Saturday I posted a photo slideshow of this encounter and promised I would later post some individual pics of the action shown in it. Here you go. These give you a closer look at some of the incredible action that took place. I definitely would recommend checking out the slideshow here too if you haven’t.
Well, this was one awesome encounter! I happened across this young female northern harrier as it was eating some rabbit leftovers.
As I was photographing it, the harrier suddenly leaped into the air and out of nowhere a prairie falcon appears and tries to steal the rabbit! It wasn’t successful on the first attempt so it circled for a second try, pulling up at the last minute.
The falcon was not done though. It circled for a third and final try and this time, success! As it flew off with the rabbit remains, it began to lose its grip, eventually dropping the meal to the ground. The thief decided it was all too much effort and continued on, giving up, while the harrier flew over and was able to finish its meal in peace.
While some of the pics aren’t all that great, it was a ton of fun to see. As there were so many pics to tell the story, I figured a video slideshow would be the best way to present them. Best viewed full screen. I will share some of the standalone images later today.
One from yesterday on what was a bone-chilling cold morning on the plains. The temperature didn’t bother this raptor though as it circled a field, looking for a meal.
Usually these guys are pretty skittish but this one was kind enough to give me a few nice flybys. As it circled, I was really hoping it would find something to eat but it was not to be, at least not while I watched. Given the cold, I wasn’t going to linger around either. 😉
These guys are fast-movers and not ones to normally let you get a flight shot. Thankfully, this one cooperated a bit recently giving me a few shots as it flew by at Mach 1. 😉
Prairie falcons are quite common on the plains this time of year. I usually see them perched on utility poles, ready to attack some poor, unsuspecting rodent or little bird.
I’ve watched them dive into groups of horned larks and meadowlarks with amazing speed and agility, snatching their victim right out of the air. Way cool to see!
Oh how I love these types of birds. I previously shared my top shots of bald eagles and owls, now we look at some images of other types of eagles, hawks and falcons. Raptors are extraordinary creatures, ferocious predators but also quite beautiful and widely varied. From the tiny American kestrel to the monstrous golden eagle, all hold a special fascination for me and are quite often the focus of my images. Here’s a look back at my favorite captures of these creatures of the sky from my 2020 photo year.
I am finally starting to see some of these cool raptors this season. This one was taking a break from hunting this past weekend and let me grab a few shots before it went back to work.
Prairie falcons are found across much of the western United States. Here in Colorado, they come to the lower elevations during the winter. During the summer, I have spotted them as high as at 10,000 feet in the mountains.
They are way cool birds and like most falcons, extraordinarily aggressive and are often seen flying low and fast over open land, hunting for a meal.
The first of these cool raptors that I have seen this season and it did a nice job putting on a show for me.
I initially spotted it on a pole and it was kind enough to just sit while I grabbed some shots. It was not interested in me one bit, keeping its gaze focused on a spot in an adjacent field.
All of sudden it took to the air, shown here, and dived for a spot a good ways out in the field. It was too far of a shot for me to capture but it emerged with some sort of little rodent in its talons. These guys are absolutely ferocious hunters, something I got to witness again yesterday.
This little raptor seemed to be a bit less than thrilled with the weather conditions on this day in October.
It was miserably cold, wind was blowing and the prairie falcon had ice on its shoulders and head. I know I was not enjoying it and while this guy may be built to withstand the conditions, I can’t image it was happy about it either. 😉
This was the first prairie falcon of the season I had spotted. Since then I have seen a couple more and should get many more opportunities as we get further into winter.
After a busy weekend and a crazy Tuesday, I am a bit late posting an image for the day so I was randomly clicking through images and came across this one I hadn’t shared.
Taken back on St Patrick’s Day, this cool – but ferocious – little raptor was staking out a field near Brighton Colorado.
As is typical for prairie falcons, it wasn’t too inclined to pose but did give me a few nice shots before heading off to hunt without the prying eyes of a photographer nearby.
It’s been a while since I had gotten decent pics of these awesome, little raptors. In recent weeks I had seen quite a few but was not having much luck getting pics. Then, last week, I happened across this gorgeous specimen as it hung out on a pole keeping watch on a nearby field.
It was quite willing to pose for pictures for me and in fact, was too patient. I sat and waited and waited and waited for it to take flight but it never did, choosing to sit and watch me. With winter here, I am hopeful I will get some changes at flight shots soon.