Around the Neighborhood 2: Red-Tailed Hawk

comments 28
California / Hawk / Photo Log / Photography / Wildlife


July 11, 2019, Just down the street. Red-tailed hawks have lived in my neighborhood for years but they have been stubbornly elusive when I’m out with a camera. One day last week I went out to get the mail and I heard hawk cries nearby. Several different voices. I looked up, into a tree and there they were. Three of them.

I dashed inside and got the beast — eight pounds of camera body and lens. While I was inside, the birds arranged themselves so that I couldn’t get all three in one shot. But this one sat alone on a branch, very interested in what I was doing.

(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.3; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Happy staredown to you both.

    Have you considered one of the recent lightweight point-and-shoot or so-called bridge cameras with huge optical zoom ranges that you could keep around just for pictures like this? The image quality wouldn’t match the beast’s but you’d gain a lot in ease and maneuverability.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. The super zoom bridge cameras just don’t have the image quality. To get the zoom range, they pack 16–20 million pixels into tiny 1/2.3 sensors. This means a lot of noise at even moderate ISO and the lenses aren’t very sharp. I use the beast around home and on road trips. For air travel and long hikes I use a Tamron 100–400 which is much lighter and smaller but still has impressive performance. Some of my more recent wildlife posts were shot with the Tamron.


  2. Eye-to-eye always is a wonderful experience, whether with a bird like this, a deer, a spider, or a dragonfly. The world’s creatures are far more aware of us than many realize, and they’re often just as curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel a definite line of communication when we have these eye-to-eye experiences. At various places on this blog there are many: bobcat, coyote, hawks, crow, hummingbirds… In all of these creatures, there is a “there” there.


  3. Are they large hawks? Not sure we have them in the UK (probably not). I have an outstanding argument with a hawk from earlier today (it went after one of my favourite small birds, a young dunnock) but I will admit that this one is very beautiful. Maybe it was hoping the camera was a mouse?

    Liked by 1 person

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