Red-tailed Hawk – A Teaser For Tomorrow’s Post

First an explanation as to why I’m holding back and only posting a teaser this morning.

The post I’m planning for tomorrow is long and complex and I think interesting enough to warrant the considerable extra time it’s taking me to put it together. I simply ran out of time to get it completed and posted today but I thought this “excerpt image” was interesting enough to serve as a standalone – even if I don’t explain much about the photo until tomorrow.


1/2500, f/6.3, ISO 500, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM + EF 1.4 III Extender, not baited, set up or called in

In my experience it’s quite a unique image with the hawk in this flight posture so close to the rocks and with its tail drastically rotated to near-vertical. And I think the shadow adds another interesting dimension (especially with those pitchfork-like talons). Perhaps it’s going after prey, or landing, or it’s somehow out of control for some reason. A defense or attack posture maybe? Play-fighting with another hawk out of frame? Something else?

I’ll give you two hints – there’s a nest nearby and there’s another hint in my previous paragraph.

I know, that’s mean of me. But I had to do something when I ran out of time. 🙂 If you’re upset with me for being so evasive just ignore today’s post and I’ll fill in the blanks tomorrow…

Promise! I won’t do it again, at least not for a good long while.




45 comments to Red-tailed Hawk – A Teaser For Tomorrow’s Post

  • Laura Culley

    HEHEHE! Betcha I know what’s going on…LOL! Love this shot for eleventy dozen reasons, but the shadow of those talons is spectacular! And since I didn’t have time to get online yesterday, it’s now tomorrow, so I don’t have to wait long UNLESS the mechanic who has my Jeep actually answers the phone and I can pick it up today before my doctor’s appointment at noon. Grumble!

  • Patty Chadwick

    What is the dark “toothy-looking ” stuff on the right ???

    • I tried to figure out what that is too, Patty. I’m not sure but I’m pretty sure it’s natural. My best guess is it’s shadows of that little thin lip of rock.

  • Patty Chadwick

    I like the ominous shadow with those deadly talons and how the bird blends in so well with the rocky background…as for the suspense, I think you’ll do it again just as soon as you get the chance…(the “good long while” part is debatable)…

    • We’ll see how long it will take, Patty, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever done it, in what – about 7+ years of blogging?

  • Alice Beckcom

    I like the intrigue and can hardly wait until tomorrow to see what you have in store for all of us.

    I think that some of your readers are correct in their assumptions and your comments just ‘add some juice to the fire’!!!

    Wish I would have had you for my teacher…you make life fun and interesting!

  • Ooooh.
    Colour me confused. And ready to learn. Patience isn’t my most obvious characteristic though. Sigh.
    Love the shadow of those talons…

  • Barby Anderson

    Looks like something scary is going to happen. I like these guessing games! 🙂

  • Dick Harlow

    Nest nearby and looking at the hawk the feathers show no wear or tear, almost look new, so I believe it is a chick that has fledged and is practicing flying.
    Just my guess!
    Nice shot.

  • Ann

    Amazing shadow on the rocks!

  • April Olson

    Like some of the other posts, my guess from the coloration is it is a juvenile who has been practicing flying and hoping around and was higher in the rocks. It decided to head back down toward the nest perhaps a parent brought in food. If it is from the nest you have been watching it sure grew fast!

  • Joanne OBrien

    Beautiful photograph!!

  • Chris Sanborn

    Oooh, cool — love this nest and beautiful family. Perhaps this is a first flight/landing of one of the hawklets? That twisted tail is fascinating and the shadow of talons on the rock really adds to the mystery! You’ve got my attention, for sure!

  • Marty K

    Oooh, you stinker! 😉 I may have to set my alarm for early tomorrow morning. (Or then again, I may not have to — those talon shadows are the stuff of nightmares.)

  • Len Boeder

    A good teacher periodically checks to see if his students are paying attention!

  • Susan Stone

    I love this shot, even though I haven’t got a clue about what’s coming tomorrow (despite the hints). I agree that the shadows add an interesting dimension, especially the shadow of the right foot. From the position of the feet, I’m guessing that the Hawk is about to go after prey.

  • Betty Sturdevant

    The rock looks familiar. I’ll have to wait to see the rest of the story as I’m leaving to go out of state. The time you commit to your passion seems awesome just from perspective as a reader. Great job.

  • Sibylle Kinley

    I LOVE THIS POST! And you’ve achieved the “teaser” status! Thank you. In looking more closely at your hints I see that the hawk is a juvie – striped tail & peachy chest along with the lighter eyes. So the piece of the puzzle remaining is whether it’s going after prey, flying by the seat of its pants or playing with a sibling…the rocks are a great contrast and the shadow of the talons is fierce! Nice, nice, nice!

  • Charlotte Norton

    Wonderful shot Ron, can’t wait until tomorrow tomorrow, it’s only a day away!!😁


  • Tease! But you’ve hooked me. Well played!

  • Bill lindner

    Great shot, love the background and shaping of the wing & tail. As a bonus I can get my cognitive juices flowing trying to come up with what’s in store for us tomorrow. That’s not mean, that’s just the teacher in you trying to keep the interest level elevated. It’s working for me.


  • Judy Gusick

    Interesting! And beautiful shot – I’ll be waiting with baited breath! 🙂

  • Zaphir Shamma

    A flying bird against rocks is tough…many times this has led to out of focus shots as I couldn’t keep the focus on the bird and it jumped to the rocks in the background. Not so here…very nice. I hope you reveal distance to target in your post tomorrow…maybe a SOOC shot so we can see. Beautiful detail and it is fun to see the tail/butt twisted as it is. The shadow of the talons reminds me of Nosferatu.

  • It is a beauty no matter the context. The fierce focus and defensive posture (?) are really compelling.

  • D. Gusset

    What an amazing position, frozen in one shot. Fascinating to see all those elements (vertical tail, tension in the legs, the talons, the look in the eyes!) and so close to the rock! Looks to me like a menacing attack! The shadow of the talon is scary!