Nature Notes

February 10, 2008

1. Be in the right place

Filed under: Photography Tips — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 9:07 am
Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis

1. Be in the right place

Find the place in your area that has a lot of targets for you, a spot where there are prey items that will attract raptors. Check with your local birding hot lines, read your area bird finding guidebook, or check with other birders. The more potential targets you have, the better. In my area of Southern Ontario, Canada, my regular spot is Haldiman and Norfolk counties. This is an ideal area containing wide open fields, high numbers of voles as prey and a low volume of road traffic.

Within your chosen area, certain portions will be more favored by different species of raptors. keep track in your area, and you will know where to head for a certain species.In Southern Ontario, Rough-legged Hawks and Northern Harriers like wide, open fields that they can work for prey. Red-tailed Hawks prefer open fields bordered by woods, and you will find them perched on these edge spots. American Kestrels like to have a series of perches such as power lines,they can move along checking for prey below. Short-eared Owls often have a daytime roost in an isolated evergreen grove.

Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis

Guide to Photographing Raptors Index

 

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4 Comments »

  1. Some magnificent shots here, drama and action well packed together! And your tips are useful indeed, a pity that in my patch in Italy raptors are so wary and unapproachable … the only feasible chance you have is working from a hide, hoping for some of them to fly above you
    Good job, and keep your tips coming
    Max

    Comment by gmax — December 10, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  2. I know what you mean. When I visited Italy I was amazed at how spooky the birds where. They would not just distance themselves if they saw you, but would fly until they were out of sight.

    I was discussing this with someone the other day, and I think birds are less wary when it is cold, not wanting to expend energy.

    Cheers, Harold

    Comment by Harold — December 12, 2008 @ 9:17 am

  3. Your photos and related suggestions are great.

    I’m just beginning to explore bird photography, and plan on visiting areas around Haldimand this winter, as I am nearby in London, ON.

    Thanks,

    Joe

    Comment by Joe — December 16, 2009 @ 2:40 pm

  4. Thanks Joe.

    Most of the quieter back roads of Haldiman are great in winter. You might try around Port Stanley along the lake as well.

    Good luck, Harold

    Comment by Harold — December 16, 2009 @ 10:50 pm

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