Beautiful and yet vicious, whether a falcon, hawk or eagle, raptors are amazing creatures and the kings and queens of the skies. I don’t know how many different species of them I have photographed but there have been quite a few from North America’s smallest falcon, the American kestrel, to one of its biggest raptors, the gorgeous golden eagle.
Sometimes you don’t have to go far for wildlife! 😉
I didn’t take any photo excursions at all this weekend as I just had too much going on. Well, this guy / gal made a nice consolation prize yesterday evening. Sitting at the kitchen table working and I see something with big wings fly by. I grab my camera, run out and find one of our neighborhood red tails was perched in one of our pine trees.
They have been around for years but this is the first time I have gotten decent pics of one of them. Awesome stuff!
Not a high-quality capture but one that showcases some pretty darned cool behavior.
Taken a few weeks ago at my favorite bald eagle nest. As I was observing mama and her two eaglets, I see a red-tailed hawk approaching. That wasn’t surprising as they too have a nest in the area. What was unusual was the hawk did not give a wide berth to the eagle’s home like it usually does and in fact, almost seemed to forget the eagles were there and tried to land in the same tree!
Needless to say, mama eagle was not happy and raised a huge ruckus, sounding off and flapping her wings. The hawk quickly realized its mistake and moved on, a wise choice for sure.
Bald eagles are actually pretty social, tolerating other eagles and even hawks – except when it is nesting season. During that time, they defend their home territory vigorously as this shows.
A fun few images. I was photographing the hawk as it approached when suddenly, this little robin came out of nowhere. It was clearly not pleased with the raptor’s presence in its nesting area and came to escort it out of its territory.
The little bird never got any closer than shown in these images and I don’t think the hawk even knew it was there as you can tell it was quite focused on me. Fun to see and amazing how these little birds show no fear sometimes in taking on birds that are far bigger.
Well, this was some fun action to witness, even if the pics aren’t all that high of quality.
After work yesterday, I visited a local pond, expecting to see some bald eagle activity. That turned out to be a good move as a few eagles were snagging fish from the recently thawed waters. However, the big raptor’s presence wasn’t welcomed by all.
Indeed, local red-tailed hawks were less than keen on the intrusion on their territory and sought to chase off the eagles. When one eagle approached and began circling, considering a fishing expedition, one of the hawks met it in the air and an impressive aerial battle ensued. Multiple times the red tail intercepted the bald eagle, both extending talons to attack and defend, twisting, turning and flipping around.
More than once one of the raptors found itself flying inverted, fending off an attack. I admit to smiling and thinking of the famous scene from Top Gun… “Because I was inverted.” Anyway, while the pics aren’t all that awesome due to the distance and me shooting into the sun, the action is way cool.
Have a fantastic Freedom Friday. I know I am saying to myself TGIF right now.
I’m trying to remember what time I took this picture of this hawk yesterday. 😉
Not a particularly exciting photo excursion yesterday morning as I found few subjects and those I had weren’t particularly cooperative. This dark morph red tailed hawk did make for a fun few images though as it perched on the Adams County Government Center’s clock.
Sometimes you just get lucky as I did when I came across this young hawk on the ground two days ago. I figured it had to be on a kill as otherwise they would never sit like that. Quickly I found a spot to stop and carefully approached, realizing it had caught itself a nice little garter snake.
The raptor was so engrossed in eating its meal, it ignored me, allowing me to get quite close and capture the action from first bite to last. Over the 20 minutes or so I spent with it, I shot nearly 600 pics – more than I have shot of a single subject in a long time.
Truly was an awesome thing to see and the hawk came away well fed. The snake, well, clearly it had had better days. 😉 My favorite is the last in the series.
Quite a beautiful raptor!
I happened across this one and one of its siblings as they were perched on a utility pole northeast of Denver on Saturday. They were intently watching a magpie that was playing with something on the ground. The hawks, never ones to turn down an easy meal, chased off the littler bird and claimed their prize.
Unfortunately for them, it was nothing but a piece of trash so they lost interest quickly. However, it worked out well for me as I got a nice shot of one of them as it sat debating where its next meal was going to come from.
These aren’t the greatest of pics but the story and action are kind of neat so I figured I would share them.
Wrapping up my photo drive the other day, I spot this hawk sitting on a light pole. Normally I probably wouldn’t even stop except I noticed it had something in its talons – a bullsnake.
Unfortunately for the hawk, the neighboring red-winged blackbirds also noticed it was there and they were less than thrilled about having a raptor in their neighborhood. They soon began pestering it, prompting the hawk to leave. The blackbirds pursued, actually striking the hawk in mid-air multiple times.
The best action took place a long ways away but it is still fun to see.
One of the red tails from a nest that is not far from my favorite bald eagle nest. While the hawks and eagles share territory, they seem to get along surprisingly well as I have never seen either pay the other any attention.
On this morning, one of the hawks perched in a nearby tree for a while and I happened to be ready when it launched. I really don’t like the busy background on this image but it does show some neat action and despite being a long ways away, the hawk was clearly focused on me.