Raptors are my favorite bird. Especially Hawks. And Kestrel's. But before I saw my first Kestrel, I had always been trying to get an image of a hawk. And not one sitting on a telephone pole either. Those are boring. I wanted one in a tree, with a nice clean background. It took six years.
It is virtually impossible to sneak up on a hawk. Even if you're behind it, they always seemingly fly off when you take your first step towards them. So imaging my surprise when I saw this beautiful juvenile Swanson's Hawk sitting on a tree stump just off the side of the road on my way to Barr Lake. He even stayed there when I hit the breaks and pulled over. He was very patient with me as shot, but I didn't really move more than 10 feet away from the jeep so as not to scare him away. As such, this is cropped pretty good, but I finally had my hawk image.
I just love the way he (or she) is staring right into the camera. Clearly I'm being assessed for a potential threat, but since I didn't even try to approach, I guess I was okay. I can't wait to get close to one again. So pretty.