Saturday, January 15, 2011

Northern Harrier

About 80% of the times we go walking I bring my camera.  Fortunately this day was not an exception.
 As we walked along the path we spooked a hawk but it flew only a short distance away, showing us its white bloomers as it took off.
 White rump and this interesting, owl-like face meant it had to be a Northern Harrier, either a juvenile or female.  I decided it was most likely a mature female.
 We saw that she had left her prey on the ground and we quickly backed away.  She looked us over and decided we had moved far enough not to be a threat and came back.
 She checked out her catch.
 She looked around to see what other intruder might be close.
Then she went to work removing the feathers from her meal.
We turned around and picked another route to walk.  We didn't want to disturb her further though it is a popular trail and I don't know how long she was left in peace.  When we came by later the only sign of the drama was a pile of feathers.
The male Harrier is gray and I was fortunate to get a picture of one last year.


Linked to Bird Photography Weekly


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28 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great sequence of photos Martha. Apparently she got to finish her meal before the walkers disturbed her!

I'm glad you got these great pictures before turning around -- and I'm glad you remembered your camera.

Gaelyn said...

Very cool series and what a lucky discovery. It really does have unusual eye shape.

Serendipity said...

Wow, she let you get really close! Beautiful series

Johnny Nutcase said...

this guy let you get off some really nice shots! that was kind of him to pose! :)

eileeninmd said...

Awesome shots of the Northern harrier! Glad it stayed around for the photo shoot! He did pose nicely.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures as always, Martha! I think it's amazing he let you get the shots that you did -- his meal must have been to heavy to carry off or maybe he's accustomed to being admired and photographed! You know how those Stars are! Enjoy your weekend!

Sylvia

Gary said...

Great series!!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon, River.

Barb said...

A wondrous sequence, Martha - she did look as though she was watching you over her shoulder!

Linda Reeder said...

It's wonderful to be able to get up close and personal with such a majestic bird.

ρομπερτ said...

How very wonderful a sight. Years since last seen a wild animal/bird on me own. Thank you for sharing. Please have you all a good Sunday.

daily athens

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

Lucky you being in the right place at the right time AND with camera in hand. Great pictures!

Lana Gramlich said...

Great series! Thanks for sharing. :)

mick said...

Beautiful bird and a great series of photos.

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Bellissima !!!!
Buona serata.
Myriam :))

Neil said...

Great series of photos just wish everyone is as thoughtful as you were to leave the bird get on with its' meal.

Mike B. @ slugyard.com said...

Great find! I saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk grab a meal and fly with it into some bushes about 30 feet from me this weekend. I wanted to go look for it, but thought better of it and left it alone to eat. Not an easy choice!

Phil said...

You got some great pictures there Martha. Over here we know Northern Harrier as Hen Harrier but I rarely get such good views as you got there.

Larry said...

A great series of a gorgeous bird Martha! The Northern Harrier is one of my favorite raptors to watch. They always seem to be able to find something to dive after. I love that second shot with the side glance.

Adam Tilt said...

Cracking bird Martha. We have had a couple of Northern Harrier here in the UK this year which I'd love to see.

holdingmoments said...

A real beauty. It's always great when we can get close to these magnificent birds like this.

Springman said...

What a great group of shots Martha. Lucky you were so well prepared! Great story too.

theconstantwalker said...

Brilliant wildlife behaviour to witness.

blobbybirdman said...

Lovely catch, a beautiful Female N. Harrier, wonderful stuff

Dixxe said...

What a beautiful series--thats one beautiful bird and you caputred it perfectly!

Hilke Breder said...

Nice capture! I have never been able to photograph a NH on the ground, so kudos to you!

Arija said...

What a great experience and sequence of shots of this beautiful raptor.
It pays to lug a camera along on any walk you never know what may turn up.

Hugs and Blessings . . . Arija

Small City Scenes said...

Excellent shots, Martha. You were fortunate she stayed around even with prey on the ground. MB

phylliso said...

I just love these shots.I love hawks.I`m glad you pointed out how they differ in the face.Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures!phylliso