For the Birds forum: Red-tailed hawks

 
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ImageMike
Feb 9, 2010 10:16 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
Here in New York's lower Hudson Valley we have plenty of red-tailed hawks. Here are a few photos of the local population. This particular hawk was photographed at Croton Point on the Hudson River, where poles are staked in a field to allow them to "perch and pounce". Photographed with a Canon 5D II, Sigma 150-500mm lens at 500mm on a tripod at f/16, 160, ISO of 200.

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ImageMike
Feb 9, 2010 10:33 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
Backlighting can spoil a photograph of a bird in flight if the light casts the bird's frontal features in shadow. But the soft skylight behind this hawk illuminated the woven coloration pattern of its wing and tail feathers. (Canon 5D II, Sigma 150-500mm at 370mm, f/11 at 1000, ISO at 100.)

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ImageMike
Feb 9, 2010 10:40 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
As birds of prey, hawks make other birds nervous, causing many of them to seek protective cover when the hawk's shadow passes over. But mockingbirds and crows are two exceptions -- they harass hawks mercilessly in an effort to run them out of their territory. Here's a particularly aggressive mockingbird pestering a hawk perched high atop a towering cedar tree in my neighbor's yard. (Click on the image to see the rest of the photo since it is cropped in the preview version.)

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ImageMike
Feb 9, 2010 10:43 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
Showing remarkable determination, the mockingbird thrusts its tiny feet forward in an attack mode against a foe many times its own size.

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ImageMike
Feb 9, 2010 10:45 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
Finally a crow lends its support to the cause, but to no avail. The hawk barely flinched, virtually ignoring the onslaught from its harassers.

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ImageMike
Feb 10, 2010 8:32 AM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
A different hawk, in the front yard.

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ImageMike
Feb 10, 2010 8:34 AM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
And yet another one, photographed from the backyard.

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ImageCalif_Sue
Feb 14, 2010 2:57 AM CST

Cubits.org Site Admin

Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA.
Zone 9a
Great shots! I hope to add a good zoom lens to my camera this year.
ImageWild_Rose
Feb 17, 2010 11:17 PM CST
Name: Karen Allen
Fredericksburg, VA
I love the feather detail in your first pic! Is that Sigma lens the one they call "Bigma"? Are you pleased with it? I have been wanting to upgrade to the Canon L 100-400.... but I've seen some othe pics using this Sigma and it looks good.
Instead of running after perfection, why not simply walk in faith?
ImageMike
Feb 23, 2010 7:29 AM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
Karen,

I thought I had responded to your message a while back, but it seems it wasn't properly saved. In any event, the lens taken above is very similar to Sigma's "Bigma" lens, which is 50 - 500mm (as opposed to the above, which is 150 - 500mm). I've owned both, and sold my Bigma 50 - 500mm lens in order to get the 150-500mm, because the latter has Image Stabilization, and the 50 -500mm doesn't. However, the Bigma's advantage is its EX rated glass, which is Sigma's best glass. However, the image stabilization was more important to me than the slightly better glass, and I don't expect to take many photos in the 50 - 150mm range with such an enormous lens!

I also own the Canon 100 - 400mm lens that goes to f/5.6, and it is very good (and a little lighter). However, there are times I like the extra 100mm of reach. What I would really like to own is the Canon 500mm f/4.0, but it costs about five to six times as much as the Sigma 150 - 500mm lens (of course, the Sigma lens only goes to f/6.3, but I can still take some pretty crisp shots with it).

[Last edited Mar 3, 2010 11:15 AM CST]
Quote | Post #68474 (10)
ImageWild_Rose
Feb 23, 2010 7:41 AM CST
Name: Karen Allen
Fredericksburg, VA
Thanks for the info Mike... a number of points to keep in mind!
Instead of running after perfection, why not simply walk in faith?
ImageMike
Mar 3, 2010 11:18 AM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
There are some other manufacturers that also makes some good zoom lenses that can be used on Canon cameras.
ImageMike
Mar 5, 2010 8:16 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
I believe Tamron lenses go up to 300mm, and Tokina goes up to 400mm.
ImageWild_Rose
Mar 18, 2010 9:00 PM CST
Name: Karen Allen
Fredericksburg, VA
Here is a red-tailed hawk that I photographed last Saturday. She is a captive bird. She was stunning, and had the saddest story! She had flown into power lines and broke her left wing. The people who found her did not take her to a vet or rehab facility, but decided they would keep her as a pet in a screend-in porch! When they were discovered and turned into authorities, she was finally turned over to the rehab facility that has her now, but it was too late to fix her wing. They said that had she been seen and fixed in the beginning, she could have returned to the wild.

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Instead of running after perfection, why not simply walk in faith?
ImageMike
Mar 19, 2010 7:45 AM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
How sad. I often watch and listen to the hawks flying and cavorting above my house, and think that they must be having the time of their lives up there. I'm sure this one wishes it could be back up among the winds and clouds, too.
ImageCalif_Sue
Mar 19, 2010 3:49 PM CST

Cubits.org Site Admin

Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA.
Zone 9a
Beautiful shot of that bird, I agree, sad story.
ImageWild_Rose
May 28, 2010 9:48 AM CST
Name: Karen Allen
Fredericksburg, VA
Hope this note will find you in time Mike!
It was nice to meet you and be part of your cubit!
Take care, and I hope to see you on the other side of this mess!

All the best to you!

Karen
Instead of running after perfection, why not simply walk in faith?
ImageMike
May 28, 2010 12:54 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
Thank you Karen, and the same to you!
ImageCalif_Sue
Dec 7, 2010 7:04 PM CST

Cubits.org Site Admin

Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA.
Zone 9a
Hubby and I went to the neighboring town along the SF bay shoreline to see about getting some sunset photos yesterday, wispy clouds blew away before the sun set so it was a wash, however, we spotted this hawk and enjoyed taking several shots of him, he seems quite used to people.
Giving me the evil eye
Thumb of 2010-12-08/Calif_Sue/d70123
Birdie birdie in the sky... that's as close as I dared stand for any length of time. Rolling my eyes. He didn't mind us walking underneath him though.
Thumb of 2010-12-08/Calif_Sue/c95ae0
Hubby Brad with his telephoto
Thumb of 2010-12-08/Calif_Sue/678726 Thumb of 2010-12-08/Calif_Sue/72fcf1

And here are a couple of the shots he got!
Thumb of 2010-12-08/Calif_Sue/0846a7 Thumb of 2010-12-08/Calif_Sue/6aa38d
ImageMike
Dec 8, 2010 8:17 PM CST
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
Zone 6b
What unusual photographs! And you were able to get so close! I've never been able to get closer than about 25 feet from a hawk without it flying away. That's really cool.

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