Immature 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 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 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 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.