Swainson’s Hawk in southwestern Montana

Swainson's Hawk lifting off from a grassy slopeSwainson’s Hawk lifting off from a grassy slope – Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm with 1.4x TC at 500mm, natural light, not baited

Before I write about this Swainson’s Hawk I want to update my viewers on the Utah Crow Hunt. Yesterday we had a large turnout for the Wildlife Board hearing on the crow hunt, most were opposed to the hunt and we even had some hunters voice their opposition. Two members of the board voted against the hunt. Thank you Bill Fenimore and Mike King, your votes are much appreciated.

Three members of the board voted for the hunt, they are John BairCalvin Crandall and Steve Dalton.

This isn’t over yet. Our voices will not be ignored. Once the audio minutes for the meeting are posted on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources web site I plan to do another post on this issue.

Last week while in Montana and Idaho I was able to photograph this Swainson’s Hawk as it lifted off from a grassy slope heading up Monida Hill. The bird was on the wrong side of the pickup so I slipped out the door and balanced my lens on the top of the pickup bed.

Swainson's Hawk gaining air speedSwainson’s Hawk gaining air speed - Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm with 1.4x TC at 500mm, natural light, not baited

The Swainson’s Hawk’s legs were still dangling below it when this frame was taken and it sure looked like it had something targeted with its eyes. I wouldn’t want to be a grasshopper while this hawk was around.

Eye level Swainson's HawkEye level Swainson’s Hawk - Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm with 1.4x TC at 500mm, natural light, not baited

By the time I took this image the Swainson’s had tucked its legs close to its body for less air resistance. The slope of Monida Hill in the background does look a bit messy but this is where these insect eating hawks are found foraging.

Swainson's Hawk in flightSwainson’s Hawk in flight - Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm with 1.4x TC at 500mm, natural light, not baited

This Swainson’s and what appeared to be its mate seem to favor this hill, it wasn’t the only time we saw them on the hill or on nearby power poles. I didn’t see any juvenile Swainson’s this trip but I hope to on another journey.

Mia

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Two Moose on the loose in the Targhee National Forest

Moose cow in the sageMoose cow in the sage – Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

On my recent trip to eastern Idaho’s Targhee National Forest the first mammals I encountered and photographed were a cow and calf Moose. The cow and calf were walking down a sage covered hillside heading towards a creek on the other side of the road. The cow was one of the darkest moose I have seen with a nearly black body. She was bothered by flies and those can be seen in the air near her rump.

Moose calf crossing a dirt roadMoose calf crossing a dirt road - Nikon D7100, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The calf; born earlier this spring, looks like it is all legs at this age and has begun to shed some of the rusty red fur on its back. It was rushing to catch up to the cow who had already crossed the road when I took this image. Such a cute little bugger.

Targhee National ForestTarghee National Forest – HTC One cell phone image, f2, 1/4348, ISO 125, 4mm, natural light

The Targhee National Forest is beautiful and offers many scenic views of gentle slopes covered by sagebrush, creeks lined with willows, and mountains with pines, spruce and aspens.  The trip was wonderful and relaxing.

Today is an important day for me and many other bird lovers in Utah because there is a hearing at 10 am concerning the proposed Crow Hunt that we want to stop. I hope you will all send your positive thoughts our way, we sure could use them. To show you the kind of mentality we are dealing with I’d like to post what one board member; John Bair,  has as his tag line on Twitter:

Husband, Father, fun lovin, huntin, auctioneering Mormon Redneck. Weapons and mules…Good.  Anti-American liberals….BAD
Springville Utah

Sad, isn’t it?

I hope to personally thank Bill Fenimore and Michael King for voting against the crow hunt at the last hearing. I want to express my appreciation to both of them for being on the right side of this issue.

Mia

Help Stop the Utah Crow Hunt

Help Stop the Utah Crow Hunt – Part II

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Posts from the Past – Raptors

I am traveling again so because I am short on time to do up posts that will publish while I am away I thought I would do a sort of “throwback” to old posts that some of you might not have seen.

Today I am focusing on older posts that have raptors in them starting with Prairie Falcons:

Dorsal view of a Prairie Falcon

 

Prairie Falcon with a Northern Shoveler as prey

I have to tell you it feels totally awesome to watch a Prairie Falcon attack, bring in and eat the prey it caught naturally. These birds are simply amazing.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

Swainson’s Hawks:

Juvenile Swainson's Hawks and their nest

 

An adult Swainson’s Hawk and its young in Montana

I’d also seen that adult Swainson’s Hawk in the same area before and it always seemed to be calling so I took my eyes off of the adult bird and scanned the area carefully and was pleased when I noticed these two juvenile Swainson’s on and near the nest.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

Red-tailed Hawks:

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with wings spread

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in Beaverhead County, Montana

These images of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk were taken on Sunday morning, June 22nd while leaving southwestern Montana to head back to Utah. Normally I don’t want to leave Montana but this time I really hated to go.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

 

Bald Eagles:

One year old Bald Eagle juvenile

 

Bald Eagles – Age Progression from one to five years old

Over the past week or so I have been photographing quite a few wintering Bald Eagles of various ages, from one year olds to adults, and I decided to write about the differences in plumage.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

I hope that you enjoy these raptor posts from the past.

Mia

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Posts from the Past – Wildlife

I am traveling again so because I am short on time to do up posts that will publish while I am away I thought I would do a sort of “throwback” to old posts that some of you might not have seen.

Today I am focusing on older posts that have wildlife in them starting with Loggerhead Turtles:

Female Loggerhead Turtle leaving the nest site

 

Female Loggerhead Turtle

At first I was so stunned that I wasn’t taking any images of the Loggerhead Turtle, I just stood there admiring this temporarily earthbound sea creature. She was so beautiful to me.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

Moose:

Portrait of a Moose cow with Porcupine quills in her nose

 

Why a Moose should not Kiss a Porcupine

Why would a Moose kiss a Porcupine? I’m really not sure, perhaps this Moose cow was curious about a slow-moving Porcupine on the ground and got a touch too close.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

Rattlesnakes:

Midget Faded Rattlesnake close up

 

Close Encounter of the Snake Kind!

I was totally focused on the scenery in front of me as I walked between two gnarly old Junipers that might have been spaced about 12 feet apart and wasn’t watching my foot placement as closely as I should have been when I heard a very distinctive buzzing sound, it probably only took me 1/100th of a second to realize that I had walked too close to an extremely well camouflaged Rattlesnake.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

Red Foxes:

Red Fox kit nibbling a weed

 

Red Fox kits

Red Foxes are not always red, but can be reds, brown and blacks, along with paler versions of those colors and the “silver fox” that has dark fur with silvery guard hairs.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

I hope that you enjoy these wildlife posts from the past.

Mia

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Posts from the Past – Some of My Favorite Locations

I am traveling again so because I am short on time to do up posts that will publish while I am away I thought I would do a sort of “throwback” to old posts that some of you might not have seen.

Today I am focusing on older posts that have some of my favorite locations in them starting with Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge:

Male Short-eared Owl with prey for his young

 

Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge

One of my favorite bird photography locations is Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southern Montana.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

Fort De Soto County Park:

Fort De Soto north beach sunrise

 

My Love Affair with Fort Desoto

Yes, I do have a love affair with Fort De Soto County Park. Even though I live hundreds of miles away from now, it beckons to me.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

 

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area:

View from the Antelope Flat camp site

 

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

My eyes had trouble keeping up with all of the fantastic sights that I saw from the brilliant red walls of the Flaming Gorge Canyon, the stunning blues of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, the gentle slope of Antelope Flat and the rugged mountains of the Ashley Forest.

To see this post please click here or click on the image to the left.

 

I hope that you enjoy these favorite location posts from the past.

Mia

 

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