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I Need to Learn about Grooming

I Need to Learn about Grooming
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-04
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D DIGITAL, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Prey- RAPTORS (III), CeltickRanger's favorite Bird of Prey photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-05 5:38
Viewed: 4019
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This young Swainson's Hawk has just captured a Richardson's Ground Squirrel for a meal. Its' plumage is dishevelled from the struggle to subdue his prey. This was taken from the window of my truck as it sat on the brace post of a gate on a barbed wire fence.

Swainson's Hawk
Buteo swainsoni
General Description

By Lee Sollenberger

This is a common buteo of the grassland region of the western USA and Canada. In Alberta, it occurs in the prairie regions wherever there is a tree or even a single clump of willows in which it can place its nest. Often seen sitting on a fence-post or telephone pole, it is the only raptor that allows one to drive up to it, stop and look at it, without it flying away.

Swainsons Hawks winter in the pampas region of Argentina, feeding entirely on grasshoppers while there. They arrive back in southern Alberta during the third week of April. Immediately, they claim their previous year's nest, if still intact. If not, they build a new one, often in a farm shelterbelt in the rural areas.

After rearing their family, all leave the province by the end of September. They gather in ever greater numbers until they are in the hundreds of thousands as they pass through Mexico and Central America, making the longest migration flight of any North American raptor. Because they travel in such high numbers, they make the entire 10,000 km one-way journey with little or no food. They are able to do so by passively using solar energy, gliding from one rising air thermal to the next.

While in Alberta, their diet consists of small rodents, mainly Richardson's Ground Squirrels, augmented by Northern Pocket Gophers and Meadow Voles. They also consume insects in great numbers. This species is very beneficial to the agricultural community.

The nest of the Swainson's Hawk is usually placed in the crotch of a deciduous tree at a height of 2-15m (6-50 ft.). It is roughly constructed of sticks, twigs and lined with bark, with leafy twigs added intermittently. The usually two to four pale greenish eggs are laid in May and incubated by both sexes for 28 days. The young are capable of flight when four to five weeks old.

soccer, cataclysta, ramthakur, eqshannon, gerbilratz, jaycee, uleko, Jamesp, CeltickRanger, NinaM, Luis52, SelenE has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hello rick,
nice capture of the hawk with the hunt, liked the pov and the composition, i would have loved to see the eyes of the hawk with more light, still a nice capture,
tfs & regards


An excellent capture. I like the POV, BG, Composition, detail and Lighting.


Hi Rick
A killer with his prey. Great moment, good sharpness, very nice compo with a bird on the right side and good OOF background


Lucky you to in the right place at the right time,
Great capture,
He is a mess but still a great image,
And a beautiful bird,


Rick, this is a fantastic capture.
The Hawk looks really pooped after the struggle to capture the prey and seems to be regaining its breath.
However, the grace and arrogance of a predator are still in place here.
TFS and regards,

From this image I get a good idea of how my small cats must have felt..I cannot tell you how important the cats are in the wilderness but they are also found often by birds such as this...such is teh life of nature...Very nicely done..and good story to go with the image Rick.

great timing to get this shot...lovely feather details and colouration...nice work!!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-03-05 7:55]

Hi Rick,

Not a pretty picture but a wonderful shot of this hawk with his prey. He looks like there was quite a struggle. You captured the moment very well.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-05 9:10]

Hello Rick,
Very fine capture of this Hawk with its prey. ou're lucky to catch a moment like this. I like your POV, the sharp details and fine colours. Well done!
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-03-05 9:54]

Hi Rick

Another superb shot - excellent POV with outstanding colours and detail. Well observed and captured.


hello Rick

superb capture by you and by this Swainson's Hawk, excellent POV
and vertical framing, excellent DOF, lovely hard density of the colours
and excellent sharpness & details, TFS


Hello Rick,
wonderfull capture for you of Swainson's Hawk and happy capture for Swainson's Hawk of poor grey squirrel, but it the live ....
excellent quality shot,
a great cheer,

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-03-05 15:33]

Hi Rick,

Great shot Rick, you had a perfect timing to shoot this hawk, maybe you've disturbed him a bit with his prey, he's kind of giving you an eye!!!!
Great details in the fluffy feathers, nice vivid colours!
Very well done!


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-03-05 16:44]

Fantastic realistic picture, it is such a great one. I love the light, the colours, the superb layered background. This hawk has fought for his prey and it shows, wow! The bird is beautiful! thank you,


Well, there is a real nature shot. Your focus seems to have been more on the prey and the hawk's feet than on his head. I would have thought that they wer close enough t the same plane to both be in focus but apparently not.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-03-06 0:55]

Hi Rick,
Nice catch for both of you. Good focus, sharpness and details. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-06 1:24]

Exceptional image of this Swainson's Hawk and prey!
Great composition which leaves enough space for the bird to "look into".
Superb clarity and sharpness.
Nice n' natural colours.
Thanks for sharing this Rick,


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-03-06 5:55]

Hi Rick,
Wonderful shot and a great moment captured. The plumage really does look dishevelled illustrating the intensity of the fight between the prey and the predator. Very neat and sharp image with a great DOF and perfect lighting. I like this POV from your truck window (you were at the right place at the right time) and the simple but effective composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-03-06 8:05]

Hola Rick.
Exelente momento logrado aqui. Una foto llena de hermosos detalles y gran contenido. La pose del Aguila con su presa lucen gracias a el talento del fofografo.
Muy bella foto Rick.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-03-06 9:19]

Hi Rick,
Great close up nice sharpness and wonderful detail.
Interesting seeing seeing this fabulous hunter with it's prey.

Hello Rick,
Great capture, excellent composition and point of view, very good sharpness and depth of field, fantastic pose!

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