I believe this is the male of a nesting pair of Red-tailed Hawks I photographed yesterday in northern Utah.
1/1250, f/7.1, ISO 400, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in
The female appears to be on eggs but the male continues to deliver nesting material to the nest. Here he’s flying against a backdrop of the cliffs in the vicinity of the nest soon after one of those deliveries. A setting like this is likely a little busy for some tastes but it actually appeals to me for its good look at the typical natural habitat these birds often nest in.
I struggled with how to compose this image when I cropped it. This version provides a better look at the rugged and layered cliffs and has more depth…
but a vertical crop makes the hawk larger in the frame and gives us a little better detail on the bird. Since I couldn’t decide which composition I prefer I decided to include them both.
With the background so close to the subject I find it very difficult to get the flying bird sharp in this situation. This was one of my better results.
I had a grand time with these hawks yesterday in the few minutes I spent with them so you’ll likely be seeing more of them in the fairly near future.