Autumn East Canyon Red-tailed Hawk Adults

/, East Canyon, Morgan County, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah, Wasatch Mountains/Autumn East Canyon Red-tailed Hawk Adults

I saw a low of 15°F yesterday morning up in the East Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains and I also saw plenty of Red-tailed Hawks perched in trees and flying along the way.

Autumn adult Red-tailed Hawk perched in an Aspen, Wasatch Mountains, East Canyon, Morgan County, UtahAutumn adult Red-tailed Hawk perched in an Aspen – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I struggled with heat wave distortion a lot yesterday morning and I was disappointed in the quality of many of the photos I took because of that. These two photos of adult Red-tailed Hawks in the East Canyon were fine and didn’t seem affected by the heat wave distortion.

In the immediate area where this adult Red-tailed Hawk was perched in an Aspen I could see six other red tails hanging around in the trees and hillsides. I love the view of the red tail of this hawk but I am not so sure about the cluttered setting.

East Canyon Red-tailed Hawk adult, Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County, UtahEast Canyon Red-tailed Hawk adult – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I like the setting and clean background of this Red-tailed Hawk image more than I do the previous photo but I wish the red tail was more visible. The background is distant mountains with some Gambel’s Oaks that have changed colors because of the cooler temps.

I did see some snow up close in the mountains. The weather is changing quickly here and I actually had to wear my fleece under layers to stay warm.

Life is good.


Red-tailed Hawk facts and information:

Buteo jamaicensis

  • Red-tailed Hawks can be found in every state in the U.S. except Hawaii and throughout most of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
  • They are hawks of open country, fields, deserts, mixed woodlands, grasslands, roadsides, pastures, range and agricultural areas and will perch and nest on man-made as well as natural objects.
  • Northern Red-tailed Hawks including the Harlan’s subspecies are migratory while other Red-tailed Hawks are year round residents. Hawks that breed high in mountain ranges often descend to lower elevations over the winter.
  • Red-tailed hawks are monogamous and may mate for life.
  • Mated pairs will also hunt together.
  • They lay 1 to 5 eggs which hatch in about 30 days. Both sexes incubate the eggs.
  • Courting Red-tailed Hawks put on an aerial display that both sexes participate in.
  • Red-tailed Hawks are known to have extremely variable plumage, some of that variability is due to geographical regions the Red-tailed Hawks are found in and some variation is because there are light, intermediate (rufous), and dark morphs including Harlan’s Hawks which are darker overall.
  • Their diet includes small mammals including rabbits, jackrabbits, hares, mice, voles, ground squirrels, and rats. They will also consume upland game birds, passerines, lizards, snakes and carrion.
  • Red-tailed Hawks used to be called Chicken Hawks.
  • Red-tailed Hawks can live beyond 21 years


  1. sue Johnson October 16, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Your 1st red-tailed hawk photo is fantastic: Greys, and whites and blacks…and that beautiful red tail!
    I don’t think that you go into the great outdoors and say “it’s too cluttered out here”.
    This photo takes me straight to this hawk in it’s beautiful tree and I really want to hang out with it for awhile.
    Thank you!

  2. Patty Chadwick October 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Both are very beautiful….

  3. Elephants Child October 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    If the bird is happy in its setting (and this red-tail looks supremely comfortable, so should we be.

  4. Bruce Grosjean October 16, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Nice Mia!

  5. Ian Holland October 16, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Excellent photos!

  6. Liz Cormack October 16, 2018 at 8:19 am

    What cluttered setting? Eyes zero in on the beautiful Red-tailed Hawk. The white of the Aspen gives a nice contrast to the bird..

  7. Cindy October 16, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Aw Mia, there is always such perfection in your images and you bring us all a world we rarely see. Have you ever heard the song “Redtail Hawk” by Kate Wolf? You would love it. 🙂

  8. Ernest J Ellison (Jerry) October 16, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Very nice photos Mia, I really like natural even busy natural poses much better than telephone poles etc, so yours are great and the info about the Red-Tails is very helpful to a novice like me!!

  9. Bob Mcpherson October 16, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Beautiful photos Mia

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