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Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk
Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Williams (bikefifty) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 24 W: 0 N: 158] (596)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Rebel XTi, Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 II
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Prey- RAPTORS (III) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-02-15 2:42
Viewed: 3205
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I saw this Red-tailed Hawk in a tree as I was driving by. I stopped and grabbed the camera. Most of the time they fly away as soon as I get out of the car, but this guy never moved. I walked up very close. He had settled in among the branches of the trees so it was difficult to get a clear shot of him with out having a branch in his face. Even though the branches get in the way of a clean picture they hide him from his prey so I have made no attempt to remove any of the branches from the picture.

From Wikipedia:

Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) is a medium-sized bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on chickens. It breeds throughout almost all North America from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West Indies, and is one of the most common buteos in North America. There are fourteen recognized subspecies, which vary in appearance and range. It is one of the largest members of the genus Buteo North America, typically weighing from 690 to 1600 grams (1.5 to 3.5 pounds) and measuring 4565 cm (18 to 26 in) in length, with a wingspan from 110 to 145 cm (43 to 57 in). The Red-tailed Hawk displays sexual dimorphism in size, as females are about 25% heavier than males.

The Red-tailed Hawk occupies a wide range of habitats and altitudes, including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forests, tropical rainforests, agricultural fields and urban areas. It lives throughout the North American continent, except in areas of unbroken forest or the high arctic. It is legally protected in Canada, Mexico and the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Because they are so common and easily trained as capable hunters, the majority of hawks captured for falconry in the United States are Red-tails. Falconers are permitted to take only hawks in their first year. Adults, which may be bred, are not permitted to be taken for falconry. Falconers prefer to train first year hawks, which have not been locked into uncooperative adult behaviors.

The Red-tailed Hawk also has significance in Native American culture. Its feathers are considered sacred by some tribes, and are used in religious ceremonies.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy the picture. Bob

robindb, marhowie, vanderschelden, tuslaw has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Bob,

You are lucky that he allowed you to get so close. Nice detail and sharpness. The branches show were he can be expected and how he tries to protect himself so it is great that you left them.


Hi Bob,
Very good details, great POV and bit of catchlight.
Nice color, and the branches don't bother at all - The head and breast are clearly seen..Perhaps a bit more space top if you had it.
Well done!

Bob, great shot of the hawk. He looks like he puffed up for you. Very good clarity and comp


Very good image, Bob.
Nice portrait of the Red-tailed Hawk. Very good sharpness and DOF applied.
Natural light generates a moody atmosphere.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-02-15 20:19]

Great capture Bob,
As you stated, they usually fly when you decide to approach them. You were very fortunate to be able to get such an incredible image such as this!! Wonderful detail, color and exposure!! Very well done!!!

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