One Year With the Raptors

Bald Eagles in Eleven Mile Canyon

I just published another Kindle book called “Seasons of the Raptor” about my first big year of raptor photography. Prior to 2020 my wildlife photography always concentrated on the large American mammals, including bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, etc. That was of course before I became acquainted with the eagles nest at Eleven Mile Canyon. Since then I’ve upgraded my equipment to be able to actually shoot a clear photograph of birds and actively gone looking for them! I’ve had to upgrade my software to support images shot in low light and difficult conditions and perfect my skills on fast moving small subjects!

The year included  watching the bald eagles hatch three new eaglets, the osprey pair raise two new young ones, some great times with the blue heron, tons of red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, a couple Swainson’s, the peregrine falcons at the mouth of Eleven Mile and probably a bunch I already don’t even remember!

Anyway, the book is my best one yet, around 50 pages of my best raptor pictures including the story behind the images. I reveal my strategy and camera settings, how I approached the feathered critters, where and when to find them plus links to supporting video on my YouTube channel!

So if you are on Amazon or a Kindle fan I hope you will consider giving it a look!

Also notice that I have added a link to all my Kindle books on the main menu!

Cloud Dancers

Red-Tailed Hawk in Flight

Snow is flying on Trail Ridge Road already, if you ask me that’s a good omen πŸ™‚ This morning greeted me with 43 chilly degrees, clouds and a pretty stiff breeze. Of course for me, that only meant that I needed to get out in it πŸ™‚ My favorite close by mountain seemed like good medicine for this day, a guaranteed good long hike at elevation πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen any wildlife there in a while though, I’m kind of thinking maybe the dusky grouse has already migrated. Come to think of it, my osprey pair in Eleven Mile Canyon may also have migrated, according to the literature late August is their assigned time for departure for their southern locations. It seems like the adults leave early while their youngsters hang around awhile perfecting their fishing skills and strengthening their new wings. Last year our juveniles at Eleven Mile remained until around mid September.

Red-Tailed Hawk in Flight

Sure enough, I hiked all the way to the summit without seeing a thing to photograph, the Sangre de Cristo Range is completely obscured by the California smoke and there was no bird song at all at the summit. I wonder if many of the little species have already migrated… It makes me wonder what kind of horrific winter we may be in store for!

On my way down I was happy to see the pair of red-tailed hawks sitting together on one of the power poles, for the longest time there was just one hawk so I’m glad he or she has found a mate πŸ™‚ I was in pretty good position for a shot so I set up the tripod and switched to live view where it was easier to keep an eye on them through the three inch LCD screen. Plus I don’t have to strain my neck so much to just sit and look at the “big screen”, rather than the little tiny viewfinder!

It wasn’t long and the beautiful pair took flight and headed north for their daytime locations which I’m not privy to. I waited a bit to see if they would come back but it appeared that the decision was made for the day so I decided to go on up to the Gold Camp Bakery in Victor for some  biscuits and gravy, always a treat πŸ™‚

Red-Tailed Hawk in Flight

Eventually the sun was shining brightly and it appeared that my day of photography was over so I turned Big Blue back down the pass towards home. But as I passed the trailhead I looked into the sky and saw four large birds soaring and chasing each other in the sky. I trained my big lens on them and by golly it was four red-tail hawks, just playing in the sky πŸ™‚ I suspect that the two extra must be the offspring of the nesting pair that I’ve become familiar with. All the more red-tails to photograph in the months to come!

They circled overhead for quite a while, twirling and diving and chasing each other all over the beautiful blue Colorado sky. I followed them with my lens as best as I could, shooting whenever I was in focus and they were close enough.  I probably snapped about 120 captures before it was all over and the amazing cloud dancers drifted off into the distance.

Red-Tailed Hawk in Flight

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.