Immature Red-tailed Hawk Lift Off and Flight at Farmington Bay

/, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah/Immature Red-tailed Hawk Lift Off and Flight at Farmington Bay

Immature Red-tailed Hawk lifting off from a metal poleImmature Red-tailed Hawk lifting off from a metal pole – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

One good bird can make my day… Yesterday that bird was an immature Red-tailed Hawk at Farmington Bay WMA that lifted off from a metal post and flew over the marsh. This handsome young hawk is experiencing its first winter and while winter can be tough on young raptors the weather hasn’t been as harsh this winter here in northern Utah as it has been in previous years.  In fact it has hardly been “winter” at all.

Even though I have been photographing birds for many years now it is always a thrill for me to see young birds of prey perched, lifting off and in flight and to be able to photograph them as they go about the business of being birds.

Yesterday morning when I noticed a slight change in the young hawk’s behavior that indicated that it might lift off I locked onto the bird and started to fire a burst the second it lifted its wings to push off. In this photo the hawk’s talons were just inches from the metal pole it had been perched on.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk immediately after lift offImmature Red-tailed Hawk immediately after lift off – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

And in this photo the immature Red-tailed Hawk was beginning to gain altitude. The hawk sure looked as if it had its eyes locked onto something in the distance but there was no way for me to even guess at what it might have been.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk in flight over a marshImmature Red-tailed Hawk in flight over a marsh – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I always love it when I can photograph a raptor in this pose with the wings and tail lifted up and when the legs are still hanging below the bird, I really can’t say why I like it, but I do.  Maybe it is because it shows those feathered “pantaloons” so well.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk flying over the marsh at Farmington BayImmature Red-tailed Hawk flying over the marsh at Farmington Bay – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

By the time I took this photo of the immature Red-tailed Hawk flying over the marsh I could tell that it wasn’t after prey and that it was just moving from the metal post it had been perched on to a stand of trees to the east. It was my best bird of the day.

Life is good.

Mia

7 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte February 2, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    This group of pics captures all that is sweeping and magnificent about hawks. As always I love the detail. Really neat shots Mia. Thanks.

  2. sue January 31, 2018 at 9:52 am

    with the third shot I really feel like I’m there! Absolutely WOW!
    Thank you!
    Sue

  3. Keith Nichols January 30, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    Wonderful photos of this hawk!!

  4. Laura Culley January 30, 2018 at 10:33 am

    Ah yeah, you’ve got me with this one. But truth be told, I really don’t care that much what they’re doing. I’m fascinated by it. I can watch redtails (and most birds, really–I’m not THAT fussy LOL!) do anything. And when they look healthy and hearty, yeah, well, I’m good! 😉
    Yesterday, I got to catch a mating flight with the neighborhood redtails out over the desert. I was stuck in place with my jaw dropped to the ground for about 30 minutes as they did their aerial dance. That’s the most erotic thing I’ve ever witnessed!

  5. Patty Chadwick January 30, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Wonderful series!!! I especially like the third frame with the up spread wings….beautiful!!!

  6. Marty K January 30, 2018 at 6:52 am

    I’m quite drawn to the third shot as well. The first shot is pretty fantastic too!

  7. Liz Cormack January 30, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Fantastic series of photos. The detail is amazing.

Comments are closed.