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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Red-tail in Luck

During the ice storm power outage we just endured, we saw this Red-tailed Hawk sitting in a tree. It was several days after the ice storm hit and we were getting a foot of snow that day.

Much to our surprise, we saw the hawk swoop down, grab a fat vole, then begin to flap carrying the vole.

Here's the downbeat of the wings,

a glide,

then a landing in the pine, the beautiful red tail spread like a fan. All this happened so quickly, I only grabbed my Canon Mark II camera after the redtail had struck the snow. My camera has fast focus so I did manage to get these shots. Photographed through the window from about 400 feet away. I had on a Canon 300 mm IS lens and a 1.4 teleconverter. I love the soft light, it makes the images look like a watercolor. We have never seen a Red-tailed Hawk catch a vole right in front of our house while we were watching. A very magic moment. Lucky for the redtail, it got a nice fat vole, a meal to help it survive that storm. We hope the redtail moves farther south, as we have gotten another foot of snow since then, which will make catching voles even harder. Then the voles, not the redtails will be in luck.


Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Lovely series.Just wanted to stop by and wish you Christmas Blessings,Ruth

Lillian Stokes said...

Thanks, Ruth and have a wonderful Christmas also.
Lillian and Don

Mary C said...

Beautiful action shots. Now those make for some lovely Christmas cards. I hope you all had a lovely white Christmas.

The Zen Birdfeeder said...

Wonderful series of shots and a cool thing to witness, especially from inside your own home.
Hope your holidays were happy.
Will you be at Birdwatch America this year? If so, I'll be sure not to miss you. I'll be at the show all day Friday.