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The Swainson's Hawk

The Swainson's Hawk
Photo Information
Copyright: Luis Leal (Luis52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-08-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D700, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 IF-ED VR+TC1.7EII
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-10-11 17:00
Viewed: 4512
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Swainson's Hawk is a slender raptor, slightly smaller than a Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis). However, the Swainson's Hawk has a slightly longer wingspan and slimmer wings than other soaring hawks. In flight, it holds its wings in a slight dihedral; it tips back and forth slightly while soaring.

There are two main color variations. Over 90 percent of individuals are light-morph; the dark morph is most common in the far west of the range.

Light-morph adults are white on the underparts with a dark, reddish "bib" on the chest and a noticeable white throat and face patch. The underwings, seen as the bird soars, have light linings (leading edge) and dark flight feathers (trailing edge), a pattern unique among North American raptors. The tail is gray-brown with about six narrow dark bands and one wider subterminal band. The upperparts are brown. Juveniles are similar but dark areas have pale mottling and light areas, especially the flanks, have dark mottling. The chest is pale with some darker marks. The subterminal band of the tail is less obvious. Birds in their first spring may have pale heads because of feather wear.
Dark-morph birds are dark brown except for a light patch under the tail. There is a rufous variant that is lighter on the underparts with reddish bars. The tails of both these forms resemble those of the light morph.

Photo taken inside the Museum of Birds of Mexico here in Saltillo. Someone brought this beautiful bird for proper rehabilitation, and soon will be ready to fly again.


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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2011-10-11 17:22]

Hola amigo Luis! Que tal ?
Estupenda foto con eso incríble Bg negro donde esa poca luz llama la atención de la cabeza de esta magnífica ave.Una foto muy poderosa y sorprendente.Excelente trabjo, como siempre! Gracias por compartirlo.
Un abrazo,

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-10-11 22:03]

Hi Luis,
Splendid portrait of this Swainson's Hawk, TFS!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-10-12 9:34]

Hi, Luis.
What an impressive picture of the beautiful hawk. I like amazing combination of lights and deep shadows, strong glance of the bird, wonderful POV and pose of the hawk as well as superb sharpness of the photo model. My kind regards and TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-10-12 10:34]

Hello Luis.
Stunning photograph - the sharpness and lighting are absolutely perfect. Brilliant post.
Best regards Siggi

Hello Luis,
Beautiful portrait captured from perfect POV with great sharp details and excellent eye contact. Well done!

Hi there,
Very good composition, with the background helping to, define the ares of light and shade, plus making a point out of the yellow colors on beack and eyes.
Thanks for posting

Bonjour Luis,
Très bonne maîtrise de la lumière accentuant la très forte expression de ce magnifique portrait.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hello Luis,
This is just beautiful. A great image indeed. What a beauty to behold. Best wishes.

WOW i LOVE this pic! Awesomeness!! Lighting on just the crown, eye contact with shadow contrast makes this one an all time favorite!

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