Photo of the Day: Broad-winged Hawk

by John Briggs on September 5, 2011

in Bird Photographs, Bird Photography Weekly, Blog, Photo of the Day

Broad-winged Hawk – Buteo platypterus

Late Saturday afternoon, Sharon and I were driving along a decrepit logging road looking for wildlife. We saw two bull Moose on the other side of a large pond eating vegetation. I found it odd that these males were in such close proximity to each other because the annual “rut” begins in a week or two. While watching the Moose, we heard a Boreal Chickadee and several Gray Jays, but neither species were seen to our dismay.

We continued driving deeper into the woods, seeing the occasional Warbler, Raven, Chickadee, Spruce Grouse, etc. Just after rounding a sharp turn, I saw something in a tree along the road, but wasn’t sure what it was. I stopped, turned around in my seat and looked around. Just off the edge of the road, about eye level, was a Broad-winged Hawk perched on a branch.

Bird Photography: Broad-winged Hawk

The Hawk was preening and seemed completely oblivious to our presence. I took advantage of this and slowly got out of the car. Crouching down, I made my way to the front of the car and started taking photos of this beautiful raptor. To my amazement, the Hawk continued to ignore us. We watched it for several minutes, and then it took flight.

I haven’t had much experience with this Hawk, and actually didn’t know for sure which species it was. I want to say thanks to the folks in my circles at Google+ for help in ID’ing this Hawk.

The following photos were taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click a thumbnail below for a full-sized view. ©2011 John Briggs Photography | All Rights Reserved

Happy Birding!

World Bird Wednesday


Dawn September 5, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Great shots! Nice to have friends in the Know :)

Mick September 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Great photos. I love it when the birds ignore us humans and just keep on with their own lives.

Lynne September 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I love these photos. great shots! I see broad-winged hawks here in mwv relatively frequently but I never got a pic. I usually rely on flight view, perch sighting, and sound before making an ID. I found that they remain in a relatively small area. They are not very shy but perch high. And more often than not they call. Did you hear this guy?
A big fan,

kerri September 6, 2011 at 6:59 am

These are Stunning!! WOW!

Robin September 6, 2011 at 9:26 am

Naaaaaaaaaice! Got one myself this week. Same kind of scruffy, juvie lookin' bird on a wire. Glad to see you are out and about birding a bit, too. Just got some nice fall warbs in the trees here at my house. Bird action is really picking up for around the feeders with juveniles and migrants.

Chris September 6, 2011 at 10:25 am

Superb shots John and your list is making me dream… Boreal chickadees, blue jays… what a beautiful bird world you have around ;-)
My recent post Un appel, une coche – A call for a lifer

@anotherbirdblog September 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hey John, I'm pleased you sorted the ID over there. In any case they are just fine pictures, clear and bright – nice ones.

Andrew September 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Lovely images of your beautiful birds.
My recent post A wonderful encounter…………….. with Goshawks

fjällripan September 6, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Beautiful photos of the amazinglooking hawk! About the moose, it seems to be rather usual that bulls are seen together at this time. Yesterday they had seen four of them in a field around here . I would have love to see it. But I dont know why they are together….
My recent post En tranunge…

Amy September 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Very nice captures of a great encounter. Love the second picture – a relaxed bird getting ready for his closeup. :)
My recent post Finally – a trailer!! Just over one month to The Big Year!

Arija September 7, 2011 at 3:31 am

Absolutely beautiful photos of the broad-winged Hawk.
My recent post World Bird Wednesday – Long-billed Corella

Eileen September 7, 2011 at 4:13 am

Cool, I would love to see this Hawk and to watch the moose. Great sightings.

Stewart M September 7, 2011 at 7:06 am

Hi – what a splendid set of images of a great bird – also nice to find out that social networking is not ALL bad!

Cheers – Stewart M – Australia
My recent post The Kingfisher Theory – Part 3

Boom & Gary September 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

Grand close ups!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.
My recent post Belted Kingfisher and A Phildelphia Vireo of The Vermilon River. A Post To WBW.

Hilke Breder September 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Neat capture, John! A pretty blase hawk – must have know what you were up to.

springman September 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Gosh, I hope your readers are clicking to enlarge these amazing photos. The detail and light are to die for! Thank you for sharing your incredible encounter!

joan September 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for the great photos. I saw this hawk at a great distance so I appreciate studying the detail of you photos.
My recent post Earthquake and Lost Community of Mineral

pattyler1 September 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Wonderful photography – stunning bird!
My recent post Brown Thrasher

Andy September 21, 2011 at 10:25 am

Mighty fine photos John!
My recent post Least Sandpiper Stroll

backyardbirdgardner September 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm

You have some great content on your blog. Great images. Great articles. You also live in a very pretty state!


Larry September 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I love those photos John! I'm not used to seeing those hawks perched in a tree and would be uncertain about the identity if I saw one. I'm more comfortable recognizing them in flight.

Shelley October 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Gorgeous photo fo this immaculate photo! Also, I'm envious of the moose you have in your area. I've always wanted to see one. We have moose in the upper peninsula of Michigan but they are rare sightings.
My recent post Snubbed

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