Blog Archives

Second Summer Sharp Shin Hawk

2 yr sharpieFriends, this is a second summer sharp shinned Hawk who has been captured, banded and after this image was taken, was release back into the wild blue yonder.  He has changed from his first year coloring when the eye is bright yellow, the breast feathers show a vertical orientation, and the top of his head was brown rather than the gray in this bird.  He is a survivor and is migrating south over Hawk Ridge in Duluth Minnesota.  The migration is starting and I will soon be able to show you new images of migrating birds.  til Tomorrow MJ


Sharpie Tail

Friends, this sharp-shinned Hawk is spreading her wings and tail to fly away. I think this image is a “pleasing blur” as described by Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito in their book by the same name.  You can check it out at:

I have been practicing my flying shots and found that using the manual mode, setting the aperture to f8 and the shutter speed to 1/1000, while putting the iso selection on auto, works well on these flight shots. Using a central focus point and panning with the image stabilization on setting 2 is also part of my digital data for this image.  Larger birds are best for practicing the panning technique so go out and find a bird.  Practice, practice, practice.  My goal is to be able to pan the smaller birds of winter, juncos, chickadees and pine grosbeaks.  til Tomorrow MJ

Hawk Lessons

Friends, these two images show the maturation of a sharp-shinned hawk.  The left image is a first year chick that was hatched in June and the bottom image shows a two or three year old bird.  Three dramatic changes can be compared on these birds.  The first is the differences in  eye color from the juvenile yellow to orange and red of more mature birds.  Secondly, the vertical bars on the chest of the younger bird changes to a more horizontal barring on the mature bird.  And third, the chocolate brown of the juvenile changes to a deep gray on the adult bird. That is your hawk lesson for today til Tomorrow MJ

A Double-Header

Friends, this small hawk, the sharp-shinned is a second year bird and her eyes are turning from the yellow of a first year bird to orange.  The vertical strips on the front have now turned more horizontal and her cap is starting to turn from chocolate brown to gray.  Below is a more mature bird with the red eyes and more gray on her cap.  You can compare these more mature birds to the sharpie from yesterday’s post of a sharpie that was hatched this spring.  til Tomorrow MJ

Hawk Ridge- Sharp Shinned Hawk

Friends, A visit today and yesterday to Hawk Ridge in Duluth Minnesota, a place about an hours drive from our home.  In the fall the hawks and other large birds migrate southward along the west shore of Lake Superior and often soar over Hawk Ridge.  The observatory group there counts the birds every year and they band many birds . They also educate the public about these wonderful birds that are often not seen close up and personal like this bird.  An educator is holding this bird and after a chat with us, the birds are turned loose to return to their migration.  This bird is a female sharp shined hawk and i was surprised by the small size.  When she matures, her chest feathers will get horizontal banding, her eye will go orange then red, and her back feather will get more of a gray than the chocolate brown that she has now.  til Tomorrow MJ

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