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Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Several friends and I went out to Central CA to a National Wildlife Refuge to see if any Sandhill Cranes or Snow Geese had arrived and photograph them.

While on the auto-tour we spotted this Red-tailed Hawk on a post. We had a good vantage point to photograph it so we all started framing and firing our cameras which spooked him.

It was just what we hoped for. We all got some really nice shots of him taking off, and flying low in the marsh grass.

Lift off!


Wings up…


Downward flap

I needed  help identifying this Red-tail. My National Geographic bird book isn’t very clear on the Light and Dark Morphs. Thanks to my friend Dali for it for me. Since then I’ve purchased a new bird guide-book:  Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America. Between the two books I hope to be able to ID birds more easily.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 80-200@ 200mm + Tamron 1.4x Teleconverter| f7.1| 1/2000sec| ISO 640| Manual Priority| Hand-held



  1. Thanks for the link. Great action shots. I love photographing birds, although I am not very good at it.

    I have an old Peterson Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies. Maybe I’ll add your books to my Christmas list. 🙂

    • Thank you so much CM for the comment! I don’t think I’m very good at photographing birds yet, but I’m having a a lot of fun practicing! I liked your latest post with the woodpecker. I’ve never seen that type before.

      Something for you to add to your Christmas list is the cell iphone or Android app Audubon Birds of North America.

      It’s a wonderful tool when out in the field. I used it a few times while on this trip and should have used it to help me ID this bird!

      Thanks again for your post, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      • I actually have the app for my cell phone. I haven’t used it much yet. (Generally I forget I have it. ; P )

        • I have forgotten I have it too all too often. Perhaps this will cement it in our heads that we have it. 🙂

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