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In your face

broadwing hawkbwFriends, this small hawk is the Broadwing Hawk, one of several species that pass over Hawk Ridge in fall migration.  I am practicing my black and white conversions, how do you like? til Tomorrow MJ




Friends, I went to Crex Meadows yesterday, the temperatures reached 27 degrees above zero Fahrenheit, almost balmy but with the wind I still needed my jacket.  The meadow is full of Rough-Legged Hawks and i saw at least 10 of them in my trip.  They like to sit in the top of dead tree snags and when I get near they almost always fly away immediately.  So this image is a hawk taking off.  The outline around their wings and the dark patches at the wrist are id marks for this specie.  If you look closely you can see the feathers that cover their legs, helps to keep them warm. The image below is also a take off from another twig in a treetop. til Tomorrow MJ


Harrier Portrait

first adult harrierFriends, More book images to work on, this image of a Harrier was tilted so the bird looked wrong.  In straightening the image I found that two corners were white background, selecting the white corners, i filled with content-aware.  This did a pretty good job of filling the background area, but still had to clone some texture in, after cropping the image, the headroom needed to be increased. So much for the photoshop details, if you need more, just ask.  The plumage of this bird and his lemon-yellow eyes mark him as a semi-adult.  His gray feathers around his ruff are just starting to appear and when he is totally adult, his back feathers will be very gray.  He looks like an owl with his facial disk, but he is a Harrier.  til Tomorrow MJ

Back From the Edge

broadwing portrait5Friends, I feel a little sassy and assertive this morning, back from the depths of a head cold that dumped me in my bed for three days, back from the edge of darkness.  The face of this broad winged hawk woke me this morning and started giving me a pep talk, something about rising and shining.  Well i will rise but the shining will have to wait until i have my fourth cup of coffee, so far only two.  This hawk face needed something, so i started working with a new ( to me)  piece of software, Color Effex Pro 4.  I added some detail extractor and tonal contrast to liven up this image.  I would highly recommend the detail extractor for raw images as it can sharpen without adding the outside ghosts that photoshop seems to excel at. While this added some noise to the background (sharpens noise) I could have easily edited that with a layer mask, but later. til Tomorrow MJ


Weekly Photo Challenge:Delicate

redtail secondary covertsFriends, these feathers look very delicate but for a hawk they are necessary attire.  This is the top of the wing of a redtailed hawk as seen at Hawk Ridge this fall, I am studying feathers and the molts.  There is a lot to learn but a research project keeps me entertained on a cold windy and rainy day.  The rain is melting all our snow and we are likely to have ice for Christmas instead of snow.  til Tomorrow MJ


Layered Flight

flight roughie2 bw


Friends, back to our winter weather now,  and while visiting Crex this week, I photographed this rough-legged hawk in flight.  I panned him as he flew by and combined the images (6) into one image to show the various wing positions.  These images were over-exposed to white-out the background of each then layered on top of a white background and the blending mode of each image layer was set to darken so only the dark pixels are added from each image.  Then each bird is moved to a suitable location.  The dark wing patch present on the underwing is diagnostic of the roughie and the gray sky is diagnostic of our weather.  Hope you enjoy. til Tomorrow MJ

Is there a difference?

broadwing portrait2Friends,are there any differences in these two images that can be detected on wordpress? I have run out of processed bird images and in culling through my entire library of images shot at Hawk Ridge, I found a few that i wanted to include in my book.  Did I mention that I was writing a book about Hawk Ridge and my experiences up there this fall?  Well, I am and I am going to take you along for the ride.  Book preparation first needs some first class images.  I was not entirely satisfied with this image as it was processed in the raw converter in Photoshop.  One of the images is the raw, the other of this Broadwing Hawk is processed further in Photoshop.  Can you tell which one?  til Tomorrow MJbw portrati as is from raw

Notched tail- Redtail

Friends, this is a red tail from a large female Redtailed Hawk.  While examining her in hand, she had two missing feathers on the left side of her tail, and two new feathers are growing back.  These new feathers are a little fresher looking than the other older feathers.  A weathered veteran of the wilderness wars, this image demonstrates that hawks are also in peril and often are the hunted ones as well as being the hunter.  Below is an image of her release back, the shorter feathers were not slowing her flight back to the wildness. An account of two eagles pursuing a redtail is included in this link: redtail pursued by golden eagles

Weekly Photo Challenge:Thankful

Friends, I am very Thankful for the birds of Hawk Ridge and Crex Meadows, who keep me busy photographing the wildness.  So back to Hawk Ridge for another Hawk lesson, or in this case, a Falcon lesson.  The portrait of the Merlin below shows an open beak and the notches in the cutting edge of the beak that fit together when the bird is killing his prey.  These interlocking notches are the tomial tooth of the falcons.  Hawks may have the upper notch but do not have the corresponding notch on the lower edge.  The higher magnification image shows this region to dramatize the tomial tooth. til Tomorrow MJ

Jim’s Hawk

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