A couple days ago I posted a picture of the male Harrier – aka the Gray Ghost. Here is a look at the female which is brown colored vice the male’s gray. These fast moving, low flying hawks have proven elusive to me but I am having better luck as I keep on trying. You can view a few more shots of these raptors that I have captured here.
A male Hooded ?Merganser? comes in for a landing on the South Platte River. These small ?#?ducks? are best known for the sizeable crest on top of their heads. This particular guy had just touched down on the South Platte River near ??Denver? when I snapped the picture.
The Bald Eagle is of course obvious but on first glance I thought the darker bird was a crow or raven. Upon closer inspection I came to realize it was a hawk, a dark morph Rough-Legged Hawk. Pretty excited about that as these are not particularly common in Colorado. These raptors winter in much of the lower 48 but actually spend summers nesting in the Arctic.
A Canada goose comes in for a landing on a very, very crowded lake at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday. Much of the lake was frozen over so there were hundreds of geese all crowded into what little bit of open water there was. Steam rose from the water in the bone-chilling single digit air temperatures helping to soften the image and give it a nice feel.
Northern Harriers can be difficult to get images of. These hawks are quite people-shy, fly very low to the ground and their flight is very erratic as they hunt which makes them difficult to get a bead on. This past weekend I finally had some luck capturing some pics of these cool looking raptors.
Unlike most raptors, male and female harrier plumage is very different from each other. Males, like the one pictured here, are gray in color and have earned them the nickname of the ‘gray ghost.’ Females are predominately brown in color.
View some other Harrier images that I captured that day below.
‘Photographer ahead. Break hard left!’ I caught this young Red Tailed Hawk a bit by surprise last week. I was standing next to my truck which was parked by a utility pole and I was trying to get pics of some harriers over a field. I see something out of the corner of my eye and as I look to my right there is a hawk flying right toward me and going to land on the pole.
Just as I pivot and start snapping away, the hawk seemed to realize I was there and had an “Oh shoot” moment – as did I. He broke hard left and headed off in the other direction but I managed a couple shots first. Pretty funny but also darned happy with the image. Probably one of the best action shots I have ever captured.
I absolutely love the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge here in Denver but on days like today it can be quite frustrating. Large areas are off limits to people and so when I see a scene like this with a bunch of Bald Eagles and can only view it from 1/4 mile away I want to pull my hair out. 😉
I almost would have missed seeing this guy were it not for the sun which had just popped up over the horizon Friday morning. This mule deer buck was grazing on frost-covered foliage under a tree. Tough to tell where his antlers end and the tree branches begin. 😉
I spent a lot of time this morning looking for and following Bald Eagles along the South Platte River. Unfortunately none wanted to let me get very close. However, I was able to capture a fascinating (but poor quality) series of images of one fishing. The series here is actually this one’s third attempt to snag its breakfast. As you can see, it wasn’t successful – but it was a lot of fun to watch. Sorry for the poor quality. The action took place a long ways down river from me so these are very, very cropped.