Connect With Me
Tony's Takes on Facebook Tony's Takes on Twitter Tony's Takes on Google+ Tony's Takes on Pinterest Tony's Takes RSS Feed
Photo Use Information
All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
Archives

Red Tailed Hawk

Stretch and launch!

This raptor was hanging out on the mast of a sailboat at Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado yesterday. I managed a nice series of it sitting and then launching and taking flight. This one I like the best – kind of a unique pose. Red Tails are the most common hawks here in Colorado along the Front Range, so much so that I oftentimes just bypass them without even attempting to take a picture.

A Red Tailed Hawk stretches its wings and takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Tailed Hawk stretches its wings and takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

Red Tailed Hawk waits out the fog and frost

Chilly temperatures, frost and thick fog yesterday morning had activity on the plains at a standstill. Driving around, if something was more than 30 feet from my truck I wasn’t going to see it.

Wildlife as well was hampered by the conditions with raptors staying put on their perches, waiting for the weather to clear. As things finally started to break, I came across this hawk huddled up on an old, rusted out windmill. The muted colors caused by the drab conditions make this image work for me.

A Red Tailed Hawk waits for the fog to clear while roosted on an old windmill on a farm in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Tailed Hawk waits for the fog to clear while roosted on an old windmill on a farm in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Red Tailed Hawk casts a curious look

As the most common hawk in my area, Red Tails are something I could probably photograph every day with little effort despite their notorious skittishness. Normally though I drive right by them as I don’t usually find them particularly handsome or compelling subjects unless they are doing something interesting.

This young one though caught my eye yesterday and I had to stop to visit with it. It was perched over a rural road and while fluffed up against cold temperatures and with the deep, blue Colorado sky behind it, it looked very cute.

As interested as I was in it, it seemed almost more so interested in me. It stared at me, canting its head at odd angles as if to try to figure out what I was doing. All the while, it was completely calm and never appeared threatened by me. Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

A young Red Tailed Hawk looks curiously at the photographer. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Red Tailed Hawk looks curiously at the photographer. (© Tony’s Takes)

Dive!

A young Red Tailed Hawk takes flight. Not sure if it was something I said or what but this raptor did not want its picture taken. Almost immediately after I got my camera up and pointed it decided it was time to fly.

A young Red Tailed Hawk takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Red Tailed Hawk takes flight. (© Tony’s Takes)

Close up of a Red Tailed Hawk launch

Sometimes a mistake can actually turn out to make a good picture. Such was the case when I was photographing this young Red Tailed Hawk last week.

It was perched in a tree and posing quite nicely and calmly for me. I thought it might be getting to launch but figured I had time to get a nice close up of its head. That was not to be as it suddenly launched into the air leaving me with an image that cut off parts of its wings and tail.

Initially I was disappointed but after having download the image from my camera, I think I ended up with a pretty cool image. The raptor fills most of the frame and the intricate detail of its plumage are captured. In the end, I like it a lot.

A Red Tailed Hawk launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Tailed Hawk launches into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

My rabbit!

I happened across this scene yesterday and while a bit graphic, found it fascinating.

When I first arrived, the rabbit’s foot (apparently not so lucky) was out of view and I thought perhaps it caught a snake. On closer inspection though the skull was visible and then the hawk rearranged its catch and the foot could be seen.

I don’t believe this hawk devoured the entire rabbit though as that would be a lot for this size of raptor but rather probably was picking at what was left of another hawk or eagle’s meal. There were in fact two other hawks circling the scene keeping close watch.

A juvenile Red Tailed Hawk jealously guards its meal. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Red Tailed Hawk jealously guards its meal. (© Tony’s Takes)

Let’s play a game

How many Bald Eagles can you count in this picture? There’s quite a few for sure. I’ll share my count after some other folks pipe in. In another month or so there will be three times this many in this spot. Unfortunately they are in an ‘off limits’ area so have to be admired from a great distance. Taken this morning at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. ?

How many Bald Eagles can you find in this picture? (© Tony’s Takes)

How many Bald Eagles can you find in this picture? (© Tony’s Takes)

Answer: There are 13 Bald Eagles and one Red Tailed Hawk.

Red Tailed Hawk dines on garter snake

My Friday afternoon drive was a bit lacking in quantity but I did manage to see something I had never seen in person before – A Red Tailed Hawk eating a garter #snake. The hawk was a good ways away so these are pretty cropped and it flew off once it realized I was there. Certainly I know it isn’t unusual for raptors to snag a snake but I am happy to have been able to witness it in person. Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

Scroll down to see a few more pictures of this chance encounter.

A Red Tailed Hawk holds onto a garter snake it was eating. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red Tailed Hawk holds onto a garter snake it was eating. (© Tony’s Takes)

Double trouble

Two Red-Tailed Hawks keep close watch on an intruder (me!). This pair was pretty funny how they both focused on the photographer and refused to look away for as long as I was there. Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

Two Red Tailed Hawks keep close watch. (© Tony’s Takes)

Two Red Tailed Hawks keep close watch. (© Tony’s Takes)

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence

Out for my afternoon photo drive yesterday, this Red Tailed Hawk gave me a nice flyby. Heavily backlit but didn’t come out too bad. Taken in Adams County, Colorado.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 1 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 1 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 2 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 2 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 3 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 3 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 4 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 4 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 5 of 5.

Red Tailed Hawk flyby sequence. 5 of 5.