Idaho to look for raptors and other birds to photograph. One has to get up early to be there when the sun rises because it is a long drive but it can be highly productive for raptors there or it can be a flop, you just never know. That day except for a surprise great Horned Owl the far northern leg of the trip was pretty much a flop.
On the way home I did spot a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk sitting on a power pole near a spring and I put my lens on it because I was hoping it would take flight after it finished preening itself on the pole. The scenery there is gorgeous so I didn’t mind waiting to see if the young raptor would take flight.
When the young Red-tailed Hawk finished preening I thought it would rouse and then take off but it decided to rouse and lift off at the same time…
Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk rousing after lift off – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
And the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was still rousing as it took flight. As I recall I was laughing and taking photos at the same time because it just looked so odd to see it rousing while leaping off of the pole. After I took this image the hawk stopped rousing and flew away. You never know what you will see as a bird photographer.
Life is good.