Red-tailed Hawk in Flight with Branches

It’s no secret that hawks are one of my favorite subjects for photography.
I have an interest in raptors in general, but hawks and especially red-tailed hawks are very frequent on the backroads of Greater Toronto Area and therefore are much easier to spot, follow and photograph at closer distances.
Shy of people with large photographic equipment, one should quickly take the first shot without even getting out of the car.
Many times a nice opportunity was lost just by opening the car door. In some cases, blaring music inside of my car may have added to the shyness of the bird.

Nevertheless, today’s frames were made waiting patiently outside of the car until the bird was in closer range and moved into a simpler composition.

For those who are interested, the best time of the day to see them is late afternoon when they become most active.
An aspect of interest, clearly visible in this photograph, is their fingers-like feathers. Visible when their wings are fully spread, these “fingers” enable them to fly at lower speeds without the risk of coming to a standstill. I was also surprised to learn that, although equipped with a very strong hooked bill, hawks are killing the prey only with their razor-sharp talons. Their beak is used exclusively to tear apart the prey for eating.

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