On the drive back to Orem late Sunday morning I drove by a small stream in Provo and found a female Harrier feeding on a recent kill. She had no issues with me shooting from the car from about 70 feet away. While I was enjoying the find the male dropped in to snag a bite and the two squabbled a bit before the female flew off. But all she did was circle a couple times and came right back to duke it out. She forced the male away...but he eventually came back and took what was left off into the snow to finish the meal. Great fun watching these two argue...
With a fresh meal at foot and the weather as cold as it's been I'm sure the only reason this one would have departed when I arrived is if I had presented any kind of substantial threat. This went on for 15 minutes so it was a real treat watching this couple interact. I was also surprised to see the difference in size between the larger female and her partner. I don't think the male was a juvenile. Now I'm hoping to get up north during the migration of eagles thru here and add a couple nice closeups of Balds to the library.
There must have been something with the planets alligning just right this day because I'd already found the Golden Eagle out west of this location earlier in the day and then these two. Can't ask for anymore than that. I forgot one shot in the series that I've added here of the male taking off the first time. Both birds managed to chase the other away a couple times each during the show..lots of fun.
A great series, Peter, with an interesting look at them interacting. The females are noticably larger than the males that is an adult male. I was fortunate enough once to shoot a series where the male was eating and the female swooped down and the male took off and did not return. She enjoyed the rest of the meal. Thanks for posting.
I'ts interesting because for the first few months I was on this job I saw very few birds. Now that winter has set in I'm seeing all sorts of them. And with the temperatures being so cold now...lots of waterfowl are gathering in any open water they can find so I'm going to be on the lookout for some I haven't photographed before.
Absolutely beautiful sequence as are almost all your shots.I think I started following your contributions when you were in the Kingman,Az area several years ago.I have been an avid birder and photographer for well over 50 years and believe it or not I have NEVER seen a MALE Harrier. Congratulations on the sequence. I have a hard time deciding whether I like your wildlife or landscapes most. Both are equally as well done. I think what impresses me most is you seem to be able to do most of it from your car. Being somewhat handicapped with arthritis this gives me encouragement to drive more.
My cars over the years have always doubled as a portable blind. I think a lot of subscribers to this forum will agree. Shooting from the car works like a charm. I've seen adult hawks that won't let you get within 50 yards of them sit still for photos when I've pulled up in my car. And everyone that does this has their own setup for shooting. More to come and good shooting.
This was a real treat. Even after I got out of my car to shoot across the roof they stayed put. And catching them on the same day as I did that Golden Eagle...well..for me that was like winning the lottery
Winter has turned out to be the best birding season here in Utah. I saw very little during the fall..but the birds seem to be everywhere now. Nice to find this pair. Just found a spot where bald eagles hang out during the winter near Utah Lake so I hope to get some decent shots of them soon.