Wild Wednesday 8/52 Hawk

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While out birding in Central Valley last month I saw lots of Red-tailed Hawks. This one was happy to pose for me. 🙂 At least I think this one is a Red-tailed Hawk.


Red-tailed Hawks are quite common here. Their habitat is wide open fields. They like to perch in trees along fields, fence posts, and telephone poles.

Their Behavior- from All About Birds:

“You’ll most likely see Red-tailed Hawks soaring in wide circles high over a field. When flapping, their wing beats are heavy. In high winds they may face into the wind and hover without flapping, eyes fixed on the ground. They attack in a slow, controlled dive with legs outstretched – much different from a falcon’s stoop.”~allaboutbirds.org

They’re so common here I almost take them for granted. I’m always hoping to spy other types of Hawks instead of them, but when there are none about I’m so happy they’re here.

Sunday, I planned to go out to do some photography at the coast, but the wind was blowing 20-25 mph, and it was cold and gray, so I stayed in and watched Season 1 of Monk. Guess who found Streampix? 🙂 I hadn’t ever watched that show before, but I really like it. I’ll be watching every season til I am caught up. Yep, I’m hooked. 🙂

Recently I’ve also binged watched Vikings, and Camelot.  Those are two more T.V. shows I’m now Jonesing for the next season to begin already!

I’m currently reading A Dead Guy at the Summerhouse by Marian Allen who I discovered here on WordPress via Thursday Doors. You can find her here.  She writes Sci-fi stuff too. Yeah, she’s right up my street. 🙂 Check her out if you enjoy reading these genres too.

So, what are birds are seeing in your neighborhood, what are watching and reading right now?

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| Hoodman Digital Film

more to come…


Wordless Wednesday 7/52

Copyright ©2017 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2017

More to come…

Monochrome Madness 2 46/52 Red-tailed Hawk

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This is my entry for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness 2 this week.

Another Red-tail from a birding expedition.  We seem to have more Red-tails than any other Hawk. 🙂

Monochrome Madness 2 47 of 52 Red tailed Hawk

To see all the entries this week click here.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 200-500mm| Lexar Digital Film

More to come…

Red-tailed Hawk 2

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

This Red-tail is from a couple of weeks back.  My friend and I were birding in San Luis National Wildlife Refuge and nearing the end of one of the auto-routes when we spotted it high in the tree.  I was driving and didn’t think I’d get a decent photograph of it because it was on the passenger side of the car/road, and climbing over the console and gear box wasn’t something I wanted to do.

Red-tail Hawk

We had the route nearly to ourselves so I thought I’d pull the car caddy-whompus across the road and shoot leaning into the passenger seat.  I was able to get several images of it before another car came up and I had to move.

It is striking isn’t it with its white cap and that gaze?

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR| Lexar Digital Film| PS CC 2015

Red-tail Hawk with Prey

Copyright ©2016 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Warning!: Some may find these images too graphic!

While birding a couple of weeks ago in the Sacramento Valley we spotted this Red-tail Hawk having lunch on a levy about 25-30ft away from us.  It spotted us too.  It didn’t like the way we kept staring while it was trying to eat so…
Red tail Hawk with meal

…it picked up its meal…

Red-tailed Hawk with Prey in Flight

…and flew to a tree stump that offered a bit more privacy.

Red tail with prey on tree stump

We watched it eat for a couple of minutes then slowly drove away leaving it to enjoy its meal.

The second image with the Red-tail in flight has a bit of motion blur. I was hand-holding the lens and not used to its weight and think it was me being a wobbly rather than a slight pan.  The eye is pretty sharp, and the blur gives it a sense of movement I like enough to save, and share it.

I was also racked out to 500mm and I didn’t frame up the shot giving the bird enough room to fly out of the frame, so I extended the canvas a bit then added in some of the background to give the bird some room to fly out of the frame, and fix the composition.  There’s a learning curve to  all new lenses; getting used to the weight, and bulkiness -it’s a chubby lens, and framing with it will be what I strive to master in the coming years.

I liked the lens so much I bought one right after I returned the rental lens.

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 200-500mm VR (rental lens)| Lexar Professional Digital Film| PS CC 2015

More to come…

Red-Tailed Hawk: light morph

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 I.D.ing 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

Prendre la fuite!

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

On the way home from Monday’s birding and photography day this Red-tail landed in a small field by the highway to catch a ground rat or something. Theresa quickly pulled over, but before the car had stopped I started shooting, and the hawk hearing the car and tires crunching the gravel took flight!

In play back I thought the motion blur made a cool impressionist piece.

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

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300mm VR @300mm| f8| 1/80 sec| ISO 640| Manual Mode| Hand-held