Red-tailed Hawk - Close Up in the Fog - Sonoma Coast

By Dave Brooks

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October 28, 2017, just before 5pm. The fog was thick and this red tail was hunting from a fencepost along this country back road near the Sonoma coast.

My shutter speed was a bit slow resulting in the softness of the in-motion images. However, given the dense fog I was happy to get this good of results.

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I was only about 40 feet away from this hawk and she really did not seem to care that I was there, she seemed at ease the entire time.

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Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 200mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 1000

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I believe this was a half-hearted hunting attempt at a vole, but there was no real grab attempted so the target must have tucked below well in advance.

The hawk’s eyes see it all as this dry grass is not that dense.

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About 15 seconds later she turned and began to crouch, getting ready to take off.

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Fully coiled and ready for blast-off!

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Despite clipping the wings out of the frame, I just love the strength, energy and posture of this beauty launching herself into the air.