Autumn Is Just Around The Corner

Reminder:  You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full screen image.

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.

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In the second image, the same bird rearranges its feathers moments before flying.

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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.

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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.


2 responses to “Autumn Is Just Around The Corner”

  1. Liesl Kii says :

    Always love your hawk photos! The second image reminds me of an irritated cat, disturbed by some human or other entering its realm.

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