Harrier on a Sunflower Stalk

I was driving through a local park with a friend of mine when we happened upon this harrier on this perch. We eased up in the car until we were parallel with her and sat there for about 30-40 minutes. She was just on the edge of photographic range at that distance. We eventually decided to ease out of the car and approach on foot slowly. We angled away from her as we approached. She let us get much closer than I ever would’ve imagined. Eventually, another car went down a road behind her, and she flew off. Quite an experience.

500 f/4 Af-S II + 1.4x tc
ISO 1000

(Please note, you might need to click on the image twice to see it at its appropriate resolution. still haven’t figured out the best upload size)

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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Wow! Lyle. I’m amazed she stayed on a perch that long. Gorgeous light, beautiful bird and the perch has great character. A lovely image.

Interesting that this was a female as well. I’ve had males that were relatively ok with me being reasonably close, but I’ve never had a female hold still for me.

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I find harriers the most spooky of all raptors and have difficulty getting close enough for a decent image without employing a blind. Nice warm light, clean background and a unique perch. The whites on the rump appear a little hot.

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Nice getting one on this nice a perch…
Nice IQ, I would crop some off the bottom if you have the pixels.

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