Curious Red-tailed Hawk

Description:

On my way back from Magee Marsh, I stopped at the Stange Road Prairie to see whether some photo-worthy creature would be present. A first year red-tailed hawk was perched on the overlook railing. It flew towards me about 1 meter over my head and perched on the information sign at the entrance. After scanning produced no remarkable subjects, I headed back to the car. The hawk was still perched as I slowly moved towards the parking area. The hawk showed no sign of alarm so I quietly began to photograph the bird. I was able to get several nice portraits. I liked the head turn and lighting for this photo. The bird remained perched while I drove away. I am theorizing that this hawk was hoping that I would flush a cottontail for a convenient lunch.

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Pertinent technical details or techniques:

D850 600mm f4 (1/500 sec at F11, ISO 800) Topaz DeNoise AI, crop for comp (Hawk was displaced on the right side of frame in original, Levels.

Is this a composite? (focus stacks or exposure blends are not considered composites) No

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Good portrait shot and an apt title given the interesting pose. Nice when birds cooperate like this.

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Hi Jim
The head turn and eye contact are great. The Red-tail is definitely checking you out. Nice work on this shot.
Peter

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Great portrait of one of my favorite birds, Jim. Well done.

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Great head turn, Jim. Some of this species seem to become very tolerant of us. It sounds like you found one of them.

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Wonderful composition. I really like what you did here. Detail and color is superb.

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Super portrait! Such detail that we rarely see. Bravo!

Even if a raptor isn’t looking directly at you, it may be seeing you perfectly well. That’s because they have two fovea per eye - the areas where light sensing cells are more concentrated on the retina. Humans and mammals have one. Concentrate your attention on a single word of text on screen or on paper and try to read other words without moving your eyes. You can’t do it well. Raptors have fovea that face forward in binocular vision and another pair that are about 30 degrees off from that, looking sideways. It’s amazing.

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Great portrait Jim. Yeah, some of these guys get so used to cars and people (particularly cars) that they really don’t give you much thought. Great that you found one of those birds. Great head turn to show off that amazing eye and head feathers.
@Kris_Smith, that’s some great information. Thanks for sharing that.

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Wonderful portrait!! I love the unusual head angle and curious look. Perfect BG.

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