Rough-legged Hawks

Rough-legged Hawk flying near a hillRough-legged Hawk flying near a hill – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light, not baited

This year hasn’t provided me with as many opportunities to photograph Rough-legged Hawks as last winter did and before long these raptors will be heading to the high Arctic to find mates on their breeding grounds. I thought I would share some Rough-legged Hawk images taken the winter of 2011/2012 when they were very abundant today.

The young Roughy above had been perched on a Rabbitbrush high up on a hill and when it took off I was ready to photograph it as it came flying down the hillside.

Perched Rough-legged HawkPerched Rough-legged Hawk – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

This Rough-legged Hawk posed nicely on a post giving me a wonderful profile view of its face that showed the sharp little bill and the wonderful plumage patterns these hawks have on their backs.

High Key lift off from signHigh Key lift off from sign – Nikon D300, f5.6, 1/1250, ISO 800, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 300mm, natural light, not baited

What I like about this image is how it shows how long the wings are on Rough-legged Hawks, I also enjoy the rather direct look I appear to be getting from this raptor. I wish it had been perched on a natural feature but the hawk picked where it landed, not I.

Rough-legged Hawk perched on post with Bison furRough-legged Hawk perched on post with Bison fur – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/400, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

The stuff on top of the post in this frame that looks like material from a steel wool pad is actually Bison fur with frost on it left there after a Bison used the post for a good scratch. The Rough-legged Hawk didn’t seem to mind the Bison fur or the lady with the long lens photographing it.

I’ll keep trying to photograph the Rough-legged Hawks that are still here before they head north.

Mia

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