Unprepared for take-off

Red-tailed Hawk sitting in an oak  

It took me several years to make my first photo of a Red-tailed Hawk in Eastern Iowa. And here I'm, blessed again with another opportunity. I like to believe it is the same hawk I showed in my post "Nature clicks #86" because I saw the bird in the same location, the Mill Creek Valley near Bellevue, IA. I shot several pictures of the hawk sitting in this oak tree, partly covered by branches. I was a little unprepared for its take-off because I was fiddling with camera settings in order to tame the extremely harsh light. It took some efforts in post to darken the tree branches surrounding the bird. I was just lucky that I got the AF sensor on the head of the bird when it suddenly took off. Well, sometimes we need some luck for our photography...


Red-tailed Hawk take-off