Autumn Is Just Around The Corner
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It’s about 105 degrees outside as I post this blog and the sun is as fierce today as it has been on any day this summer. And, yet, there are actually a few hints of a fast-approaching autumn. One just needs to know where to look and what to look for.
Today, my friend Ned Harris and I took a drive through some of the agricultural country near Tucson. In autumn and winter this area is home to a great many migratory raptors, particularly Red-tailed and Ferruginous Hawks. I’d made a solo run through these lands a few weeks back and saw some, not many, birds. Today, there were a few more. They included some Red-tailed Hawks, doing what Red Tails love to do, which is to perch and observe. The first bird, a young Red Tail, had taken possession of a utility pole. It watched us warily as we approached.
In the second image, the same bird rearranges its feathers moments before flying.
I photographed this second Red Tail at the moment of takeoff. It wasn’t until I put the image on my computer that I realized it was clutching prey, the remnants of a rodent that it had captured and killed.
Many more of these birds will arrive and stake out territories as autumn progresses. By mid- or late October a full complement of these hawks will be here. As for now, I’m pleased to see them as a reminder of cooler weather to come on what is turning out to be one of the hottest days of the year.
Photos taken with a Canon 5Diii, 400 DO lens, ISO 320, f7.1 @ 1/1600.