Monday, February 23, 2009

Bird Photography Weekly-Red Tailed Hawk



This photographic opportunity was ironically enough handed to me. I spent most of my Saturday morning in some woods in Grafton, Massachusetts trying to get some decent photos of a red tailed hawk that kept soaring past me, but not so much that I could take a worthy photo.

I finally gave up, got in my car and was driving to my next destination when suddenly I could see a car full of people pulled over on the side of the road with their fingers pointing toward the sky. I looked up and noticed the hawk was going toward the direction of the elementary school and immediately followed. It sat long enough for me to turn on my camera, unroll my window, zoom in just a tad and then click. I was going to zoom in a little more and it flew off. This prompted me to put my car in park ,get out of my car and attempt a couple of more photos in flight before it took off. It was exhausting and very quick so I couldn't keep up with it.


While very happy with my first photos of a red tailed, I do wish it would have sat still a little longer for me so I could get a few more pictures. Do hawks ever sit still? Such gorgeous birds!!

For more great bird photography pictures go to Bird Photography Weekly over at my sidebar.





31 comments:

A New England Life said...

Wow! Good for you! It's always so exciting seeing one of these gorgeous birds up close. You caught some nice shots from underneath too, something I've been hoping to do this winter but haven't had the opportunity.

We have quite of few RTH's around here and in the summer we would quite often see one sitting on the lines out in front of our house! Hopefully they'll be back this summer so I can capture them with my new camera : )

Jayne said...

They typically will fly away as soon as they notice you staring at them in my experience! Great captures Kallen!!

Kelly said...

...great shot! I just saw your name on the Bird Photography Weekly page, cool! ...also, I like your new picture. Are you standing in front of your kitchen window?

Kallen305 said...

NE Life, you will see tons of them very soon, I am sure. They just started coming here in massive droves these past two weeks.

Jayne, I hear you on them flying away once they see you. I was very lucky getting this picture!

Kelly, yes I am standing in front of my kitchen window. The last photo was over 2 years old and needed a new one as an update as my hair is now much longer. I figured it was an approprate place even though I only spend approx 20% of my time now birding from my window. HA. Thanks

Ruth said...

Yes, I was thinking again that you need to change your blog title to something like City and Country Birder. I like the was the nice blue skies set off your birds shots.

Elaine Dale said...

Great shot! We do RTH counts while we're driving but the highways are too busy to pull over for photos. You lucky girl!

Shellmo said...

You captured some wonderful flight photos!! I love seeing their wings outstretch and how they soar in the sky!

madcobug said...

You got some fantastic shots of that one. Helen

Lynne said...

Nice job Kallen! Birds in flight really challenge me. I have lots of pictures of just one wing!

Cam said...

Way to go! I found that you have to be both super fast & patient when trying to photograph birds lol.

Mildred said...

I've looked forward to today's post from you and you did not dissapoint. LOVE your photos!

NCmountainwoman said...

Very nice shots of the hawk in flight.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Ah the vicissitudes of bird photography! Sometimes a photo-op would be handed to you as in your case with the Red-tailed hawk, sometimes it isn't that easy though..... :-)

The Early Birder said...

Sometimes the most unexpected opportunities produce the best results. These pics are excellent. Well done. FAB

Sparverius said...

Hawks are great. And yes, they do sit still, sometimes. But catching one in flight is great!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful photos of the hawk... You even got his 'red tail.' That's so neat!!!!

Congrats.
Hugs,
Betsy

Deborah Godin said...

Beautiful capture of the soaring!! I always love the up-curl on the very ends of the spread feathers!

mick said...

Nice bird chase! and glad you got your photos.

Steve B said...

I feel your pain, but you decided to get your shots and you got them! Good for you!

Vickie said...

Great photo! I know the excitement. You've got good determination and that's what makes it happen.

mon@rch said...

I love Red-tailed Hawks and they can be tricky to photograph! You did a great job these photos!

Chad said...

Great picture. I see these on the roadside all the time and would just love to stop and get a good picture. Nice birds!

Mary said...

Kallen, I like your new profile photo! And, you sure nailed that hawk in flight.

Photos of birds in flight - I can't do it. I just can't for some reason.

Bravo!

Mary

Tina said...

Congrats on your first pic of a red-tail!! I know just how excited you must have been..I 've chased several myself and never got a shot until a few weeks ago..and then they weren't the greatest...but what awesome birds..amazing to watch.
I love you photos and think you did a great job!!

Little Brown Job said...

Beautiful looking bird, great shots.

Paul.

NW Nature Nut said...

Wonderful photos! You are getting pretty good with that new camera!
By the way, this might interest you. I just posted a link on my blog to a Red-tailed Hawk nest cam here in Portland. A local news station and our local Audubon society work together to fund it. It's fun to watch the nesting process. Currently they are in the home-making stages.

bookbabie said...

I love hawks, they are so majestic, great captures!

Kyle said...

Great capture on your first Red-tailed pic, K! I absolutely love that first shot.

I have to admit that the vast majority of my decent shots are "lucky encounters" as well. Rarely do I find whatever it is that I'm specifically looking for on a trip, but then great opportunities like this just drop in your lap and make it all worthwhile.

And yes, very many birds of prey are very observant and will take off if they notice you looking/staring directly at them. I read somewhere that if you turn your head away and only glance at them, or keep your eyes partially hidden under the brim of a hat while you watch, that they are less likely to take off. Haven't tried that one yet myself, so I don't know if it's true...

Larry Jordan said...

Awesome capture of the Red-tailed Hawk Kim! The in flight shots are great too.

It's not easy getting great shots of birds, especially birds of prey. I have been trying to get a decent shot of an American Kestrel (which are abundant here) but when I get within 50 yards of the one I see every day, he takes off. I think he knows my car now as I slow down every time I see him. They are very smart plus have much better vision than we do.

You are doing a great job capturing your birds. It's usually a matter of being in the right place at the right time (with your camera of course).

MaineBirder said...

Very nice photos Kallen!

I agree with Jane, they almost always fly away when you look at them... let alone focus the camera on them!

Leedra said...

One word says it all...Awesome!

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