Immature Red-tailed Hawk at East Canyon State Park

/, Diurnal Raptors, East Canyon State Park, Morgan County, Red-tailed Hawks, Utah, Wasatch Mountains/Immature Red-tailed Hawk at East Canyon State Park

Immature Red-tailed Hawk crouching prior to lift off, East Canyon State Park, Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County, UtahImmature Red-tailed Hawk crouching prior to lift off – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

I spent a little time in the Wasatch Mountains yesterday morning looking for birds and I did find a few of them. I was able to photograph two immature Red-tailed Hawks at East Canyon State Park and the photos I am sharing today are of the first one that I found.

The immature Red-tailed Hawk was using fence posts along the road to perch on to scan the area for prey, at first it was lit up nicely then a cloud came in an darkened the scene then just before it lifted off from the fence post the sun broke through the clouds again. I liked how the young hawk crouched down before it lifted off.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk in flight at East Canyon State Park, Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County, UtahImmature Red-tailed Hawk in flight at East Canyon State Park – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

When the immature red tail raised its wings to lift off I clipped the tips of its wings but in the next few frames when it flattened its wings on a down stroke I was able to get this flight pose that I liked and I also appreciated the intense look of the young hawk’s eyes.

Immature Red-tailed Hawk flying towards prey, East Canyon State Park, Wasatch Mountains, Morgan County, UtahImmature Red-tailed Hawk flying towards prey – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR, natural light, not baited

Then for a few frames I either had fence posts or fence rails in front of the immature Red-tailed Hawk as it flew towards the prey it had spotted until this frame that showed the entire hawk with its eye on whatever it had spotted. This image is full frame and I’m so glad I didn’t clip the feet and talons when I took this photo.

The other immature Red-tailed Hawk was on a hillside not too far from where this one was photographed as a crow flies, I may post those photos on another day.

Life is good.

Mia

9 Comments

  1. Pepe Forte November 10, 2018 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Terrific shots of one of my faves. I really like how you caught the predatory nature of the hawk as it looks for prey in the 3rd pic. The detail and intensity you captured in the eyes is particularly vivid in each pic; especially the 3rd. Thanks Mia.

  2. Ken Schneider November 8, 2018 at 3:52 am - Reply

    Magnificent photos of the hawk at rest and especially in flight!

  3. Elephants Child November 6, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    I suspect (from a position of ignorance) that crouching down before take off allows the hawk to calibrate its lift-off better.
    Stunning shot.

  4. Elizabeth Marker November 6, 2018 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Your pictures awe and bring me joy everyday but especially today. Nature and your pictures are magnificent.

    • Patty Chadwick November 6, 2018 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      AMEN!!!

  5. sue Johnson November 6, 2018 at 10:26 am - Reply

    this is a fabulous behavior series, Mia!
    I love the crouched hawk; so intense and ready to explode.
    Thank you!

  6. Liz Cormack November 6, 2018 at 9:16 am - Reply

    Fabulous detail.

  7. Marty Snyder November 6, 2018 at 9:05 am - Reply

    These just took my breath away! Thank you so much. I love the intensity of the eyes, and how the wing feathers separate.

  8. Tim Derry November 6, 2018 at 6:17 am - Reply

    Absolutley gorgeous Mia. Periodically I see the immatures around, but always from a distance, I really appreciate seeing the detail in your photos.

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