While shooting at the Ridgefield NWR, Dec. 14, 2014, I set up my tripod at one of the areas where shooting outside a vehicle is allowed. I had the camera pointed toward the marsh area with the sun at my back. Also about a hundred feet behind me is a small forested area. My shooting buddy and I noticed a Red-tailed Hawk was perched in one of the trees behind us. A shot of the hawk in the tree would have been a waste of time due to the light situation behind us. After a while of waiting for some bird action in front of us, my buddy walked away from the area for a few minutes to check on some eagle action behind us. As I was standing at my camera, I heard the air swoosh under the wings of the hawk as it flew down from the tree behind me and just to the right of my head. It landed about 20 feet in front of me and had missed its mark. I took some shots of the young bird and after about a minute, it took off right at me and just a few feet above me back towards its perch in the tree behind me. The shot above is full frame vertically–I cropped the sides off so the image would display larger on my website. You never know what these youngsters will do since they haven’t developed their fear of humans yet. The image almost looks like a flash shot, but it was a near setting sun that was shining on him.
Canon 7D Mark II, 1/1250, f4.5, ISO 500, 500mm, 3:23 p.m.