It's always exciting to find a rare visitor to your area but when you also get the opportunity to observe behavioral interactions the encounter becomes even more special.  I was leading a Santa Cruz Bird Club field trip along the north coast of the county when I got a call from one of the birders in the group that he had found an immature Ferruginous Hawk interacting with Red-Tail Hawk.  The group headed to the spot and sure enough we found a Red-tail feasting on a kill with the Ferruginous very close by and very interesting in getting a piece of the action.

Photo of the Week 29: Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) EQ: D720, 300mm f/2.8 with 1.4x TC    Taken: 11-27-2015 at 9:59a Settings: 630mm eqv, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO250, +1/3EV         Conditions: Sunny and clear

Photo of the Week 29: Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis)

EQ: D720, 300mm f/2.8 with 1.4x TC    Taken: 11-27-2015 at 9:59a

Settings: 630mm eqv, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO250, +1/3EV         Conditions: Sunny and clear

Within a couple of minutes the two started to struggle over the ground squirrel with all talons showing.  After the brief conflict, the Red-tail backed off leaving the squirrel for the Ferruginous.  It was clear to me that the Red-tail had its fill.  We spent the next 10 or 20 minutes watching the Ferruginous feast on its prize.

630mm eqv, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO500, +1/3EV, 9:51a

You may have noticed that I was using a teleconverter (TC) on this shoot.  It has been awhile since I used one but I figured I'd try again with the D7200.  I was very happy with the results being able to get very sharp images with an equivalent 630mm focal length.  As I get use to my equipment I'm being more selective in what I will use based on the location and the lighting.  The most important thing is to keep shooting and be critical of your results by asking how could I do this better.

630mm eqv, 1/1250s, f/6.3, ISO200, +1/3EV, 10:20a

630mm eqv, 1/1250s, f/6.3, ISO200, +1/3EV, 10:20a

630mm eqv, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO160, +1/3EV, 9:59a

630mm eqv, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO160, +1/3EV, 9:59a

Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other questions leave me a message.

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