When you encounter a bird in the wild, there’s a standard series of events that occur. Far too often, the encounter ends when the bird flies away as you approach. Hence the challenge for a bird photographer!! But every once in a while, the quarry seems just as interested as the photographer. Today was one of those experiences.
I was birding a little bit in western Minnehaha County, west of Sioux Falls. I saw a pair of Red-tailed Hawks sitting on adjacent fence posts on the road in front of me. In these situations, I always have my camera ready when I approach, just on the off change that the bird would actually stay perched and not flush. However, as per usual, the pair both took off well before I got in camera range.
Was was NOT per usual is their behavior after taking flight. Instead of flying off to a distant perch, the pair banked…and turned back towards me as I stood on the side of the road. For the next 3 or four minutes, both of them lazily circled above and around me as I furiously clicked away. Getting nice flight photos of wild raptors is ALWAYS a welcome opportunity…here are some photos of the pair.