1. zb24601 says

    What an awesome photo! Why is it that my photos never quite turn out that good?

    Looking at that photo, makes me wonder why people can’t just look at the wonders of nature around them and realize that evolution did it?

  2. spamamander, more skeptical-er and rational-er than you says

    I love living in an area that is seemingly raptor heaven. Driving into town I’ll see several hawks, plus maybe a kestrel or a falcon or two. Golden eagles are rare but I have caught a glimpse once or twice, and bald eagles have moved this far inland along the Columbia. Just gorgeous.

  3. says

    Thanks for the compliments, guys. It is a Swainson’s hawk. My image quality jumped significantly when I purchased a nice camera and lens. This was taken through a Canon 100-400 L-glass lens to a Canon 5D Mark III body. Technique certainly helps, but good equipment matters. I manually preset the exposure value (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) because the automatic modes are badly fooled by light-sky backgrounds. If left on an automatic mode, images come out roughly 3 or 3 stops too dark (as it tries to average the whole scene to look “18% gray”.

  4. charlessoto says

    I love raptors! An American Bald Eagle flew over our raft down on the Lower Colorado back in May. It was beautiful. My camera was in the waterproof bag, though…

    I saw a Golden Eagle about 5 meters away up in a tree in front of the nearest Starbucks about a year ago. It was eating an unfortunate squirrel. Not as majestic, but at least he was doing his thing. No idea where he was nesting…

  5. says

    #9 spamamander- This hawk was photographed near the Yakima River, inside the city limits of Richland, WA. The inland PNW is “hawk heaven”. (Correction to my previous comment: should be “2 or 3 stops too dark…”)

  6. fastlane says

    Another PNWer here. Based on the grey around the head, I would guess a sharp shin as well, but it could just as well be a cooper’s, which are also ubiquitous in the area. The two are quite similar in many respects, and are rather hard to tell apart.

  7. curtcameron says

    I guess with the camera angle from the side, the wings are foreshortened and look stubbier than they really are. That’s why I had guessed a sharp-shinned hawk. The Intelligent Designer® gave the SSH fairly stubby wings for quick maneuvering. The SSH is also small, but you can’t tell from the photo how big it is.

    Nice photo, though.

  8. spamamander, more skeptical-er and rational-er than you says

    Thank you, Ivar!

    I’m a native of the Tri-Cities (Kennewick/ Pasco/ Richland for those not familiar with eastern Washington) currently in Yakima. The picture just really seemed to be from this area, it’s hard to explain why, but there’s something about the summer blue of the sky here. Maybe I just love home too much. :)