I have some images to share with you today. I was fortunate enough to photograph a magnificent Red-tailed Hawk as it landed gracefully on a sign next to the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oklahoma. This majestic raptor seemed unperturbed by the vehicles passing nearby. I was able to park my truck a short distance away and snap some photos of it from inside through my zoom lens. I observed the hawk leave its lofty perch several times to swoop down to the ground next to the road and sign, but I was unable to discern what it was hunting for. Tomorrow, I will post an image of this breathtaking bird of prey perched on the ground and describe what I think it was doing down there.

Red-tailed Hawk Target Acquired

Red-tailed Hawk – Target Acquired

Red-tailed Hawk Talons Outstretched

Red-tailed Hawk Talons Outstretched

Red-tailed Hawk Landing

Red-tailed Hawk Landing

I felt exhilarated to photograph this hawk just as it was extending its impressive wingspan to decelerate for landing on the sign and shortly after it had alighted. Red-tailed hawks characteristically spread their broad wings to act as airbrakes when approaching their landing site, and they stretch out their powerful legs and razor-sharp talons to take hold of the surface. I was thrilled to catch this raptor displaying this behavior. I am eager to return to the refuge soon in hopes of spotting this regal bird again.

Image Information:

  • Date: 02/02/24
  • Time: 10:26 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
  • ISO: 500
  • Aperture: 8
  • Shutter: 1/1250
  • Exp. Comp.:+0.7
  • Lens (mm): 500
  • Program Mode: Manual