I have the opportunity to take a lot of photographs of Hawks. My identification skills are poor to say the least. Mostly due to my taking the lazy way out; every one I merely labeled as a Red Tailed Hawk.
The wind at 25-40 mph helps me out substantially, it slows them down when they are peddling against it.
The Northern Harrier in the photo is not a real large bird he is against the wind. They seem to prefer flying against it, however when they catch the wind to their backs the airspeed increases. The best position to capture photos of them is to keep the wind to the photographers back and the Sun in back or to the side. I place the Sun on my left shoulder and further back.
Both of these photos were taken in that position early during the morning. In the picture above the golden reflection of the Sunrise is easily seen on the Hawks plumage.
This was taken using that method as well, however I do not prefer the blue background. Nor do I support replacing it. I attempt to editing the blue in the attempt to remove the harshness. The Hawk in the picture is well over my head. I wait until the bird turns towards me at a slight angle towards the ground. It doesn’t change the fact it is overhead but waiting for the bird to angle down makes for a more dynamic image.
While flying in their spiral they will at times be in a good position as the Hawk above is. It takes a bit of patience accompanied with as many photos as a person is capable of taking. I’m not at all sure what species of Hawk this image is of, but I’ll take a guess. I think it may be a Black Winged Hawk, I’ll look through my I.D. books and figure it out.
It’s off they go together into the hinterland repeating the exact same tomorrow. This particular Hawk is a creature of habit, each morning between 7-8 am he flies the far levee. If I’m on the levee prior to that time frame I will most likely see him. The Sun hitting the bird from this angle really pays off for photography.
We have had reports of Bears wandering around nearby Cities, none on our Island yet. Although they may be here un-noticed as I suspect Bobcats, and Lynx are.
Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter