Kestrals mating

Kestrals Mating

Kestrals Mating

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I managed to get 2 Kestrals mating yesterday. Hopefully there could be some young in around 29 days after the eggs are laid. Could not get all that close with a 400 mm lens.  I really needed an 800 mm or greater lens or doubler.

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On the way home I got this shot of a red- shouldered hawk taking off from a branch. A crow chased it from the branch.

Red-shouldered hawk chased by crow

Red-shouldered hawk chased by crow

Birds of Prey (Raptors)

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

Hawks on Power Pole
Hawks on Power Pole

 

Find out where they perch, whether it is a tree, power pole, or fence post and approach extremely slowly. Stop and take one or 2 steps at a time. The bird will flush if you just keep moving. I try to keep the hawk in focus so that when it does fly I can start shooting. The first second or two when the wings are unfolding gives some of the better images. If you have a camera that fires 6-10 frames a second then you have a better chance of getting a good shot out of many.  Sometimes I am able to find hawks flying in or out of their nests or with young. Do not approach too closely as you may cause the Hawk or especially Eagle to abandon their nest. The most sensitive time is before the eggs hatch so do not approach then unless you are in a blind.  When the young are larger  they are less sensitive but still retain caution as some raptors will defend their nest if they think that you are a threat. A sharp talon can cause a nasty wound.

Great Horned Owl landing

Great Horned Owl landing

Osprey