On a photo workshop last week I took my client to visit the Hawks in my previous week’s post. My client is an accomplished bird photographer. Well.., I was expecting maybe mom, pop, and the chick I saw on my last visit, but to our surprise, we spotted a whole family of five. Fledglings were taking to the air from the treetops, encouraged in their maneuvers by the parents. What a treat it was to see the adult male, female and chicks perform this ancient summer ritual at this roadside location.
As always, thanks for looking. I appreciate all the comments and compliments. Thank you. G
I was on a photo tour last week demonstrating with a photography client the benefits of looking down and how it can often pay off with a rewarding image. In this case, looking down in a puddle on the flagstones, we captured a really nice reflection of the iconic San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos. Of course, it helped that one of the parishioners was hosing down the walkway, and I’ve shot this type of scene, many times.
Yesterday, I went up north for a short drive scouting some locations for an upcoming workshop happening for the next three days. I drove on a back road I’m very familiar with and found a male and female Red-tailed Hawk with their juvenile fledgling. The male was off on a power line pole to the east, the female and the chick were on a pole further west with a half-eaten rabbit. In the second image, you can see the nictitating membrane in the eyes of the mama and the young one as they both blinked simultaneously. This membrane allows birds to blink and clean the eyeball while still being able to see what is afoot. Here is a link to the nictitating membrane or “third eyelid”.
Raptor, Red-tailed Hawk on the road to Ranchos de Taos, NM. Alert and on point. Always. I love these creatures, their purposeful design, and immaculate bodies. Their haunting calls from the skies stir my body and soul and remind me there is no way to get back to nature… because we’ve never left it. Thanks for looking. G
Red-tailed Hawk, Ranchos De Taos, New Mexico. I spent twenty minutes with this magnificent young raptor who spent the time primping and preening, grooming its feathers. I thought he was going to sit there all day. As I thought about driving off, he shook out his wings and tail feathers, had a quick poo, lifted off still pooing, and dropped out of sight. Thanks for looking. G
Roadside lunch, Red-tailed Hawk in the Ranchos de Taos valley today. We whipped past this magnificent raptor catching a glimpse of it out of the car window. We wheeled around and pulled over to watch. Thinking it would take off, I got a couple of images in camera then realigned the car for a better angle. It had no thoughts of leaving the carcass. It just kept on tearing bits of flesh from the bones, leaving me with a number of images. As the hawk feasted on it’s lunch we sat in awe feasting on this sight. Thanks for looking. G
Chicks. Two very curious juvenile Red-tailed Hawks on the Nest in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. I’ve been watching this nest and another for some time. The other nest appeared to be recently abandoned but these two chicks at this nest site are thriving very well. By July/August they will be practicing flying lessons. I’ll keep an eye on them and fill you in on their progress. Thanks for looking. G
Nesting Red-tailed Hawk in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. It’s that time of year again and all the usual nest locations are occupied, except one. The pair that raised two chicks in that particular nest last year, are now nesting in another tree close by. It’s a privilege getting to observe these families of raptors in their environment. Not wanting to disturb this bird we made a few images and moved on. Thanks for looking. G
Hawk tree, Red-tailed Hawk in Arroyo Hondo, NM. Our resident Red-tailed, frequents three locations. A high cottonwood with a view of the east and west valleys. This tree, with a more specific view of the meadows, supplemented with an old snag on the opposing, west side of the highway with grand coverage of the marsh lands and horse pastures. If these are the only places, then it has got the valley covered. I’m sure it knows more than I do. Thanks for looking. G
Red-Tailed Hawk aloft over Cerro New Mexico. On the way to a quick photo shoot near Ute Mountain, I caught this beautiful raptor out the car window. I’m convinced it knows my maroon 4 Runner as it has a knack for taking off, from it’s perch, when it sees me long before I pull over. In this case it flew in my direction right past my open window. Thanks for looking. G