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