Adult Red-tailed Hawk refurbishing a nest – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
Two days ago I found and pointed out dozens of birds in desert habitat in northern Utah. It was very cold and I struggled with some heat wave distortion while taking photos of some of the birds.
Among the birds I found was a desert dwelling Red-tailed Hawk adult who was busy refurbishing a nest on a cliff face. I watched as this beautiful raptor flew into the nest with its beak filled with these nesting materials. I tried photographing it when it flew in but those images were all soft due to the heat wave issues.
February might seem early for Red-tailed Hawks to be building or rebuilding nests but it really isn’t all that early for the deserts of Utah. Even though the temps have been frigid recently these desert dwelling hawks nest early because very soon they will have high temps to contend with. Raising chicks when the temps are high can be as much of a challenge for them as cold temps can be. When there is no shade the chicks can easily overheat.
Red-tailed Hawk resting on a cliff face in bitter cold temps – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited
I found the Red-tailed Hawk a second time resting on a cliff face in the warmth of the winter sun. I was shivering by the time I took this photo despite wearing multiple layers to ward off the cold. It was wonderful to see this Red-tailed Hawk working on the nest though. This hawk reminded me that the warmer days of spring will soon be here.
Life is good.
Click here to see more of my Red-tailed Hawk photos plus facts and information about this species.
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