Red shouldered hawk: Pole Farm

On the way back from seeing the awesome Green tailed towhee, I swung by the Pole farm in Mercer county to give Patrick from The Hawk Owl's Nest a quick tour. The Pole farm has become more popular over the last couple of year primarily based on the fact that it is Raptor Central. The farm boasts expansive grassland which is ideal for owls and hawks. The quick tour of the Pole farm netted Rough legged hawk (both pale and dark morphs), Northern Harrier (including some impressive gray ghosts), Red tailed hawk, Black vulture, Turkey vulture and two spectacular Red shouldered hawks.

One of the Red shouldered hawks was most co-operative as he allowed us to drive right up to him. I was trying to sneak a shot as he bolted, but the raptors just sat there even as we drove right up to him. He was on the passenger side of the road and all I could hear was Patrick’s camera merrily clicking away. I managed to get some shots through the windshield and Patrick snapped a few more from the passenger side for me. It’s amazing how most birds bolt at the sight of you and others couldn’t care less. Birding involves a lot of luck, a dash of patience and quick reflexes. I don’t often see Red shouldered hawk, so this was a real treat for me.


Gil Miller said...

So what lens are you using for these? You also seem to be blessed with lots of light!

Owlman said...

Hi Gil, I'm on the budget end of the digital SLR scale. I use a Canon digital rebel body with a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Telephoto Zoom. Winter is tough for light and many of my shots were taken on overcast gray days which really washes out your color. This red shouldered hawk was taken on a nice sunny day with blue skies so light and color wasn't an issue. I've learnt to shoot my photos on program rather than just using the default automatic setting. I try to play with the settings while I'm shooting and then I select the best photos.

Thanks for popping in and dropping me a comment - much appreciated!

Bird Girl said...

What a gorgeous specimen you captured here!

Owlman said...

Thanks Bird Girl, he sure was a handsome hawk.