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Magnificent Bird of Prey
Lens: Pentax-DA 18-135mm Camera: K-50 Photo Location: Idaho ISO: 800 
Posted By: Dewman, 06-17-2023, 01:57 PM

This is a Ferruginous Hawk, the largest of the broad-winged, buteo hawks. My falconer friend Dave had her for a couple of months, then released her back into the wild. This was one of the most interesting encounters I've ever had. This bird is very large, with a wing spread of about 5 feet and the talons are big and very sharp....and intimidating. Her stare is out of this world. Not really evil, but..... scary to say the least.... and she never took her eyes off me the entire time I was shooting her. This breed of hawk is know for having extremely large leg muscles, which are hidden by the full feathers all the way to the toes. Dave said that their talons will actually pierce an entire rabbit's body, and actually touch each other during their very forceful grip.

I didn't get to see him actually "work" her, with live bait, where she is out on her own and returns to a lure Dave swings in the air. When she returns, he tosses a live Starling into the air.... and then the the real fireworks happen! I've seen it before, and it's one heck of a thing to witness, real time. She comes in at an incredible speed and snatches the Starling out of the air in a heart beat. Then, she takes it to the ground about 100 yds. away, and immediately clips the back of the neck, killing the little bird instantly. Then she will feed.

This is such an amazing sport that takes a lot of patience and a certain feel for nature that is really something to witness.

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06-17-2023, 05:44 PM   #2
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Those pretty amazing photos of this large bird of prey. The stare does look scary and purposeful, not evil, but certainly intimidating. It is a magnificent hawk and one that should be respected. Great close up images of this bird, Dewman.

Last edited by MikeNArk; 06-18-2023 at 05:57 AM.
06-17-2023, 10:26 PM   #3

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Excellent photography and I learned something about that type of hawk I didn't know before.
06-18-2023, 07:51 AM   #4
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Very impressive bird. Nice shots.


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