I don’t normally pay much attention to these raptors because they are quite common and generally I don’t find them particularly photogenic. However, because they are common, sometimes you can get them doing some pretty cool things.
Such was the case when I came across this one a couple of days ago. It was perched on a pole dining on what appeared to be a Western Meadowlark that it had caught.
I’ve seen Red-tails eat more terrestrial fare like prairie dogs, rabbits and snakes but this is the first time I have seen one eat another bird. After eating a bit and giving me a nasty stare, it decided it preferred someplace with more private dining accommodations and flew off.
I am sitting here this evening gathering up photos for my annual calendars (and other secret – for now – project). Going through the past year of images I find lots of cool ones, some of which I never shared including this one.
I happened across this raptor dining on the remnants of a bunny in rural Adams County, Colorado in November of last year. It was very intent on finishing it meal, photographer or not, and devoured every last piece of meat it could. A bit gross perhaps but a good example of predator and prey and what goes on every day around us.
This raptor was patrolling the skies on Saturday and made a number of circles almost directly above me. Unfortunately it was toward the sun a bit which meant some heavy backlighting, Nevertheless, it is a fun image with the hawk staring down right at me and its wings illuminated from the sun behind it.
Taken in Jefferson County, Colorado.
Normally these hawks are camera shy and not willing to sit and pose for pictures. This one however in Adams County, Colorado a couple of days ago didn’t seem to mind the attention. In fact, it seemed pretty enthralled with it and curious as to why I even bothered to stop.
This young one has become a fixture out at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge over the winter. Always willing to pose and always in the same general area. It is absolutely gorgeous and an uncommon light morph variety helping to make it a job to photograph.
Certainly not a great quality image due to the distance but a fun one nevertheless. Although there weren’t a lot of them, the Bald Eagles at Cherry Creek State Park, Colorado were quite active.
This gorgeous one had caught itself a nice sized fish and was desperately trying to find someplace quiet to enjoy its breakfast. A Red Tailed Hawk decided it wanted to share though and gave pursuit. I watched the pair tussle in the air with the smaller raptor trying to snag the fish.
It was ultimately unsuccessful and the eagle headed of to eat alone.
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.
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.
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 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.