A short detour after work led me to an area near Denver International Airport and a Swainson’s Hawk nest that I have documented extensively in recent months. Three young ones came out of it and they have all fledged but one was still hanging around.
The juvenile seemed to think it could intimidate me and chase me off. 😉
They won’t be around for long as they will soon begin their long migration to Argentina where they spend winter.
Scroll down below the main image for more pictures of the hawk and another that was nearby.
Taken this past May, this gorgeous female gave me some nice flybys with the blue Colorado skies serving as a backdrop.
Argentinian triplets in Colorado. After work I swung by a local Swainson’s Hawk nest for the first time in a couple weeks to check on the little ones.
They are getting big quickly and it would appear the strongest one is very close to fledging since it was up and out of the nest.
Swainson’s migrate to Colorado and much of the western half of the United States in the summer. Winters are spent in Argentina – what could be up to a 12,000 mile round trip!
Lacking any better alternatives I once again headed east of Denver to the area north of Denver International Airport. As expected I found plenty of Swainson’s Hawks willing to provide me with ample photo opportunities. This time they were quite cooperative with some great launches and landings.
Swainson’s Hawk today in Adams County, Colorado. I don’t have a problem getting these raptors to give me picture perfect flybys. What I do have a problem with is Mother Nature giving me gray skies as a backdrop. 😉
My usual Saturday morning wildlife viewing started out quite slow. A drive through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal yielded little more than a curious deer but after heading north and east, hawks and owls clearly became the dominant subject.
Swainson’s Hawks were plentiful in the area north of Denver International Airport with many of them being more than willing to pose for me. Most notably was a pair ‘caught in the act’ mating on a fence.
From there I headed to a known Great Horned Owl’s nest to check on the family. The three owlets who aren’t too small anymore had worked themselves out of the nest and were lower in the tree. Dad and Mom kept a watchful eye from nearby.
Hawks have become quite plentiful along the Colorado Front Range this spring as they return from their winter grounds. Today was a veritable hawk fast out near Denver International Airport.
Among the many images captured today was this Red Tailed Hawk with its kill. It was initially perched on the pole, then swooped down to a nearby field and emerged with its meal. Unfortunately he didn’t want me to watch him eat and soon flew off before I could see it eat.
The Swainson Hawk is a truly beautiful bird with a wide variety of color / morph types. The birds come to Colorado to mate during the spring and summer and I was very happy to discover a pair less than a half mile from my house in suburban Denver.
Near where I live there is a small open space area with a prairie dog colony and some old trees. I have always thought that would be a prime hawk area and at different times have thought I saw a couple hanging out but by the time I parked and got out they seemed to disappear. Not today.
A light morph male and medium / dark female were hanging around. The male was more than willing to pose and seemed quite curious about me. The female though was pretty skittish. Hopefully this pair will make a home in the area. Overall I am pleased with the photos but the overcast skies made it a bit of a challenge with lighting.
Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.