Colorado Fauna – Northern-Harrier Hawks

Yes, I know . . . you guys are tired of hawks.

Northern-Harrier Hawk

Northern-Harrier Hawk taking off

But these are Northern Harrier Hawks.  They are back in the area.  I think they winter here.

They are not as accommodating as the Red Tailed hawks . . . within 10-15 seconds of me stopping and getting out of the car these guys are airborne.

Northern-Harrier Hawk

Northern-Harrier Hawk - this is a female. Males are almost all white underneath.

The one from November (the next one) did something unusual.  Instead of veering off like most hawks usually do, it dropped and flew right at me.

Northern-Harrier Hawk

Northern-Harrier Hawk flying right at me

I got to tell you that while I did not stop snapping pictures, I was wondering if it was  going to attack me.  Fortunately he leveled off at about 15-20 feet and flew over me.

Northern-Harrier Hawk

Northern-Harrier Hawk about to fly right over me.

One thing.  I began having trouble with my camera-lens combination.  It loses focus, and the thing does not track moving objects as well as it used to.  I lost some great shots (they came out blurry), but still managed to get some pretty good ones.

Click on any of the pictures to go to the SmugMug album.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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6 Responses to Colorado Fauna – Northern-Harrier Hawks

  1. Rich says:

    Keep up the excellent photography on fauna, especially the hawks and kit.
    What type of camera(s) are you using? Any recommendations?

    Recently, at Stony Creek Park we have seen 4 red-tailed and 3 cooper hawks and 1 barred owl. We are on the look out for the bald eagle that roams the Western part of Stony but so far nothing. Our last sighting of a bald eagle was 2 years ago.

    The fox pictures brought back memories when a fox parked in our yard for about a week. Linda was unaware that a fox adopted our backyard when she was gardening and had an errie feeling that some creature was stalking her. Her peripheral vision saw a cat and she continued gardening without a second thought. As she turned around, she was greeted by a fox not more than 6 feet away. Gingerly she backed away and high-tailed it back to the house. Of course I did not believe her story until I
    saw the fox the next day. We were blessed with the playful fox for one week and then it disappeared.

    The strangest animals to visit our backyard were a 3 foor iguana and a chinese golden pheasant(unbelievale colors).


    • disperser says:

      I presume you mean a “3 foot iguana”, but that’s still strange . . . I’ve never heard of an iguana with three feet.

      We have lots of foxes here, and a couple have our front and back yard as part of their regular rounds (although we don’t usually see them). When its snows it’s interesting because there are always lots of track in both our front and back yard. Some are foxes. Some look like dear. And some are probably coyotes. But we also have porcupines, raccoons, etc.

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I never know who comes by to visit, and occasionally it’s good to know. Unless it’s Bin Laden . . . then I don’t want to know.


      • disperser says:

        As far as cameras . . . there are a number of very good consumer cameras in the market these days. This site will give you good reviews of almost any camera you may be interested in, and also have selection aids:

        I use a Nikon D200 ( and before that I had a D100. The D200 came out in 2006, but I bought it 3 years later (new it was $1500, when I bought it $600). I will probably upgrade next year to either a D300s (although they are not dropping in price), or the replacement D400(?). I’ll only buy the new one if it offers significant advantages over the D300s.

        I prefer to spend money on the lenses, as they are much more important than the camera itself (really, it’s a combination, but any of the top cameras will do well as long as you have a good lens).

        If you do not want to fiddle with different lenses you are a little restricted because that usually means smaller camera, smaller sensor, and greater range of zoom in the single lens. Not necessarily bad, as some of the new “cheap” cameras offer quality rivaling pro cameras of only a few years ago.

        Where a pro camera will shine is in capturing fast motion, and being able to shoot in low light. For that you usually pay dearly both for the camera and for the lenses that will take advantage of it.


  2. richard says:

    Great photos,but I am sure that these photos are red tail hawks not northern harriers.


  3. AnnMarie says:

    That first shot is fabulous! It really engages my sense of wonder. The third one makes me want to back away . . .

    Liked by 1 person

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