Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday - Red-tailed Hawk

Thought I'd take a break from the shore birds and switch to raptors for a while.  Last year, my family members got together and purchased a lesson with a professional photographer for me as they knew I was getting into cameras and wildlife pretty seriously and I'd about reached the limit of self-taught/internet learning.  The teacher was nice enough to agree to meet me outdoors at one of my favorite spots.  I learned a lot that day and saw a significant improvement in my photos thereafter.  However, the birds were singularly uncooperative...we were limited to a few Mallards and a couple of doves as subjects.

After the hour was up and the teacher had left, I decided to stick around and practice some more in the hopes that I'd remember at least most of what she taught me.  Just as I was packing up to leave, I looked up and there was this gorgeous Red-tailed Hawk sitting in the tree above my car.  It must've heard I was looking for model subjects and decided to be extremely cooperative and not move.  There were a few branches/leaves in the way so I can't say the shots are quite as good as I wanted them to be, but they were certainly better than most everything I'd done before this.

Normally, I don't get to see these guys this close up.  They are usually perched on the freeway light posts and I go zooming by them at 65+ mph.  It's great to see the beautiful detail and patterning in their feathers.

Clearly, this bird knew I was there and was keeping an eye on me, but didn't seem too bothered by my presence.

Wish I'd been able to get rid of that blurry bit of leaves in the lower left, but when I maneuvered around the tree, I just ended up with more branches/leaves in the way.  This was the clearest vantage point.

This was the last shot I got before he took off.  He's just starting to lean forward a little bit before launching.


Wild Bird Wednesday


Lea said...

Gorgeous photos of a magnificent bird!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it is a beautiful hawk! Great collection of photos! Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

Phil Slade said...

Those are really good photos. Bird and eye in focus, good exposure and you caught some excellent poses.

Marie C said...

Well, how exciting! And just like the hawk to wait till your teacher left so you wouldn't be able to have your lesson with him around. The one-on-one with the hawk though was perfect!

Stewart M said...

Great shots - birds of prey are always a challenge to photograph - and I keep just missing them!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Nice shots of the Redtail. Those leaves do not detract from the images-- they add a sense of place.